Sunday, July 1, 2012
Hard Work and a Day Off
So, I should probably update on what I’m actually here for. And what I’ve done to distract myself from it. I’ve avoided it because it’s not going very well. I’m tied up in paperwork six ways to Sunday, actually. This is, I suppose what happens when you try to coordinate a project between two nonprofits, to universities, and a government agency. Interestingly, it’s the US university that is making this truly difficult.
I’ll not go into details (it’s boring and probably best left to private conversation anyway), but suffice to say that ethical board approval is tedious, extensive, and exacting. Add to that a healthy dose of international misunderstanding and miscommunication, plus a sprinkling of “it’ll happen when it happens” attitude, and you have yourself a pretty good idea of what I’ve been dealing with for the past two weeks.
Progress has been made, but time is tick tick ticking away. I now have less than 4 weeks left here, and have barely started a 2.5 week application process. This is seriously concerning. People are starting to push me to extend my time here, something I REALLY don’t want to do.
So, last weekend, to distract myself from the endless trips to various offices, waiting, talking, and shuffling papers, I went white-water rafting! The White Nile has been dammed, which is too bad, but there are still lots of great rapids! Two rapids that our guides referred to as class VI, which I’m told is unusual. One of which we had to portage around, the other of which we went down on the lower class side. The one we portaged was... enormous, in every sense of the word: height dropped, volume of water, length of the whitewater section(s), size of the obstacles, lack of any calm patches… I wish I had had my camera to take a little video of! It was humbling to sit there and imagine going down.
I’ve included a couple pictures:
This one is our first rapid of the day, a good one!
Soon to be very much underwater…
The last picture is immediately before I spent a bit longer underwater than I had hoped. I got stuck under the boat, and couldn’t get above water. Fortunately, it was probably only a few seconds. It sure felt like longer, though! All in all, it was a really great day. A perfect distraction!