It´s been a bit quiet on the blog. A lot´s been happening in all aspects of life here.
With work, I´ve started taking more responsibility for the project I´m undertaking. Before, it was routinely scheduled when workers would come, and the work was sort of set. Now, I´m in charge of everything, which includes who gets to work, when work is scheduled and what needs to happen. It was actually like this since the beginning, although I´ve only just recently begun to realize it more, because I have been taking care of personnel and cost administration more, and the project has been morphing into a different stage, which requires a lot more of a hands on presence, micromanaging many tasks.
I´ve got a standard of 11 workers that I´m working with. I know all of them by name and aware of their general personality traits. In my head, I also rank people in terms of military rank to make it clearer for me to understand whom I can give responsibility to do what. There are some who need clear instructions and guidance from their colleagues (Privates), whereas others combine what I say with their own know how of the job or have specific talents or skills (PFCs, Corporals). At the moment, I´m missing a Sergeant although I´m giving specific Corporals extra responsibility, and see them as capable team leaders. The assumption here is that I´m Lieutenant/Platoon Commander but since I´m missing a Sergeant, I´m also taking on this responsibility and divide the squad into 2 or 3, sometimes 4 teams. Today was actually a day where I used the idea of teams much better and had 4 teams of 2-3 people working on specific tasks: 3 were digging a channel for the insect netting, 2 were drilling some new profiles for film security, 2 prepared concrete foundations for the door, and 2 helped me with laying out and setting up the irrigation system. The last two tasks were new so I had to be on point with this to give clear instructions and facilitate progress. I enjoy it 🙂
I do a lot of observation of group dynamics to see how subgroups solve problems. I´m starting to make more clear cut decisions on who does what as I notice that sometimes, a 2 person job gets done by 4 people, so I split them up, and give them other jobs. Constantly, I also have to look for different projects we can work on when the wind is too much or there are bottlenecks with other projects. I write everything down, from Plan A to Plan Z, to random thoughts that pop up in my head. I´m proud of the progress we´ve made though.
Last week, I had a 6-day workweek behind me, which sometimes really drains my energy. I was feeling low energy in the middle of the week, which my Portuguese teacher noticed since I was being ´boring´ that day. Working from 8:00 to 17:00 every day and then Portuguese class from 18:00 to 19:30 sometimes gets a bit too much. In addition, because I was initiating many new projects, I had to spend energy figuring stuff out whilst micro managing some of the new projects we´ve commenced. It´s good to take a break from it all sometimes… and I´ve had some good breaks.
I really enjoy the lifestyle in Cape Verde. I realize I belong to the well off part of society here, which I´m grateful for, and try to live consciously from moment to moment. What bothers me is that some people have to beg for food here. I´m mostly angry at society for the fact that we have this problem rather than the people themselves. A couple of times already, I´ve gone into the store to specifically buy food for needy people camping outside the supermarket. Collectively, we need to look for a solution to this problem. I´m glad there´s an organization (Centro de Ajuda) which stood outside the supermarket as well once to accept food donations from people. I personally prefer to support an organization like this than to individually try to cater for the people looking for a handout because organizations have a lot more power, and can target a larger segment of society to try to alleviate this collective societal problem. I would like to find out more about what the organization does so I can direct the people on the street towards this place as well.
My free time has been good. I´ve had a couple of good planned events that I´ve joined this month including Capoeira in Santa Cruz and Tarrafal and the Gamboa Festival in Praia.
On other times, I´ve enjoyed my time on the beach, working out and relaxing, learning some capoeira, taking a yoga class and practicing my martial arts. I´ve been around good people, who inspire and make me feel good in their presence, all in their own unique way. Love is bigger than the infatuation of a single individual, and more about leaving your heart and mind open. I find that opportunities of love come in surprising forms sometimes, and leaving yourself open to the possibilities and going with your gut can really create some beautiful experiences. It’s ok to feel a certain love for someone though, but that doesn’t mean denying other people their love. Giving people trust and clearly and openly communicating relieves much of one´s own insecurities, and its sometimes surprising how well others respond to your requests. Having the guts to ask and having the guts to go after your feelings have rewarded me several times in multiple ways. It´s sometimes scary to risk your feelings so openly, but the path to love has to conquer fear. I find that it´s better to fail, than to live in purgatory.
Having patience, giving space and encouraging the people around you to follow their heart attracts more love in turn. Don´t fear being alone, because again, love has to conquer fear. Being patient with people is one of the cornerstones of living in Cape Verde… everything just goes at a slower pace here, and even though unreliability is sometimes a real pain in the ass, learn to laugh at it and roll with the situation. Give people space to find the answers within themselves. Trust the universe, because if it´s meant to be, it´ll manifest. The only thing you can do is love with everything you´ve got, directing that love all around you. Some people are just more in tune with the love you´re broadcasting than others. Stay in tune with yourself, and follow what´s in your heart. Stay open, stay honest and go after what you want.
I´m in a good place right now. I hope to continue on this way and look forward to staying in Cape Verde for the coming period. Even though there are many great things happening in Holland, I´m glad I am where I am. It´s exactly what I need right now. There are so many opportunities for my spiritual growth here. I´m constantly being put in situations I´ve never been in before and the leadership position I´m in has nurtured the growth of that aspect of my personality. Still waiting for aspects of my own business to manifest but it´s only been the end of month 2… there´s plenty of time to kick start what we need to when the time is ripe. We´re also getting closer to finishing off our first greenhouse so next month should be exciting, also with the container shipment coming in soon. Hope to update some more and see you on the other side!