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The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

My god, Winston, is that infernal sun still giving my buttocks that entirely too cool smirk?!


The country is "50% Muslim, 50% Christian, and 100% animist", The further north you go the more Muslim it gets, the further south the more Christian.

Drinking is common and legal. I've seen more than one Muslim man walk into a bar, neatly fold his prayer cap, place it in his pocket, do a shot of Pastis and leave.

scenes from a street in Yako:



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Methanar
Sep 26, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 25 days!



I would.

You've mentioned it earlier that for cultural reasons many girls do not proceed to the high school equivalent. It's my understanding that girls not being educated is a thing because it's thought they shouldn't be educated. How do you reconcile attitudes like that with your mission.

DropsySufferer
Nov 9, 2008

Impractical practicality


What if your a goon who will wont integrate. Has all food air dropped. And ships in a generator and solar for playing games and netflix.

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

My god, Winston, is that infernal sun still giving my buttocks that entirely too cool smirk?!


Methanar posted:

I would.

You've mentioned it earlier that for cultural reasons many girls do not proceed to the high school equivalent. It's my understanding that girls not being educated is a thing because it's thought they shouldn't be educated. How do you reconcile attitudes like that with your mission.

Well there needs to be a significant amount of groundwork before a volunteer is invited. In the case of Girls Education, it was national policy that more girls should be attending school, which was in line with The UN Millennium Challenge goals. Educators and regional directors identified a need for support, and Peace Corps helps by providing them with qualified workers to help out. Obviously, you are going to run into some cultural issues. Personally, I never felt it was within my job description to convince someone that their daughter should attend school. I was more interested in the intersection of people who valued their daughters education, daughters who were apt and willing to pursue education, and barriers preventing that from happening. I also wanted to support girls who were already on track to pursue secondary school and make sure they stayed on track.

ante
Apr 9, 2005

SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS

How does the peace corp work, in terms of volunteering?

I talked to a few volunteer organisations when I was right out of high school, and they seemed more like a "pay several thousand dollars to go there, dig some trenches, and get some photo ops"

Obviously, your arrangement seems much better, both for you, and the local population

The_Continental posted:


Sunday in Yako, Neighbor girls hanging out



Also tell me more about this outfit

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

My god, Winston, is that infernal sun still giving my buttocks that entirely too cool smirk?!


DropsySufferer posted:

What if your a goon who will wont integrate. Has all food air dropped. And ships in a generator and solar for playing games and netflix.

Well there are policies that Peace Corps has in place that say you should generally live off of your allowance and stay in your site, but some people don't do this. I certainly accessed my savings via ATM while there (which set off all kinds of alerts with my bank, despite telling them of planned travel), but only did this during time off. There were certainly volunteers who would bail from village, and rent rooms in the capital a bit more often than was advisable. Its hard to do that for any extended period of time because you'll likely be noticed by the expat community, which was fairly tightly knit.

I know volunteers who bought motorcycles though, rented secret houses in regional capitals, spent vast amounts on booze and weed and OTC valium. A lot of these were really smart, well integrated volunteers who just didn't want to give up certain creature comforts.

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

My god, Winston, is that infernal sun still giving my buttocks that entirely too cool smirk?!


ante posted:

How does the peace corp work, in terms of volunteering?

I talked to a few volunteer organisations when I was right out of high school, and they seemed more like a "pay several thousand dollars to go there, dig some trenches, and get some photo ops"

Obviously, your arrangement seems much better, both for you, and the local population


Also tell me more about this outfit

Ill answer this last one before taking a break for the evening.

You generally have to have a degree (at least a bachelors) relevant to the assignment you're working on, and its very competative. If you are going to be a teacher, you need a teacher's certificate. I had a Psych degree and experience working with at-risk youth in the states. When I applied, you applied generally and then checked off where you were willing to go. I left the map open and said, "send me anywhere" because I felt it would expedite the process. The application took about a year and involved lots of reference checks, essay writing, phone interviews, and waiting.

