voxsouley

Eleven to Twelve

In Career Development, Growing Up, Home Life, Kids, Travel on January 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I had a few minutes and decided to go ahead and throw my hat into the ring, however briefly, for a new years blog post. 2011 was actually a very crazy year for me. A ton of stuff happened, to me and in the world, and it was surreal and exciting, exhilarating and exhausting.

In a nutshell, my wife and I welcomed our 3rd child, a son, into the family in April, after which I got to take 3 months of paid paternity leave. I went to Africa 3 times for work, once before and twice after the paternity leave. At work I was moved back and forth between teams twice, while finally getting a long overdue promotion… And in the end we remodeled the kitchen while 3/5ths of the household, myself included, were on antibiotics. Lots going on.

Watching the world move… While I was in Chad in January I watched as Tunisia overthrew its ruler and the Arab spring began, which became an undercurrent in the background of all international news the rest of the year in all my travels. Also during my time in Chad, two young Frenchmen were kidnapped from a restaurant in Niamey, Niger and subsequently killed in a firefight, this lead to the suspension of the Peace Corps program there which I had hoped to reconnect with in my future work with IRD. It was also a sad event as it meant hundreds of long time Nigerien Peace Corps staff were going to be out of work. Not to mention the sudden cutoff of all their various projects.

In the late summer, after my first few weeks back at work, I was asked to travel to Ethiopia to assist with emergency drought relief proposals and project start-up. It was a long 3 week trip but one of the best of my career so far. After about 3 weeks back, I ended up going back to Africa, spending almost 3 weeks in Nairobi, a less good trip for me but still interesting and reasonably productive given the circumstances. Quadaffi was killed while I was in Nairobi, a pretty brutal counterweight to how it went down in Tunisia earlier in the year.

So, from where I sit now, looking back, 2011 was a really big year for me, personally and professionally. 2012 will bring a lot of new opportunities and chances to grow and learn, as well as to teach. Hopefully I can get more of my thoughts down as I go!

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