The La Entrada Diaries

Back in my third year of Peace Corps (the one with internet and an office), I started making daily lists of what I did each day. Mostly to try and convince one of my clustermates (who lived in a tiny, tiny town called La Entrada) to take a similar office position so we could hang out in the office and do random Ecuadorian things (he didn’t. Boo). In retrospect, it was also a nice catalog of what I did on a day-to-day basis. At the time, my routine seemed so clear to me, but I don’t remember much of it now (a mere 2 years later).

A sample:

  • Spent the morning at my counterpart organization (did visits with ladies in the market place, got regalar’d bananas)
  • Had lunch at same organization with lots of Germans and one Brit (I kind of want to learn German now, we’ll see)
  • Went to El Recreo (big shopping mall near where I work – not as good as El Paseo) and almost bought ginger, a belt, barley and a battery but changed my mind (because I didn’t have a $20 bill that I wanted to change) and just bought the battery.
  • Came back to work…at 3pm
  • Talked to a volunteer and her husband and chatted with my housemate from California while theoretically discussing the program newsletter we put out
  • Walked said volunteers out of the office, picked up money for rent, tried (unsuccessfully) to pay landlord (at 4pm)
  • Bought a bag of uvillas for $1. ONE DOLLAR!┬áMmmm…uvillas

That being said, I’m trying once again to catalog my daily doings at work. No one I know really seems to know what I do at work (Hell, I barely know what I do at work), let alone what the general nonprofit operations field does, so I figure now’s as good as any to start documenting.

Yesterday (because I forgot):

  • Troubleshot application forms
  • Called/emailed career centers
  • Programmed recruitment email


  • Worked on Twitter analytics.
  • Ran playroll
  • Started to balance our books

From the least political person EVER

I spent about ten minutes last night trying to decide if I actually wanted to watch the State of the Union. The part of me that wants to be more civically engaged wanted to see the whole thing through (with subtitles and all) to “be there” “while the experience was happening” (I also wanted to see the education part). The part of me that’s trying to be more productive and fit 30 hours into 24 said to turn the SOTU on in the living room, work in the bedroom (I did the same thing with the Niners game on Sunday. They lost), read the speech online afterwards and catch the highlights on YouTube.

I caved and watched the State of the Union. Was it worth it? As much as any speech can be, yeah. I liked the line about spilled milk. I think that we need to do a better job engaging students before we can demand that they stay in school until age 18 (if someone’s disengaged at 15, good luck getting them to stick around ’til 18. Journalist Dana Goldstein lays it out here). I think there were a lot of good calls to action and now we (the Royal We? The Collective We? Yeah.) need to make that happen.

Cool SOTU infographics here (Twitter) and here (keywords).

PS I’m not quite sure what this post says about me or my generation, but, hey, I never promised you a policy wonk blog, did I?

Things I Did At Work Today (To Be Explained in a Blog Later):

  • Added a table of comments and did madcap formatting to our employee handbook
  • Sat in on a bookkeeping call so that we can (finally) get our books in order
  • Called career centers to promote our Blue Engine Teaching Assistant position
  • Started running Twitter analytics