One thing that I used to pride myself on was a fairly decent ability to multi-task. Occasionally I might even have a temporary moment of brilliance juggling several different tasks at once like a well-oiled machine. Then I moved to Ghana.
Last week we attended an all-volunteer conference. It was a great opportunity to talk to fellow volunteers, share ideas, successes and hardships. In one conversation I had, I mentioned to a more seasoned colleague that I seem to have lost my ability to multi-task. In fact, I find it difficult to concentrate on even one thing! She came back with what I hope is a very valid point. “Are you sure you have lost it”, she asked? “Chances are good that you ARE multi-tasking, even when you do not realize it”. She went on to point out that things that were previously “routine” may require a great deal of cognitive attention now. Those issues of culture, language, environment, etc. affect our everyday decision making abilities. And even though they are slipping to the background as I make the adjustment to my volunteer life here, they are still factors.
I am hoping she is right. Especially since I have a trip to plan, have hundreds of student grades to mark, have a house to clean…
Tammi and Chris with their dates to the unofficial Peace Corps Prom
Theme “Ghana Fabulous!”