Sunday, January 02, 2011
Changes in 2011
As you may have noticed - 2010 was not a great year for me as far as writing and being creative... I was on sick leave for five months due to a combination of stress from work (non stop travel, Haitian earthquakes, and human resource problems at my org) and from personal grief over the illness and death of my father in 2009 and it definitely impacted my ability to put my thoughts down on paper (or the computer!).
Although I had adventures and traveled a lot in 2010, I couldn't find it in me to write as much as I used to... for the record, I did manage to hit several new countries this year and most of them were for pleasure and fun, not work*. It was odd not to visit Africa this year - although my time in Haiti and India were certainly memorable. 2011 should bring some big changes... I've accepted a job with the Norwegian Refugee Council and will be seconded to the United Nations as a Gender-based Violence Regional Training Manager for Asia. I'll be working on building capacity in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nepal to fight gender-based violence and I'll be moving to Bangkok, Thailand!
Its a big change - but I think I needed something. Although I have learned a lot in the big humanitarian agency where I currently work, its never really been a good fit for me - the lack of prioritization on women's issues, the reluctance to do advocacy, and the byzantine office politics and proud refusal to professionalize has undermined my own belief in my abilities and I feel stagnant. I'm not sure that this new job will be perfect - are there any "perfect" jobs out there? And I will miss Amsterdam and Europe and my lovely colleagues from my current job but I am ready to try something new. Thai cooking classes, meeting Afghan women's organizations, and working for the Scandinavians... lets see how it goes! Wish me luck and pack your bags and come to visit in 2011!!!
*Here's my travel itinerary from 2010:
January: Kerala, Delhi, and Manipur India
February: Istanbul and Selcuk Turkey
March: Port-au-Prince, Haiti and London and Liverpool, UK
April: Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina
May: Edinburgh, Scotland, Paris, France and Texel and Verschelling in the Frisian Islands of Holland
June: Berlin, Germany and Gdansk, Poland
July: Paris, France
August: Copenhagen, Denmark
September: Tuscany, Italy and Bologna, Italy
October: Berlin, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic
November: Ghent, Belgium, Maastricht, Netherlands and Berlin, Germany
December: London and Swindon, UK