You get an allowance per month based on local wages, so that you're in line with what other low to mid level functionaries are making. Your housing is provided and you get training. You also get a readjustment allowance of a couple grand. I wouldn't consider any of it "payment". Nobody really makes money while they are there.

I hope that answers your question, I'd be happy to elaborate later if you like.

Burt Sexual
Jan 26, 2006

I'm the SIX to your NEIN


Switchblade Switcharoo

Good thread

Methanar
Sep 26, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 25 days!


Would you do it again?

Weka
May 5, 2019

And if you gaze long into an abyss, you will say `look, no ring.`

The_Continental posted:

I'm choosing to leave that stuff out because A. Its not very interesting aside from (lol had sex) and B. I'm married to a wonderful and beautiful person who would have their feelings hurt if they found out I was typing out details of past sexual encounters.

I for one respect your decision not to... tell us his name.

Atopian
Sep 23, 2014

I need a security perimeter with Venetian blinds.

As a connoisseur of meltdowns, flameouts, and fuckups in a variety of countries and situations, I am interested in first- or second-hand tales of volunteering failures.

Who failed, and how/why? Were any of these failures entertaining enough to relate? What is the oral history of notorious human disasters in your (area / section of the organisation)?

Tell me of the human errors.
Feed me suffering.

Pretty good
Apr 16, 2007





What's the age range of volunteers like? Anyone surprisingly young/old getting involved?

Did you encounter any rich locals at all?

sweet thursday
Sep 16, 2012

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


Atopian posted:

As a connoisseur of meltdowns, flameouts, and fuckups in a variety of countries and situations, I am interested in first- or second-hand tales of volunteering failures.

Who failed, and how/why? Were any of these failures entertaining enough to relate? What is the oral history of notorious human disasters in your (area / section of the organisation)?

Tell me of the human errors.
Feed me suffering.
I counter with this: give us stories of human triumph

staberind
Feb 20, 2008

Klomping endlessly thru the gray void...








Fun Shoe

Props.
NGO's tend to receive a lot of flak due to practically everyone on the periphery second guessing why people educated & successful would give up their time en masse to provide a positive infrastructure in a "developing" country.
The glacier pace of some things happening or not being way out of the control of those with their feet on the ground is really beyond comparison.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


Pretty good posted:

What's the age range of volunteers like? Anyone surprisingly young/old getting involved?


I can't even tell how old OP was from the pictures. He's got one of those age 20-35 faces, no offense OP.

At this point this is really just A/T but 2 years is a long time to commit in advance for anything. Were you kinda at a loose end in life or were you super passionate about the cause?

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

My god, Winston, is that infernal sun still giving my buttocks that entirely too cool smirk?!


Jeza posted:

I can't even tell how old OP was from the pictures. He's got one of those age 20-35 faces, no offense OP.

At this point this is really just A/T but 2 years is a long time to commit in advance for anything. Were you kinda at a loose end in life or were you super passionate about the cause?

Alright I'll answer one more before bed. Fine two:

1. Age range is significant. The oldest volunteer in country was in her 70s. There were some couples in their 50s that had served in their 20s previously. The average volunteer was mid 20s.

2. I had recently graduated with my bachelors and I planned on using peace corps as a means to network and get a bit more clarity (I did). I didn't know what I wanted to do (still dont). I was sure that I didn't want to enter the workforce as a youth worker in Detroit. But, I was definitely passionate about working with youth at the time, and became even more passionate while on the ground. I certainly had selfish reasons for joining (wanting to travel, etc.), and am grateful. I found that most volunteers that were coming from a more altruistic "I'm gonna help save the world" perspective had a very hard time with the realities of service.

Happy Hedonist
Jan 18, 2009



Fun Shoe

Hell yea. This is a good thread, thank you for taking the time to post it.

