Sunday, February 10, 2008

No Travel = Cranky Me

Every month since I arrived I've been promised a trip to Deniyaya. This is a town in the buffer zone of Sinharaja. We do some tourism work there and livelihood projects and basically I consider everything done in that area directly related to my work. You can't work in the buffer zone of the only remaining old-growth rainforest in this country without involving the environment team as far as I'm concerned.

Yet, I haven't been to see the area, I don't know what projects are active, I've never met the staff or the CBOs (community based organizations). When I returned after Christmas I told Ajith that I needed to go and I expected to go soon. No more procrastination; no more promising next week. We scheduled a trip for the second week of February (I told Ajith I was putting it on my calender in ink) and I have brought it up constantly since then to make sure he doesn't conveniently forget. This week a few people went to Deniyaya from our office. They did not invite me and as I had no idea what they were doing, I didn't insist they take me. Now Ajith is saying he can't take me next week because he just went and he plans to visit his mom this week! I'm beyond perturbed.

To add insult to injury, Ajith just wrote asking if I have any pictures from Sinharaja to send to a magazine for use with an article on Sinharaja. I don't have a good pool of photos from Sinharaja because the one time I did go I actually forgot my glasses. It didn't concern me as I was told I'd be going often. Since that hasn't happened, I have a small batch of mediocre photos and I don't really believe any of them is magazine worthy. And this story is here to illustrate how frustrating my work here is on a daily basis. But I'm taking control. I'm not going to just sit back and say, "oh well," any longer. On Monday I'm scheduling a vehicle and I'm planning my trip. I'm sick of waiting for people. I realize going without someone who speaks English means I won't get as much out of the trip, but at this point I don't care. I'm tired of sitting around waiting for things to happen. I'm just going to start doing them. If they don't like it, I'm ready to go home.

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