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mobby_6kl
Aug 9, 2009

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


The_Continental posted:

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.
I'm not super mad about it or anything, but I think the issue is that it often feels like they're using the people as props to get laid. Obviously everyone knows the chosen photos are pretty staged/fake but no one is exploited in the gym mirror selfie (beside the viewer).

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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?!


sticksy posted:


  • 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?


Lol, WHAT you're saying I'm NOT qualified to head up the State Department?! But to answer that earnestly, I'd make sure volunteers had real jobs. Some of the assignments can be a bit nebulous and that makes them difficult. Volunteers need more structure when they first arrive at site and simply assigning them a local "homologue" isn't always the answer. Site development needs to be incredibly thorough so that volunteers can maximize their time. Peace Corps is not a development organization, and its not an exchange organization. It tends to ride the line between the two and sometimes its just neither.

I don't have any regrets. But I do wish I would've stayed a third year. My service was interrupted twice due to political unrest which made it hard for me to hit serious momentum on several projects. I could've done a lot in a third year.

Methanar posted:

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

None in my experience.

mobby_6kl posted:

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 think access to basic healthcare is a big one, especially pre and post natal care and safe birthing practices, condom use, and exclusive breastfeeding. Infant mortality is still high and the biggest killer of kids under 4 is diarrhea. Cultural views on western medicine also need to change. Traditional healers are still used extensively and some really basic maladies end up becoming serious or fatal because they aren't treated effectively.

my kinda ape
Sep 15, 2008

Everything's gonna be A-OK


Hair Elf

mobby_6kl posted:

I'm not super mad about it or anything, but I think the issue is that it often feels like they're using the people as props to get laid. Obviously everyone knows the chosen photos are pretty staged/fake but no one is exploited in the gym mirror selfie (beside the viewer).

The problem with this is like, how do you know they're being exploited? Like OP said yeah if you go on a two week mission trip it's pretty fuckin' lame to act like you did anything to help but if you dedicate 2+ years of your life with minimum compensation I think it's pretty ok if you want to put up a picture of you and your friends there or whatever. There really isn't a way to tell the difference between the two cases just from a picture either.

And like I mentioned earlier some of those pics are just like, people vacationing/visiting somewhere and as long as you're not doing it as a sex tourist or to gawk at people suffering or something then most places appreciate tourists coming to visit and spending their money. Nobody makes a tumblr about it if you post a picture of your family with your white water rafting guide in Montana.

hate hoot
Nov 7, 2012


The_Continental posted:

There are also deeply entrenched generational missionaries and they have some really wild ideas, I would avoid these people at all costs, they are poison.

Could you talk more about this, please? And, also, did you actually work in/visit secondary schools? If so, what were they like in terms of curriculum, facilities, teaching styles, etc. Thanks for the interesting thread.

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


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.

Okay, I actually gave this a lot of thought because I could go REALLY REALLY dark with this.

I'm choosing not to at the moment. There was a volunteer who arrived in country about a year after I did. I can only describe him as a "cranky old man". He was about 60 years old, and clearly in poor health. We will call him Bob.When volunteers first arrive, they tend to sleep in a shared dorm type setting. They go through some basic medical interviews and then begin orientation, and eventually start training. Training took place in the city of Ouahigouya, a 3 hour bus ride north of Ouaga. I was out of my site at this time and would visit the medical ward in our central office daily to say hello to any sick volunteers, ask if they needed anything, and offer support.

I knocked on the door of the medical ward, and hear a gruff voice say "Who's there?"

"Oh hey its just The Continental, seeing how you're doing", I entered the room. Bob stands up, looking harried. I was surprised to see him as training had just begun and he should've been up north.

