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.