Monday, April 26, 2010

Waiting around

I am spending about 7-8 hours in the field every day, but it seems no matter what I do I spend at least half an hour waiting around. Usually I'm waiting around for someone who is late, or waiting around because there is a motorbike problem (let me tell you, I'm going to spend a long time on the internet when I get home reading about how a motorcycle works). This can be incredibly frustrating. I figure I have two basic options: 1) Get incredibly pissed off and upset that my time is being wasted. 2) Accept that this always happens and do like the Ukenzagapians do- just wait. I've mostly been doing the latter, because invariably me getting pissed off doesn't make things happen faster, and just makes me really upset.

Today one of my field assistants was an hour and a half late. I called him when he was 20 minutes late, and he told me he thought he would be there in about 20 minutes. That wasn't enough time to go do anything else, so I just waited. And waited. And waited. I think I completely exhausted myself waiting. I was pissed, and he knew it. I spent most of the day in a bad mood and now I'm exhausted.  I'm also really tired of riding around on rocky and muddy roads.

Ukenzagapians spend a lot of their time waiting around. Lots of jobs involve waiting around. Tour guides wait around to see if unexpected tourists show up. Guards wait around all day and night making sure people aren't stealing things. Store keepers wait around for customers (and then make customers wait around for them). I have rarely seen people read while they wait, or really do much of anything. They just wait. People wait around for paperwork. They wait around for things to be repaired. Then there's transportation. Everyone waits around for transportation, especially buses. Thursday morning I get to hurry out to the road with all of my luggage and wait.

Every morning I hurry up and wait for something. I can't wait until I get home because then every morning I can hurry up and go.

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