"BOB LASTNAME FDNY!", Bob crossed his arms. I offered if I could get him anything but it was clear he didn't want to be bothered or make friends. He mentioned several times during the course of our very brief conversation that he was "A second generation New York firefighter". This was 2010, and this just seemed like a really weird thing to say, and the definition of image management. I took a hint and left him alone. I learned a few days later that he had left the country and wouldn't be serving. When I found out about his departure, I was naturally curious. I asked one of our directors what had happened:


As it turns out, Bob had made it to the training site. But Bob's bunk-mates reported that he had been waking in the night to drink liquor. This baffled the medical officers as nobody was allowed to leave the training site, and there wasn't any place to purchase bottles of liquor nearby. As it turned out, Bob had purchased duty free liquor ON THE PLANE. Our country director later told me she had heard the bottles clinking when he arrived. When Bob realized that his duty free booze was running out and that he wasn't allowed to leave the training site, he reported feeling very ill and was brought back to Ouaga to do a couple days in the med unit. Bob had been sneaking out of the med unit and purchasing alcohol, which they discovered hidden all over the bedroom side of the small medical apartment. Bob was declared to be medically unfit to serve due to severe alcoholism and placed back on a plane to NY. How he made it through the cracks I'll never know.

Atopian
Sep 23, 2014

I need a security perimeter with Venetian blinds.

The_Continental posted:

Okay, I actually gave this a lot of thought because I could go REALLY REALLY dark with this.

A well-chosen story in terms of tone, because yeah, more interested in funny failures than Heart Of Darkness. Thanks!

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


The_Continental posted:

There are also deeply entrenched generational missionaries and they have some really wild ideas, I would avoid these people at all costs, they are poison.

hate hoot" post="504933979 posted:

Could you talk more about this, please? And, also, did you actually work in/visit secondary schools? If so, what were they like in terms of curriculum, facilities, teaching styles, etc. Thanks for the interesting thread.


Well, some Evangelical Christians do a lot more than just 2 to 4 week mission trips. Some actually move for decades, or for life. Their entire existence in the country is predicated on them having a holy purpose, and therefore being superior to the local heathens they are there to save. Naturally, its god's will for these people to procreate so they have children who become African nationals. Of course, these children are home schooled and cloistered from any non-Christian ideas. Many of the have African servants and drivers. I met one of these guys once. His parents were Canadian. He gave me such gems as

"I would never go back to Canada because they let F****** (gays) get married"

"I feel like a N**** (hard r) in Africa". He was very white.



Most of my work was done outside of secondary schools. I focused mostly on extracurricular programming and with girls who were primary school age. However, the teaching style is very much French influenced, with a focus on memorization and drilling facts. Facilities vary greatly, but most schools are set up as several buildings of classrooms around a central courtyard used for physical activities and assemblies.

Methanar
Sep 26, 2013



For a mission of 'educate more girls'. How do you measure success. Is there a quota that you're expected to meet in terms of enrollment, graduation rate?

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


Methanar posted:

For a mission of 'educate more girls'. How do you measure success. Is there a quota that you're expected to meet in terms of enrollment, graduation rate?

I'd like to address the use of the word "mission", which is typically reserved for religious organizations. I don't mean to split hairs but you've used it several times and I don't want to be confused for or associated with "missionaries".

Volunteers within the Peace Corps are not held to any sort of quota. They do quarterly reporting which is turned in to the director of their sector (agriculture, business development, secondary ed, medical, etc.). Its up to the associate director to manage their volunteers as they see fit. Each site is unique and requires a different approach so a purely rational model of reporting is difficult to apply.

Ultimately, its up to the national department of education and the schools themselves to increase attendance rates. Bringing in Peace Corps volunteers is merely part of their national strategy.

Hefty Leftist
Jun 26, 2011

"You know how vodka or whiskey are distilled multiple times to taste good? It's the same with shit. After being digested for the third time shit starts to taste reeeeeeaaaally yummy."



how does it feel being an imperialist serving US neo-colonialism in Africa

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


Hefty Leftist posted:

how does it feel being an imperialist serving US neo-colonialism in Africa

Couldn't tell you. Do you think Noam Chomsky gets invited to parties?

Burt Sexual
Jan 26, 2006

I'm the SIX to your NEIN


Switchblade Switcharoo

Hefty Leftist posted:

how does it feel being an imperialist serving US neo-colonialism in Africa

Please clarify this post before I finish my fish sandwich and go to bed.

The Clowner
Apr 20, 2019

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

op please tell me a funny story involving you having a learning experience about cultural differences.

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


Hefty Leftist posted:

how does it feel being an imperialist serving US neo-colonialism in Africa

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

I'll actually field that because its a legit question and despite possibly being posed in bad faith, I feel I'm fairly well equipped to reply:

When I was developing training materials for newly arrived volunteers I would get asked a lot of questions like this. The aid industry is rife with moral pitfalls, and deserve to be addressed. However, if we dwell on these gigantic forces we will fail to see the forest for the trees. We have the tools, knowledge, ability to solve problems. Even better, there are people who want us to help them solve these problems.

