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I'm soooo sorry...

...for having left you in the lurch all this time. I don't know how it happened exactly, but I seem to have suddenly fallen out of the habit of logging onto LJ earlier this year; and the longer I've been out of it, the harder it got to get back into. I got to this stage where I was so depressed, that I couldn't think of inflicting any of my tales of unmitigating woe on you lot. To tell the truth, I'm still struggling, but a few things have recently started happening in my life that have given me a glimmer of hope -- though not of paid employment any time soon, I don't think.

It's been a year since I left Apple. At the time, everyone was quick to assure me that with my cv, I'd soon find work again; but that has proven not to be the case. There just isn't, or doesn't seem to be, that much call for an experienced Customer Experience Manager these days. Trust me to have once again picked a profession that doesn't do well in a recession.

So, I've thrown myself into volunteering again. This time, I'm co-coordinating the annual International Food Fair of The Hague. It's my job to approach and recruit the individual countries' boothholders, and make sure they have everything they need from licences to cutlery and electrics, and a sufficient number of volunteers to serve their customers. The event will be held over the weekend of 17/18 Nov. and my job will officially end on the 25th with a wrap-up meeting and evaluation. It's a charitable event, with the proceeds going to all sorts of projects around the world.

Apart from this, I've also started as a catechist (i.e. the RC equivalent of a Sunday school teacher) teaching 2nd grade (7-8 year olds) in preparation for their first Holy Communion in May. Which can be quite challenging at times! Just last Sunday, after I'd related the story of John the Baptist e.g., Gonzalo raised his hand and asked "Miss, don't you think these kind of stories are a nonsense, really?" He was referring, or so I presumed, to the supposed leaping of joy that John, as a foetus, did when he sensed the presence of his Saviour when Mary came to visit Elizabeth; and later, the vision of the Holy Spirit alighting on Jesus in the form of a dove at the time of his baptism. I don't know what the bishop would have thought of my answer, but I didn't think I could dismiss his objection out of hand, so I told him (and the rest of the class) that no, I didn't think these stories were a nonsense per se, but preserved in such a way that people could remember and pass them on easily in the days before books and computers. He's a clever one, that Gonzalo, and I like that at 7 1/2, he's already thinking for himself and questioning authority ;-).

Anyway, autumn's firmly upon us now, and the day before yesterday I took a stroll through the woods near my home. Thankfully, I had my trusty mobile with me, as without it I wouldn't have been able to show you what I saw...

2012-10-10 12.18.40

2012-10-10 12.43.30

2012-10-10 12.42.33

2012-10-10 12.41.05

2012-10-10 12.40.21

2012-10-10 12.40.00

2012-10-10 12.39.20

2012-10-10 12.33.56

2012-10-10 12.28.44

2012-10-10 12.28.03

2012-10-10 12.27.31

2012-10-10 12.22.34


( 10 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Oct. 12th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
Fungi growing wild make me squirm (it's a thing: so does Gaudi's work, and grottoes), but it's otherwise very good to hear from you. So glad you're managing to keep busy - the food festival sounds fairly amazing.
Oct. 13th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and I'm glad to hear from you, too.

I think that over the next few weeks, if nothing else, at least I'll be able to update my LJ with regular reports on how the Food Fair is shaping up.
Oct. 12th, 2012 08:15 pm (UTC)
It's good to see you. It is such a shame that you still have no paid employment - I hope there is an end to this recession soon. But the the food fair sounds wonderful - I am in awe of you being able to organise something like this.

And I can well imagine your catechists - they will be very like my Sunday School group!
Oct. 13th, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
It's good to see you, too. I have missed you all, even if I didn't allow myself to engage with you...funny how a funk works in that respect, isn't it? It's so counter-productive...

The Food Fair is wonderful, or at least, is shaping up to be. Of course, I don't have to organise it all by myself, but even so, it's a lot of work; and it's requiring me to discover and utilise strengths I didn't know I had. I'm telling you, if I can pull this off, I'll never doubt what I'm capable of again.

That's right, you're a Sunday school teacher, too! Wonderful -- I'll know where to come for advice when I'm stuck!

A note on Catholic terminology: I'm the catechist, my students are the catechumens, and the core of what I'm supposed to be teaching them, i.e. the Catholic tenets, rituals and prayers, is referred to as the catechism. It's my least favourite part of the curriculum, as part of it (e.g. the call and response in the Mass) is rote learning, and the other part a constant searching for the right words to translate and explain quite complex ideas of theology and christology to children; all the while hoping and praying that in my efforts, I don't accidentally slip into heresy.

Edited at 2012-10-13 01:43 pm (UTC)
Oct. 12th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
I love that you are getting out and using your skills in this way. :) Hopefully, if nothing else, it will lift you out of the funk you were in and you can push forward to a paid position.

What great photos! But what's the difference between a mushroom and a toadstool anyway?
Oct. 13th, 2012 01:07 pm (UTC)
But what's the difference between a mushroom and a toadstool anyway?

You're asking me, when you're the native (Australian)English person out of the two of us?!

In Dutch, 'paddestoelen' (= toadstool) are the ones with a stem and a cap, that we imagine 'kabouters' (= fairytale beings, somewhat akin to leprechauns) like to sit on - though why they're called 'paddestoel' and not 'kabouterstoel' is a mystery to me. The ones that grow on trees and fallen logs are most commonly referred to as 'zwammen'...so maybe the same distinction is made in English?
Oct. 12th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
Pleased to hear from you! Sorry to hear that a job hasn't come up yet.

How did you end up with that particular volunteer job? It sounds quite demanding and time-consuming, so I wonder what they do in the years where someone as skilled as you is not available.
Oct. 13th, 2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
Well yes, you're right: it is demanding and time-consuming, but thankfully it's also a lot of fun. I'm getting to know a lot of people this way, and you never know where that might lead ;-)

As to how I got the gig: I just applied to an ad in the local rag. No prior experience was required; the emphasis was on strong communication and negotiating skills and a willingness to work all the hours God sends. I was as surprised as anyone when I was told the job was mine, after just one meeting with the chairman; but then I heard there hadn't been a great response to the ad, time was of the essence, and I sort of got it by default ;-). My predecessor, apparently, had borne the responsibility for a number of years, but had moved out of the country a few months earlier. I don't know if I'll be available next year, but if I am, I'd like to be involved in it again...provided I don't make a pig's ear out it this year, of course. But it all seems to be going well, so I don't think that's a real concern at the moment.
Oct. 13th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
I'm not fond of eating mushrooms, but I think they're quite pretty, as are your photos.

And it sounds like you're doing what you can to keep sane. I wish you much luck. *big hugs*
Oct. 13th, 2012 02:17 pm (UTC)
I'm not fond of eating mushrooms

Are you not? Me, I love them; but I do understand they're not for everyone.

Thanks! If only I can manage to keep a positive outlook, I'll be fine.

( 10 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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