Monday, July 19, 2004


My first hosting attempt last night went pretty well, I think.  We had a post-RWMF pot-luck.  Lucky (or not) Daniel was the only male representative amongst a gaggle of girls.  It was pretty fun, and a lot easier to host than I expected.  I don’t know why I don’t do this more often.  I helped Daniel make his Thai green curry – getting the ingredients was a bit of adventure, especially since we couldn’t find most of it here in Kuching and we had my highly skeptical mom in tow.  The main ingredient – the green curry paste was a complete mystery to the curry sellers at the old Main Bazaar, so we used the ordinary orange curry paste.  And we ended up using lemon leaves from the garden, instead of kaffir lime leaves.  The recipe was more of an improvisation of the ingredients we ended up with, however the dish turned out really well.  I’m not a fan of hot curries (anything spicy makes me gasp for water) and so I really appreciated the mildness of Daniel’s Green Curry.  He figures that he should add more chillies next time however.   
The Chef at work - ignore the t-shirt sign
I had a pretty exciting day today.  For about 15 minutes, yours truly was elected the Chairperson of a local nature society.  I was completely floored when they elected me with great enthusiasm.  No other candidate was even considered.  The former Chairman had nominated me, and everyone in the room seconded it without any hesitation.  It was such a shock.  I didn’t see it coming.  In fact, when they were going around nominating the general committee members and my name wasn’t being mentioned, I was getting pretty worried.  I never guessed that they were considering me for Chairperson.  I had gasped in surprise, “I don’t think I’m ready for this!” but was immediately reassured that I was.  You don’t know how much it means to me that I have this vote of confidence from a group of people that I respect so much. 
However, I had to turn it down because despite serving the committee for about three years now, I still think I need time.  Maybe I’m lacking in confidence but when you’re the youngest person on the committee for an increasingly profiled ngo, the prospect of being Chairperson seems overwhelming.  I’m Secretary now, which I’m well aware that it’s a thankless job with a huge amount of workload.    Maybe I’m just naively enthusiastic but I think it’s a great opportunity to do more conservation work. 
And within that short period of time, the world seems topsy-turvy.  I’m second-guessing what I want to do with my life now.  Other opportunities are turning up and I’m well aware that there is a significant portion of my current job that I feel very unhappy about.  It’s a love-hate relationship, and I’ve always felt guilty for not being completely happy with it.  I’m heading on the road to academia and it’s not what I want.  I feel responsible for my work however because it feels like a lot of people are counting on me.  I don’t want to disappoint them but at the same time, I don’t want to continue this until I become completely embittered with my work.  There never seems to be an end to my project – it keeps growing.  Part of me is very proud of this but another part of me is going, “oh shit… how many more years of this?”
Tomorrow, I head back to the field. 


At 1:14 AM, Blogger sativa said...

*hug* you'll be ok. take some time while in the field to think about where you want your future to be.

At 2:12 AM, Blogger Bertha said...

It's a heavy decision to make, so don't force yourself to it until you're sure you're ready to cross that bridge. Sativa's right - taking time out to think about this while you're away might help lots.

Academia isn't as ideal or sequestered from daily politics as we'd like to think unfortunately. At times, it feels more petty than everything else. And I feel that's important for people to realise when considering it, if you know what I mean. There are opportunities to do a lot of work when you're in that position, but it's getting there that can be daunting at times.

Anyway, *hugs* my dear! Will see you when you get back!

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Dee M said...

You must have been someone really capable of the Chairperson position.More than you think because I don't think they would choose someone they think is not capable.Anyway,a getaway would be good-it could help you see clearly if where you are is what you want.And if that second guessing is really as it is or not.take one day at a time..take a breather!;)

At 11:38 PM, Blogger Cayce said...

Hugs to sativa, bertha and dee!! Thanks for commenting - you guys are great.


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