Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Five: New Year's Goals

I'm refraining from the usage of "resolutions" here, as the root of the word is "resolute," and being resolute about a hopeful success in development work will typically only serve to frustrate, alienate, and cause burnout. Since international development work is about building capacity and inspiring change in others, I feel 99% of this work lies outside of the change agent's control. They can offer ideas, support program and/or village infrastructure, statistics, and benefits to change, but ultimately, a community opts to adopt the behaviors necessary to change or it doesn't. The community and its people require both investment in the potential change and intrinsic motivation to make the effort match the reward to ensure the sustainability of these socio-behavioral changes. 

As such, being the potential change agent, there are numerous things I can control, including my own effort, mindset, and drive to see things through to completion. The following are five goals that I will work towards, in an exhaustive and collaborative fashion to improve my community and myself.

1. will continue to find new ways of transferring English instruction skills to Pii Aoy. Fortunately, she already has the will to change for the better and strives to improve her instructional abilities. I aim to equip her with as many tools as possible to make English enjoyable and effective for her students.

2. want to grow deeper connections with the teachers to whom Nadia and I teach English. I've pleasantly noticed there has already been an improvement in my relationships with each teacher who participates. I'm looking forward to sharing a better mutual understanding of each other and our respective cultures, improving their English, and indirectly improving their instructional methods by introducing them to and instructing them through student-centered learning techniques.

3. want to see the Youth Tour Guide project at my school succeed. This project has been started, but has moved at a snail's pace because Thailand. It has seen some movement lately with the end of the year projects having ended, and I'm excited by its potential. Already, I've connected my school and municipality to work together, as the latter also had intentions of creating the same kind of program. This month the training and creation of the program should become a reality.

4. want to help Peace Corps Thailand improve programatically- from how they train incoming volunteers to day to day operations to the committees of which I am a part (Peer Support Network and Project Review Committee). I want to leave PCThailand better than when I found it, a microcosm and training ground, if you will, for how I want to leave the Earth.

5. will learn as much as possible about as many things as possible. The desires to learn and travel are insatiable in me, as the more I do them, the more I need to do them. Peace Corps is such a prime opportunity to learn about humanity's complexities, resilience, love, and all we're capable of doing. I want to take full advantage of this time granted to me. It is never too early to reflect and ask myself, "What do you wish you could have done better during your time?" because I'm still here for another fifteen months and being cognizant of this now permits me to change current behaviors to ensure I eventually answer this question with trivial answers (e.g. "I wish I ate more cockroaches"), knowing all the most important bases were covered.

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