Saturday, October 14, 2006


Today we worked on developing an SBD project and developing an action plan. Once again my stomach started to cringe (same feeling as in the "meets expectations" post) as we defined goals as broad and obectives as more specific and SMART - specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-specific (it was defined here slightly differently but that's how I think of it). Once again, my Paterno consulting came in handy; I've just done this recently. My first thought was, "I left this behind," especially since we were charged with the task of coming up with measurable indicators and I felt as though we were making up numbers. Well, of course we were - this was an exercise that we did in half an hour. Once we heard all the groups present I realized that it actually does sound better if you have measurable indicators that you can use to judge success ("making more money" isn't the same as "10 percent of next year's rugs will use wool that the artisans dyed themselves." Then I realized that I didn't leave this behind - my objective was to use my skills and experience to help other people and do something non-profit as opposed to corporate. So the knot left my stomach...I can't exactly do business plans and action plans in my sleep, but I do know how to do them. The people with less experience thought it was just common sense. Well, I've always thought that a lot of marketing was common sense, until I realized that not everyone thinks that way (for example, operations or financial people) and that there actually is a call for skills and experience!

Okay, if anyone knows how to rotate pictures, please tell me. If not, it's a good neck stretch...henna designs are big here. The women do their hands and feet; the designs are either geometric or floral. Henna design is an art. The henna lasts for a few days and then fades away, but it stays on your fingernails for a bit longer. The only time the women in my TimHdit family did it was the day before Ramadan, when I was in class, so I haven't had the opportunity yet, but many of the people in the group have come back from their homestays with hennaed hands. It's not the same thing you color your hair with but it is the same thing (if that makes any sense). To apply the designs you use a syringe (but not a needle - enough of that with the vaccinations). I look forward to doing it for cross-cultural experience - and maybe if I get my feet done I won't be able to tell how dusty my feet get!

Tattoos are prevalent here too, among the older Berber women. Forehead, chin or along the jawline. They symbols all have meaning, I think, and also mark you as a member of a specific tribe or region. The younger women don't seem to do it anymore - but maybe they do in more conservative areas (can't generalize quite yet!). The older women have such wise faces. They may not be all that old, either - it's hard to tell anyone's age here. I still haven't done too many "tourist shots" yet and I'm hesitant to photograph people, but some appreciate it, and as I get more comfortable I am sure I will take more pictures.

Sharon, you've gone Peace Corps! Getting your hands henna-ed, that's it!

When I was in Tunisia doing my dissertation research I always wanted to get my hands henna-ed. But I had to look professional, having endless meetings with public officials, wearing a business suit and heels every day. (Can you _imagine_ me wearing a business suit and heels every day? But I did!) So I never could get my hands henna-ed, 'cause then I'd have looked like PCV!
That wasn't me...I haven't been henna-ed yet. I just liked (and took) the picture.
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