Question time

7 May

Did anyone find that sometimes the work you were doing felt ‘useless’?

No.. Wait I don’t want to say useless really, but — maybe ineffecient? (coming from a culture that values efficiency and productivity…) or maybe, a tiny bit of a waste?

I felt at times I had to let go of an idea of being valuable, of ignoring the people back home who didn’t know what it was all about (and would say that its such a “good thing” that I’m doing…and that they wouldn’t be able to do it..) and it was more that things were getting done and I happened to be the one doing them. Does that make sense?

And another thing- did you ever do certain things differently because you were of a volunteer status?
– like knowing you had computer access for work related tasks, but sending off some emails because you’re “doing a good thing for them”..?
Hmm. I have to admit (kind of spurred by the post on stories I don’t tell) that there have been things on my mind about the volunteer program/my overall experience, and maybe this is one tiny element that I wondered if anyone else had similar experiences of.


4 Responses to “Question time”

  1. ladybec May 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    I know that I felt useless a lot of the time simply becuase I didn’t speak the language. I felt I could have got a lt more done if I would have known a few simple phrases. But learning Vietnemese is so hard!!

  2. prupodum May 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Yes I didn’t mention that did I – the language inability caused me to feel like some sort of room prop, and it would be hard to sit through meetings that would regularly flop between tamil and english.
    After persistently asking “what was that? what did he say?” I later realised if it was something important that I needed to know, they’d translate.

  3. palacar May 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Yeah, definitely! I felt useless a lot of times and it was perhaps because of the kind of task I was doing. I was teaching life-skills with an English-to-Vietnamese translator!! Please anyone tell me if you had a more difficult task than this!

    I, along with other 3 volunteers, had to come up with workshops to talk about what a good family is or about how to reduce the stress when one is starting a new job/career (this was catered for street kids that were being trained in the hospitality business, so you can imagine how problematic it was to think, not only what the hell ‘family’ and ‘stress’ mean for a street kid in general, but also how to give such a kind of workshop in a translatable way for a Vietnamese street kid).

  4. jyd89 May 11, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    For me doing service for 9 months there were a lot of times that there were not so many activities occurring regularly. I found that the only way not to feel as if my time was being wasted or ‘feeling useless’ I had to take the initiative to create activities. This served a two-fold purpose as it encouraged the friends around me to arise and serve as well as increasing my capacity for service!

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