Up…and down.

Obviously enough crossing of fingers and touching of wood was not done and I counted my chickens too soon. My proposal is now stuck at the (supposedly) last possible sticking point; The Ministry of Foreign Affairs. My efforts to understand why it is stuck have drawn a blank – the most information that I can ascertain is that it could be ready tomorrow or it could take six months. And that I cannot do anything directly related to my research in the meantime.

So I’m left trying to work out at what point it is sensible to cut my losses  and admit defeat.

There are literally big far tears sploshing onto my keyboard as I write this. I don’t want to give up. I’ve realised I’m not interested in moving my fieldwork anywhere else. I’ve already invested so much and learned so much here.  But I’ve been in this process for 6 months now (without even taking into account the previous false starts). I know it is the same for everyone and I know a few people who’ve waited significantly longer than 6 months to get research permission. I’m not sure if there is anything that I could have done differently.

The main problem is cash – my funding will not continue forever – and if I do want to try to make a new plan I need to make it sooner rather than later. I was thinking the same thing 3 months ago. But it could come through tomorrow. But it could take 6 months.

Arghh…I’m not thinking straight. Too much deja vu does funny things to the brain.

Any advice out there?

And now, to balance out that misery, I offer you a select few photos from a recent trip to the south of Laos with my sister who was over to visit. It is difficult for me to convey how much (even in the depths of my frustrations) I love this country so I’ll just give you an indication of how beautiful it is.

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11 responses to “Up…and down.

  1. Oh, Christina, my heart is crying for you. It is obvious from what you write how much you love Laos – I remember your story of your first visit there. I now have my fingers and toes crossed for you that a miracle will happen very soon.
    Hilary

  2. Chris, keep strong, and do what your heart tells you. That’s the only advice I can offer, because I have absolutely no idea what you’ve been through and continue to go through. And remember that in a few (ok, quite a few) years time you’ll look back and laugh! Sending much love xxxxxx

    • Thank-you Lesley 🙂 In the big picture what I’m going through is nothing – although I guess that is the problem! Argh…in lots of ways I’m already laughing, but crying at the same time. Sooo frustrating for everything else to be in place except one little signature, and now running the risk of everything else falling out of place. Sending love right back to you and the family. Do let me know how you are all doing xxx

  3. Oh Christina, I feel your frustration! You must be tearing your hair out. It seems an impossible decision to have to make. In these types of situations I tend to go uber-practical (ever the project manager) and map out every possible scenario. Then think about what would be the consequences of each one and how I would feel about it. What I definitely do NOT try to do is work out which is the ‘right’ answer, because there usually isn’t one. I’m not saying any of this works, but it gives me something to do! And some way of thinking about it. Maybe I’m a control freak. Anyway, this may be of no use but I have a similar thing going on which is tied up in the most complicated legal shennanigans and this approach is helping me to navigate it, even though I can’t control the outcome. Take care and good luck! x

    • Thanks Karen, I’ve been trying to tread a balance between exactly what you suggest but also realising that trying to control things just doesn’t work here! I hope your situation is sorting itself out. take care x

  4. Give it more time Christina. I’m sure it will be worth the wait. You have the extra year for being in Laos, so if it doesn’t work out and you have to transfer your research elsewhere (should be very very much a last resort, not worth considering yet), you can start from the beginning of 2nd year and be in good time. And imagine what learning you will be bringing to any research you do? Nothing is wasted and nothing is lost. It’s just a frustrating wait… I send you big love and positive energy. My wisdom comes as an added bonus! xx

    • Hey Mo, Sadly I’m way past the beginning of second year now, even considering the extra 9 months. But yes, I agree about everything else 🙂 Nothing is wasted and nothing is lost. I like that. Maybe the exception is the time I’ve spend watching bad reality TV to numb the frustration…but then, who am I kidding, I’d probably be doing that anyway! Love to you too m’dear, let’s speak soon when you are back in Scotland x

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