Sunday, November 28, 2010

Farewell, RDF

There’s been a spell of quiet on my blog as I’ve focused on finishing my work for RDF and settling into Medellin. I worked remotely for RDF through the end of October and ended up running over one week into November. This was mostly writing and finishing as many projects as possible given my early departure from the organization. I wrote the content for the website, drafted a volunteer information packet, wrote new items for a flashier version of the Annual Report, and wrote a report on the Washington University program from the summer.

All of this work was with the intention of putting as much of the knowledge that I gained over the last year down on paper to serve as a guide and reference for future volunteers and employees. Nearly everything I did at RDF was from scratch since I was filling positions that hadn’t previously existed, there was very little documentation, and few systems were in place. Hopefully, this will allow for greater productivity and less reinventing of the wheel.

As much as I loved my work with RDF, I have to say I’m relieved to have officially finished. I’ll continue to be available in a consulting type position whenever necessary for volunteers in the future, but my official responsibilities are over. I found it difficult to stay as involved and inspired as usual during the last month of work. Of course, part of this is due to the conflict between needing to be at a computer working and wanting to explore this new city, culture and language. However, I think a larger factor was that, although I often perform best when left to my own devices, I also thrive off of contact with and feedback from others as well as inspiration from my surroundings. Most of all, I detest feeling as though I’m not performing at my best. Although I enjoy when my environment challenges me to perform better, I’d rather not fight against it, especially an environment as lovely as Medellin.

So here’s a final farewell to RDF, in a working capacity, and a thank you for the incredible amount of knowledge that I have gained about the inner working of nonprofits, life in rural India, and myself.

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