I give up! I think I just need to admit that I’m a monthly blogger now. I do think about it, but often in the process of doing other things. I write a lot of posts in my mind, but they don’t ever get put on the screen.
Things have been a big mish mash around here for the past month or so. Chris was away, then he came back. We’ve all been sick in some way or another in the past few weeks, and some of us are still feeling blah. We’ve had a lot of rain, and right now I’m wearing pj pants and enjoying the cool. #thisdoesnthappeninmay What’s been super amazing is that I keep smelling cool weather smells, like camp fire and trees and it makes me excited for camping on our upcoming vacation!!!
Last week we had a visitor, and there was a big convoluted way of picking him up because a) one of the main roads into Port au Prince has a bridge down, and the bypass they built got washed out from rain, so there have been massive traffic issues, and b) there were protests happening off and on in our area closing the highway down. We decided it would be easier and faster for me and one of our staff to drive to the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic to meet his bus at the immigration office, rather than trying to get him from Port. It worked out well, and it was faster, and it was a nice drive, so it was a win! #roadtrip
Octavio was here mostly to see what we do and to visit Haiti, but is also a web developer and wanted to help out in any way that he could, so I put him to work helping me get our new website closer to launch. I’ve been working on it in fits and starts and things are getting close, but I needed someone with a tech background to work alongside me and fix the stuff I didn’t know how to do.
It was such a boost to be able to talk face to face with someone about things, rather than through email. And, it was so refreshing to talk to someone who is also a creative. Chris isn’t, so often I feel like he looks at me like I have something on my face when I start talking to him about things like “I want it to look clean and bright and modern…” It was just nice to have someone that was speaking my language, that saw things from the same perspective and who was incredibly encouraging to me to keep pursing things that were a creative outlet. It’s not that Chris and others in my life aren’t, they are, but they’re doing it from someone outside the circle, if that makes any sense.
We worked hard for two solid days and got a lot done and I’m excited about where things are going. The frustration for me is that I’ve had to piece so many things together just by trial and error, so I often feel ill equipped. What I realized as we worked though, is that I have the ability to work fast and think through things and look for solutions in a way that others might not. We would be looking at the same issue, and come at it from two completely different sides, which in the end was good because if one didn’t work, the other could. I honestly think a lot of that has come from living and working in Haiti where we have to make a lot of fast, hard decisions in any given day. There isn’t time to do a lot of deliberating or hemming and hawing. You just have to weigh the facts and decide, then go with it.
After just two days of working side by side with someone that knows what they’re doing, and being able to ask questions and get answers and talk through things, I realized that I really want to know more about coding so that I can not only have more intelligent conversations when it comes to figuring things out, but also so that I can just do things myself. Being in the situation that we’re in, we’re often reliant on volunteers, or we just have to learn a new skill and do it ourselves because there isn’t the budget or means to outsource to someone else. Chris and I have both had to learn a lot in the time that we’ve been here, and I often look at our skill sets and think about how they would fit back into life in Canada or the US. Jack of all trades, master of none?
I want to learn some things though, and maybe start to become a master, or at least have skills that would work on a resume. Not because I have any need or desire to get a side gig, but because it’s nice to learn things and challenge ourselves, and to feel like we’ve got something tangible when we’re done. The truth is, knowing something like coding is the way of the future. We were just talking with Olivia about the fact that both her and her brother should learn coding as young as possible, because so much of the future of industry is going to rely on it, no matter what sector you end up getting a job in. Coders can work wherever they want. Case in point, my sister-in-law just finished coding school a couple weeks ago, and had three internship offers in the past week. She can choose whichever one she wants.
So, as I was laying around feeling nauseous today (yes, I’m one of the “still sicks” in our house) I started looking at an email link that I had for the Boing Boing store. Boing Boing is a tech website that Chris likes to read. Last fall he sent me a link for some online courses in WordPress that they were offering and huge discounts. I bought one and got on the mailing list. Today I started looking at some of their newest offerings and realized they had a ton of great courses on web development, all for less than $60.
This led me down a rabbit trail that resulted in me buying a course, and then getting lost in the Udemy website, who was hosting the course. If you have an internet connection and any kind of desire for continuing education, you need to go and check it out. I’m serious. They have courses for all areas of life. Most of them are about $20-40 and you get a lot of video instruction with that. The course I got came with not only hours and hours of video instruction, but also one year of free web hosting so that you actually have a platform to practice on. Udemy also has a ton of FREE courses, and they’re not lame.
Today I literally soaked things up and enjoyed my sick day. Things that literally felt like Greek to me before are starting to make sense and I’m excited about learning how to understand how everything web related comes together. It’s like the pieces are connecting in my brain. It’s amazing!
If you need me, I’ll be learning stuff :)
PS – Seriously, go check it out. You could be well on your way to learning a new language or trigonometry (our kids are so taking some of these classes when they get older!) or how to bake sour dough bread (for real).