Monday, May 12, 2008

Where to start

The big difference between the last 10 weeks of my life and the next two years is that I have gone from a completely regimented 8-5 training schedule to a completely free ¨hanging out¨ schedule. There are a few things I need to take care of and the group of eager to learn youth are getting in the way of my sitting around, but other than that I have been watching Back to the Future movies in spanish and reading whatever books I could find in the volunteer lounge before I left.
It doesn´t seem too bad right now when it comes to living comfortably. I have cable tv and my own bathroom... and this is what disappoints me. As we went through training I was led to believe that I had signed up for 2 years living in a tiny town with no electricity and no water, I would be all about cutting things with machetes and climbing trees for cell phone reception. In order to produce drinkable water from the river I would devise a column made of sand and gravel that would kill off the bacteria and remove any dirt or waste, I would also impress people with my ipod. Sadly, I will not be impressing anyone with my great american technology and in fact, the youth in town are slightly dissappointed that I only have an ipod photo and that it can´t even play video. There is water for about half the day every day, and I don´t have to run it through a purification column because they buy pure water from the supermarket to drink.
Oh well, with this sad realization that I will not be living in the jungle I have found myself facing a greater challenge than merely having to survive in the wilderness. That challenge being to convince a group of teenagers that I am cool and organizing them into a group that can carry out projects involved in cleaning up the polluted city we live in. As I face a new set of obstacles in my project I also find that there is much more opportunity here as well. Over the past 25 years the Dominican population has switched from a 70% rural populatoin to a 70% urban population. With so many people living in one place there is much more possibility to improve the way of life because word doesn´t have to travel far.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Hey when you're done with PCV you could join that guy that does Man vs. wild and drink elephant pee! But for now you should enjoy the pure water and a nice bed.

Let us know if you want any dvd or vhs movies to show your new friends!