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The Field

February 25, 2016


In an office-bound work setting, field work presents such an immense appeal for many people, be it firstjobbers who are starting with their career or oldtimers who badly need a change from their desk-bound routine.

A colleague, whose desk is practically an elbow away, loves the field because he can get a lot of actual work done.

I find field work as fresh air that puts myself in a bubble and let me focus on one single mission, whatever that is; from sitting down with a partner organization to get a logframe done, years ago I introduced e-mail to NGOs in the province, tracking garbage pick-up route from residential area to final dump site to justify the cost of garbage cart with dividers, jotting down notes like crazy until my wrist went frozen (I’m not used to recorder) while a colleague (who interpreted the whole conversation) finally snapped, “My God, you ask too much!”, to breaking the ice by distributing clove cigarettes to a group of foreigner-shy farmers in the Delta of Irrawaddy to get them talk about rice harvest in post-disaster situation,

It was very rewarding to hear comment of that colleague of mine upon reading my write-up later on, “All this was from our last visit? I think I should ask more from now.”

In the midst of a bad burnt out episode, field work helped me refocus and re-thinking about which direction I need to take as the road not taken has the same drama with the road taken.

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