Voting 5.

Jose
Jul 24, 2007



thomas sankara owned so obviously the french had him assassinated so the guy who caused riots in the ops story could become dictator

Grevling
Dec 18, 2016



Do you use a pic of you with the children on Tinder? I notice a lot of people do this.

Hammerite
Mar 9, 2007

And you don't remember what I said here, either, but it was pompous and stupid.


Jade Ear Joe

Did you follow the educational progress of any of the girls particularly closely? Were there any girls whom you are particularly proud of helping? Any whom you weren't able to help as much as you wanted to? Any stories about individuals that particularly stand out to you, is what I'm asking.

Chef Boyardeez Nuts
Sep 9, 2011

I rescued a pup on Thanksgiving instead of chowing down,
earning me this avatar.


My criticism of the Peace Corps model is that it seems super inefficient to send 25 volunteers for two years each rather than one for 50 years. Do other foreign aid agencies in the region work similarly?

Jack-Off Lantern
Mar 2, 2012



Chef Boyardeez Nuts posted:

My criticism of the Peace Corps model is that it seems super inefficient to send 25 volunteers for two years each rather than one for 50 years. Do other foreign aid agencies in the region work similarly?

That's very German of you. Your free Staatsbürgerschaft will be in the mail.

unpacked robinhood
Feb 18, 2013


Grevling posted:

Do you use a pic of you with the children on Tinder? I notice a lot of people do this.

Look for op here

ncumbered_by_idgits
Sep 20, 2008



I have a ton of respect for you doing something like that. I regret not having the passion or courage at a young age to do what you did. The world needs more of this.

Favorited and d. Please keep posting.

sticksy
May 26, 2004
keeping austin weird





Nap Ghost

Cool post and good on you for doing something worthwhile and actually helping the world be a better place, op. Plus, with minimal sexpat endeavors.
  • Hindsight being 20/20 obviously - is there anything you regret or wished you'd done differently while there?

  • Also, if tomorrow you were plucked from obscurity and ask to run the Peace Corps/State Department (I kinda wouldn't put it past this administration tbh), what would you change or the first thing you'd focus on?

    (btw I know this isn't BFC but this is the single best question I've been asked by an interviewee before and now use it in all of mine)

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE



Nap Ghost

Oh hey, an RPCV from Burkina. I did a tour just over the border in Northern Benin and illegally crossed the border on a canoe visited a few villages on your side.

Your town looks almost exactly like mine and the photo of your house literally looked exactly like mine. Great to hear someone else had a good experience there!

The Peuhl probably saved my life. Once I found a guy to buy cheese from I went from losing 30 pounds in two months to maintaining a healthy weight. My favorite dudes, super cool

Methanar
Sep 26, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 25 days!


How many people return from the missions more racist and embittered than they left rather than enriched

Pawn 17
Dec 17, 2000

> access main security grid
access: PERMISSION DENIED.







Grimey Drawer

Awesome thread and thanks for sharing!

The Clowner
Apr 20, 2019

I see past the sham that is society, and I'm into some incredibly fucked up shit.

Great thread op. Ever think of going back? Either to Ouaga specifically or the Peace Corps?

mobby_6kl
Aug 9, 2009

"You are the best poster... do not let anyone say otherwise."


Well done OP, cool thread.

In addition to supporting girls' education, what else do you think would make the biggest difference for the people there? Infrastructure? Tech? Healthcare?

I do like the idea of volunteering like this but at this point I don't think I could commit to 2 years, not in my 30s when time seems to be flying as it is.

Ran into one recently, but it's not the OP I think

Scooter_McCabe
May 31, 2011
I would like to speak to the manager about the socialists, please


Atopian posted:

As a connoisseur of meltdowns, flameouts, and fuckups in a variety of countries and situations, I am interested in first- or second-hand tales of volunteering failures.

