This week has probably been the most stressful week I have had yet.
How, you may ask, is that possible?
No, I have not had any further encounters with the police. In fact, I am writing this blog from a hotel. With air conditioning. With a pool. With a spa. Perhaps my stress of the week is a little unmerited considering the circumstances, but let me explain.
This past Thursday marked the second class that Jill and I were to teach with the women from the street. After the first class and a meeting with the church to debrief, we knew that we had to make some major adjustments to the curriculum we had written. Time was an issue – as you can expect when no one shows up until a half an hour after the class is schedules to start, and we had some other issues of timing and flow to deal with as well. We had also decided to make twenty pairs of earrings for the women who had been invited to the class the week previous and not come. Our hope was that the earrings would provide incentive for the women to come to the second class, and help them to realize that while they were not there, they were still in our thoughts.
We did finish the twenty earrings, and they were very well and gratefully received by the women we spent time with on Wednesday night in the street. We did finish the curriculum changes, and I personally figured out a killer way to teach my business section of the class. (I was teaching the importance of taking the time to figure out the feasibility of the business you want to start before you do anything and I came up with an object lesson using two tubes of toothpaste and it went over really well!) The thing that made this week particularly interesting (along with all of the graduate school work I have to do on top of everything I do here), was that our advisor and professor, Dr. Corbitt, came down to observe our work.
For some reason, this made me extremely nervous, and amped up the level of stress I was dealing with.
I respect Dr. Corbitt very much. I want to learn as much as I can from him, and he has done a lot to help me over the past few years – from talking to me about things going on in my often crazy life to helping me get back into the graduate program at Eastern. Therefore, I often put a lot of pressure on myself to ‘perform’ well, so to speak, both in gratitude, and because I actually care what he thinks about me.
Anyway – the class went extremely well. Of course, there are still things that need to be reevaluated and adjusted, but Dr. Corbitt had a lot of praise for us at the end of the night. We were both happy that the class was so great and pleased to have another perspective there to give us feedback.
This was Thursday – Jill and I now will be spending the rest of the weekend staying in the hotel with Dr. Corbitt and his wife, Vicky, to have the advantage of having some conversations with Dr. Corbitt and to enjoy the amenities of the hotel – even if just for a weekend, it is a welcome break to the difficulties that we sometimes have experienced in the country. I am happy to have the time to spend having conversations with Dr. Corbitt, Jill, and Vicky. It is a good addition to this trip.
For now, I am not going to worry about how the air conditioning is spoiling me and possibly ruining the heat tolerance that I’ve built up since having arrived here. I am going to sit by the pool and enjoy every minute of it!