03 April 2010

Indicators of success

For Peace Corps, and any development agency I presume, it's necessary to have ways to determine whether or not you are making an impact, "indicators of success" and ways to "measure outcomes." The health project has its own set of indicators that presumably show whether or not volunteers are doing successful work (ie reduced rate of teen pregnancy at a PCV's school). After some consideration though, I have come to the conclusion that these indicators are not adequate for determining my true level of success in the village. I have come up with some indicators of my own that I will use to evaluate how good of a job I am doing in my last five months of service:

-For me not to be called mshamba again (see March blog entry)
-For someone to name their child Raula after me
-For at least 25% of my village to be able to do the hokey pokey
-For at least 25% ofm y village to be able to identify which continent America is on (ie for them to realize that I am not, in fact, from Europe, and that Europe and America are not the same place)
-For at least one person in my village to understand sarcasm
-For people to be able to identify which mzungu is me if I show them a picture of me with other wazungu
-For little kids not to bawl or run away screaming in terror when they see me


  1. Hi Laura. I commented on a blog of yours, without realising it was several months old. How hitech am I? I have read most of your observations with interest, humour and understanding, whilst apprecriating your subtle positive prejudisms for which I emphasize and know your frustrations.
    From 1991-94 I was a VSO in Masasi and spent 32 very happy months attempting to reestablish an aquaculture programme.(spelling correct - I'm a Brit!)
    Does 'mambo kwa socks' still cause such hilarity?
    Regards Alistair

    1. Alastair. Did we meet? I was the VSO running that project in 87/88. Sadly repatriated with malaria and hepatitis.

  2. Wow I give you major props for being in Masasi in the early 90s...That was long before the road to Dar was paved right? And it took at least two days to get there? Hongera. I'll tell Masasi you salamia everyone.

    And yes, mambo ya socks is always cause for hilarity. Particularly when you pull out the wooden penis model.

    Take care and thanks for your nice comments.

  3. Dear Laura,
    Well done, you are bringing sarcasm to a new international level. Soon the major language of the world will be sarcasm. And it will all be because of your work in Tanzania. :-)