I can finally reveal the secret project I’ve been working on these last few days. I’m sorry, it’s probably not that exciting to most of you, but it will be very exciting to some of the people involved. This week Project Tohoku was extended through the end of September and I’ve been putting together a mailing list of all the people who applied but did not get a space, together with all the people who have already left, those who are currently here and those who are on their way. If I told everyone about it there would have been all sorts of people emailing me and trying to push in the queue!
The message went out to over a thousand people so now I just have to sift through their responses and try to schedule as many people as possible of the coming weeks. I love this part; the mixing and matching, the confirmations and cancellations, the questions, fitting all these people together like a jigsaw to make sure the project has enough people to carry on all the great programs we are running but not too many people for our infrastructure and the fragile local community to handle. The best part is it’s all a gamble really. Like the economy or the proverbial horse you can’t force it to do what you want.
I have a rough idea of how many people to accept in order to have a certain number actually arrive, guessing how many will not respond, how many have not understood what they were applying for, how many will simply not show. Holding my breath when we hit the “maximum” number and keep rising. Crossing my fingers that no one else confirms on this date or that week. Checking my email every five minutes hoping for a big group to pop up to fill up spots a week next Tuesday. Somehow it all works out – or it has so far!