October’s Weeds

October was a precarious month, hence my silence.

Some people are venting writers: they use it as therapy to release negative emotions or just to take the time to work out the situation in their mind. I’m a celebratory writer: I like to write when things are going well and I feel productive, then I reread it and encourage myself to push through the times when they ain’t.

High school relationships made me this way.  When things were good with my high school boyfriend I didn’t really talk about it because we were inseparable…there wasn’t time for so much chatter but when things were bad I had a whole lot to say and then you have a whole lot of people drawing conclusions on a sliver of the pie…can’t blame ‘em though you gave them that sliver.

So yeah…back on topic…October was strange. It was the weeding season.

When we use farming metaphors we always talk about planting season and harvest season and now that I live on a farm I realize that it’s not that open and shut, there’s a bunch of steps that aren’t so glorious and thus don’t get the pleasure of being overused in cliché statements.

There’s a period for weeding: removing the weeds so they don’t affect the growth of the plant. The weeding season is horrible, its hard work, it requires a careful eye and a careful hand (don’t wanna go uprooting your potential harvest) and at the time it seems pointless. But if you don’t do it you’ll find yourself with a less than satisfactory harvest.

So what happened already?

September was a month of progress, no hurdles, everything I tried seem to be easily achieved. October was meetings in languages I didn’t understand, cancelled trainings, and frustration on my lack of progress.

Now I could say this is because an organization I have been doing a lot of work with went through several executive staff changes or maybe because my nearest volunteer, who I tagged along with a lot of the time, had the awesome opportunity to go to this year’s Stomp out Malaria training in Senegal and was away for a month, or when I found out the day before that I wasn’t attending an anticipated training I cleared my schedule for. But really it’s because I didn’t taken much initiative to make things happen for myself.

It was a bit of a transition to kick that part of myself into gear in Kenya although in the US I would say I’m self-starter.

Then suddenly it was November and I decided to stop using the fact that I’m in a new country and know nothing as an excuse for sitting in the office playing solitaire on my phone. I started doing what I was supposed to do from the beginning, meeting people, making contacts, calling offices weekly to get their schedule to attend their planned events, going out in the community and meeting families, assessing needs and coming up with potential project ideas.

Moral of this story, when things are going wrong, let the 1st step in problem solving be assessing your behavior.



  1. Wonderful blog and great advice that even I can use. I am so happy to read all of your posts and see all of the beautiful pictures. I am so proud of you! Take care, Renee


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