We can look at the history of colonization, slavery, Bretton-Woods accords, conditionality of loans, neo-liberalism, deregulation, etc. These are all important topics and shape Africa. Any action that takes place as a foreigner within Africa takes place within that historical context. We cannot change that. However, the discussion of those forces tends to remain confined to the realm of academics. Academics are often criticized for being all theory and no praxis. I tend to agree. Its very easy to lean back in your chair and call someone a "neo-colonialist" from the halls of an academic institution. One can subscribe to all of these ideas, see the problem as insurmountable, and become paralyzed by their own "wokeness" or they can get out in the field and solve real problems that are affecting poor people on a day to day basis. A homeless paranoid schizophrenic doesn't want to hear about the failure of the American Healthcare system. They want some meds and a warm bed.

At the end of the day, If I'm helping a group of new mothers develop porridge recipes for malnourished children using locally sourced sustainable ingredients, its a good thing. Babies won't die because of that action.

When I run a computer club for girls and help them develop real world proficiencies they wouldn't have had otherwise, that's a good thing. When you see a group of young girls begin to develop a sense of self worth, in a world that has devalued them, all the poo poo about being a colonizer goes out the window.

As I see it, West Africans are going to get American culture through cigarette ads, pro wresting, action movies, and popular media one way or another. Its incredibly reductive to claim volunteers are "just part of the system".

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


The Clowner posted:

op please tell me a funny story involving you having a learning experience about cultural differences.

Between French and English you have words called "faux amis" or false cognates. Jolie, doesnt mean Jolly, it means pretty, for example. The word for "excited" can also mean "sexually aroused". I was trying to express gratitude for the opportunity to work with the headmaster of a primary school and essentially told him I couldn't wait to meet the students, and was really horny.

West Africans tend to think it rude to correct someone or to tell them no, and much prefer to go through an intermediary. As a result, I thought everything was going really well with my new site until a week later my language instructor was like "What on Earth did you say to Mr. Kabore?"

We had a laugh about it.

LabyaMynora
Jun 18, 2000

I am a ghost


Grimey Drawer

The_Continental posted:

Between French and English you have words called "faux amis" or false cognates. Jolie, doesnt mean Jolly, it means pretty, for example. The word for "excited" can also mean "sexually aroused". I was trying to express gratitude for the opportunity to work with the headmaster of a primary school and essentially told him I couldn't wait to meet the students, and was really horny.

West Africans tend to think it rude to correct someone or to tell them no, and much prefer to go through an intermediary. As a result, I thought everything was going really well with my new site until a week later my language instructor was like "What on Earth did you say to Mr. Kabore?"

We had a laugh about it.

There's something similar with "embarrassed" and the Spanish word, "embarazada."

Many young English-speaking women in Spanish-speaking countries have thought they were saying, "I'm very embarrassed," and ended up saying, "I'm very pregnant."

Burt Sexual
Jan 26, 2006

I'm the SIX to your NEIN


Switchblade Switcharoo

The_Continental posted:

I'll actually field that because its a legit question and despite possibly being posed in bad faith, I feel I'm fairly well equipped to reply:

When I was developing training materials for newly arrived volunteers I would get asked a lot of questions like this. The aid industry is rife with moral pitfalls, and deserve to be addressed. However, if we dwell on these gigantic forces we will fail to see the forest for the trees. We have the tools, knowledge, ability to solve problems. Even better, there are people who want us to help them solve these problems.

We can look at the history of colonization, slavery, Bretton-Woods accords, conditionality of loans, neo-liberalism, deregulation, etc. These are all important topics and shape Africa. Any action that takes place as a foreigner within Africa takes place within that historical context. We cannot change that. However, the discussion of those forces tends to remain confined to the realm of academics. Academics are often criticized for being all theory and no praxis. I tend to agree. Its very easy to lean back in your chair and call someone a "neo-colonialist" from the halls of an academic institution. One can subscribe to all of these ideas, see the problem as insurmountable, and become paralyzed by their own "wokeness" or they can get out in the field and solve real problems that are affecting poor people on a day to day basis. A homeless paranoid schizophrenic doesn't want to hear about the failure of the American Healthcare system. They want some meds and a warm bed.

