Send Me Good Mojo

The only concrete project I have due to my boss is a community study, which is jargon for saying a report on what health and sanitation challenges there are in my site as well as what services are already in place to help resolve those challenges. (Hint: Leading challenges in my site are high blood pressure, diabetes, and being overweight. We have a health post and some community commissions as well as a school.)

I find the study interesting, except there’s just one part that I really don’t want to do: a census. I have to go to the homes of 50 families and ask them 6-pages of questions about their family’s health.

If you could send me some good mojo from now until November 17, when it’s due, to get me through the census that would be great, because here’s how I see it:

“The time has come,” the Peace Corps said,

“To talk of many things

Of censuses—of cold-call visits—and interviews

Of conversations where you must pull strings

And why the community needs a volunteer

And whether your project ideas have wings


“But wait a bit,” the Volunteer cried,

“Before we have our chat;

For some of us have a great fear,

And much verguenza to do all that!”

“No hurry!” said the Peace Corps

The Volunteer thanked them where they sat.


“A community study,” the Peace Corps said,

“Is what we chiefly need;

Projects and flexibility besides

Are very good indeed—

Now if you’re ready, Volunteer dear,

We can proceed.”


“But not all at once!” the Volunteer cried,

Turning a little blue.

“After such determination, that would be

A dismal thing to do!”

“The study is due,” the Peace Corps said.

“November seventeenth for review.


“Or you won’t get vacation approved

And that wouldn’t be very nice!”

The health sector said nothing but

“You can do it, but don’t roll the dice

I wish you wouldn’t procrastinate–

Or I’ll have to read it twice!”


“It seems a shame,” the Peace Corps said,

“To play the volunteers such a trick,

After we’ve brought them out so far,

And made them trot so quick!”

The health sector said nothing but

“Don’t let too much time tick!”


“I weep for you,” the Peace Corps said:

“I deeply sympathize.”

Followed by quotes about service and development

Of the cliché size,

Holding their performance review

As though it were a prize.


“O Volunteer,” said the health sector,

“You’ve had a pleasant run!

Shall you be turning in your census now?”

But answer came there none—

And this was scarcely odd, because

The Volunteer preferred any project to the assigned one.