Who failed, and how/why? Were any of these failures entertaining enough to relate? What is the oral history of notorious human disasters in your (area / section of the organisation)?

Tell me of the human errors.
Feed me suffering.


sweet thursday posted:

I counter with this: give us stories of human triumph

There was the charity high jump event...

my kinda ape
Sep 15, 2008

Everything's gonna be A-OK


Hair Elf


Some of these are just pictures of someone with like one adult black guy lol, or like, a child that might just be a friend's kid or something

my kinda ape fucked around with this message at 20:04 on May 17, 2020

Im Ready for DEATH
Oct 5, 2016



That tinder link is like the people posing with lions and tigers in Tiger King, except with black people. It's kind of hosed up. Oh well, what can ya do?

LabyaMynora
Jun 18, 2000

I am a ghost


Grimey Drawer

Im Ready for DEATH posted:

That tinder link is like the people posing with lions and tigers in Tiger King, except with black people. It's kind of hosed up. Oh well, what can ya do?

Sociopathic displays of performative empathy.

Code Jockey
Jan 24, 2006

you can call
but I seldom answer after all






excellent thread, thanks for sharing this!

Sjs00
Jun 29, 2013



LabyaMynora posted:

Sociopathic displays of performative empathy.

Is it sociopathic and performative though? Two years is a long time to sacrifice and I surely haven't done as much. People ought to be proud of themselves for doing this.

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

My god, Winston, is that infernal sun still giving my buttocks that entirely too cool smirk?!


LabyaMynora posted:

Sociopathic displays of performative empathy.

To be fair, any time I brought out a camera in Burkina, children would JUMP in front of it and start throwing up peace signs. Additionally, I have like zero pictures of myself before or after Peace Corps. I think its only natural for people to want to show and tell others about their experience, that doesn't make them a sociopath.

Im Ready for DEATH posted:

That tinder link is like the people posing with lions and tigers in Tiger King, except with black people. It's kind of hosed up. Oh well, what can ya do?

This is also misleading. If I look through the pictures I have with children (some of which I've posted in ITT), I see photos of myself with my neighbors. These were people that visited me daily, and that I had a relationship with. Nothing was staged or performative.

Obviously, I do take some issue with "eat, pray, love" self described yogis attempting to paint themselves as humanitarians or citizens of the world after they did a 2 week mission trip to Uganda, that's pretty gross. However, I also take issue with websites that post photos of complete strangers from a dating site based on some weird ascetic morality, where good deeds are only pure if done in complete seclusion and without recognition.


edit: Kid who is REALLY excited to see us

The_Continental fucked around with this message at 23:42 on May 17, 2020

LabyaMynora
Jun 18, 2000

I am a ghost


Grimey Drawer

The_Continental posted:

To be fair, any time I brought out a camera in Burkina, children would JUMP in front of it and start throwing up peace signs. Additionally, I have like zero pictures of myself before or after Peace Corps. I think its only natural for people to want to show and tell others about their experience, that doesn't make them a sociopath.

Yeah but... for your booty call app profile?

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

My god, Winston, is that infernal sun still giving my buttocks that entirely too cool smirk?!


I'm not really here to discuss the morality of tinder, or any other dating app. I'll say this bit and move on to some more substantive questions: It's the same as posting a picture of yourself in the gym, with a fish, with your dog, with your car, with the computer you just built, doing a beer bong, or at a baseball game. They are just the aspects of people's lives they choose to put out there while looking for a date, romance, a quickie, whatever. Anyone can look at that and say "THEY DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT THE THING THEY ARE TRYING TO LOOK LIKE THEY CARE ABOUT". To which I say maybe, or maybe not. At the end of the day I don't really care about Tinder.

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The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

My god, Winston, is that infernal sun still giving my buttocks that entirely too cool smirk?!


Scooter_McCabe posted:

There was the charity high jump event...




Replace the toilet with a hole in the ground and you've got a pretty accurate summary of my first year.

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