Spanish class is interesting and important to my job, but it doesn't actually feel like I'm contributing anything to the world. That's one reason that I've enjoyed working on the Haiti Taskforce this week. The primary responsibility of the State Department is to assist American citizens who are overseas. So it's easy to imagine how busy the department has been since the earthquake in Haiti.
I grabbed a couple of overnight shifts answering phone calls, emails, and placing calls to Americans who had/have loved ones in Haiti. The work was interesting and certainly emotionally challenging at times. There are a lot of families in the U.S. trying to get their children back from Haiti (they may have been visiting family, going to school, etc.). In some sad cases the parents died in the earthquake, leaving the children to the responsibility of uncles, cousins, or grandparents in the States who may never have met them.
In retrospect, overnight shifts right before Spanish class might not have been the best idea. I've been pretty sleepy this week, and my lovely wife has been very good about letting me nap during the afternoons. My last shift is tonight.