Friday, June 02, 2006

Gainful Employment

Hooray! Finally there will be money coming into my bank account instead of just leaving it!

I had my first day of work today. Not too bad considering that I just started my job search on Monday. Although it's only a temp job doing lots of admin work, I'm pretty excited about it. The temp agency actually took my interests into consideration (or at least it seems like they did) and found me a placement at the Ministry of Health in the Maori Health department. While health is not a huge interest of mine (although I have nothing against it, of course) I am quite interested in Maori culture, particularly contemporary Maori issues and how they compare to our indigenous people back home. So this works out pretty well for me considering that I was just looking for any job I could get.

The actual work will be doing administration for different grants that the office gives out, such as scholarships for Maori students in the health sciences and funding for Maori health providers. It's going to be a lot of filing and tracking applications and boring stuff like that, but it is an interesting shift from working on the grantseeker side of things. We'll see if it's better to be on the side that gives out the money instead of the side that's asking for it.

What I think will be most interesting is that I am definitely going to be learning a good deal about the Maori language and culture. I've already noticed that people use Te Reo (the Maori language) phrases in their emails, and even Microsoft Word is set to a font called "Arial - Maori" so you can use the appropriate punctuation. A good percentage of the employees are Maori themselves (not surprising, but nice), and they start every morning with singing/praying in Te Reo. I was invited to join, but I think I will hold back for now. Don't want to make a cultural faux pas this early on.

The final bonus to this job: I work across the street from Parliament and "the Beehive" (where all the members of Parliament and the Prime Minister have their offices). You can just feel the political power in the air. Not really, but it's a nice thought.


Adrian said...

work good. have to make more money to go to the movies and drink whatever you drink while in New Zealand.

esl said...

woohoo! congrats...hope it works out well!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. I hope that they realize what a good resource you are for them. We will be interested in hearing all the new Maori words you learn. Bravo.

teana said...

wow, sounds like you scored an interesting job. congrats geetha!