At the end of the day, If I'm helping a group of new mothers develop porridge recipes for malnourished children using locally sourced sustainable ingredients, its a good thing. Babies won't die because of that action.

When I run a computer club for girls and help them develop real world proficiencies they wouldn't have had otherwise, that's a good thing. When you see a group of young girls begin to develop a sense of self worth, in a world that has devalued them, all the poo poo about being a colonizer goes out the window.

As I see it, West Africans are going to get American culture through cigarette ads, pro wresting, action movies, and popular media one way or another. Its incredibly reductive to claim volunteers are "just part of the system".

If only that poster responded with content like this.

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

Coal Jobs for the Coal God


Nap Ghost

The_Continental posted:

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

What was the general hole in the ground situation like?

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


Probably about as varied as public toilets in tbe US or Europe. Some places, like my home, had a closed concrete area with no roof to provide privacy and ventilation. It was very clean and I kept a teapot and handwashing station nearby to clean myself and then hands. Bus stops were usually horrible. I knew a guy who served in Mongolia whos poo would turn to a frozen "poo poo stalacmite" that ge would have to knock down with a shovel.


My god goons, do I have poop stories.

20 Blunts
Jan 21, 2017



My girlfriend got sent to a West African country by peace corps despite having actual experience teaching in a foreign language in Central Asia beforehand. Dunno how they didn't have better place or her.

Anyway about halfway through the training thing you do before you get stationed, one of her driving age host sisters pulled up on a motorcycle and offered her a ride home. My girlfriend put on her helmet and obliged. Next morning she gets sent to the office and recited at rule 420-69 or whatever about no tolerance riding motorcycles. She was on a flight home in 24 hours, all because this five minute motorcycle ride.

So my girlfriend is no idiot and in some aspects had been to more dangerous places...we joke now about her getting kicked out for being too rock n roll for the peace corps.

Muscle Wizard
Jul 28, 2011



Hammerite posted:

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.

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


20 Blunts posted:

My girlfriend got sent to a West African country by peace corps despite having actual experience teaching in a foreign language in Central Asia beforehand. Dunno how they didn't have better place or her.

Anyway about halfway through the training thing you do before you get stationed, one of her driving age host sisters pulled up on a motorcycle and offered her a ride home. My girlfriend put on her helmet and obliged. Next morning she gets sent to the office and recited at rule 420-69 or whatever about no tolerance riding motorcycles. She was on a flight home in 24 hours, all because this five minute motorcycle ride.

So my girlfriend is no idiot and in some aspects had been to more dangerous places...we joke now about her getting kicked out for being too rock n roll for the peace corps.

drat that sucks. They are extremely clear about the no moto rides rule though. They drill it in to you from the time you arrive that its a one strike and you're out rule. Basically, they did a statistical analysis of volunteer deaths and motorcycle accidents was the number one cause by a long shot. You can get away with pretty much anything in Peace Corps, the three exceptions are 1. not wearing a bike helmet 2. not taking your malaria meds, and 3. riding a motorcycle. The reason is that you are way more likely to die. I knew people who not only rode motorcycles, but actually purchased them while they were volunteers. They of course waited until well after training. They watch you like a hawk during training.

As far as her placement, I've heard of stuff like that happening. I think a lot of it has to do with the need of the organization at the time. I also suspect they don't really want people going to places where they have heaps of previous experience because it could make them less apt during training, or distract them from service as they try to reconnect with their previous organization, friends, or colleagues.

SERPUS
Mar 20, 2004


The_Continental posted:

My god goons, do I have poop stories.

How long in country were you before you starting leaving solid poops regularly?

Spoggerific
May 28, 2009


What was having malaria like? How about the antimalarials? I've heard people say the side effects are worse than the disease before, but I dunno how true it is.

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


Spoggerific posted:

What was having malaria like? How about the antimalarials? I've heard people say the side effects are worse than the disease before, but I dunno how true it is.

Yes did they at least provide gin and tonic water to go with your quinine?

The Clowner
Apr 20, 2019

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

What kind of local fauna (or flora, if noteworthy) is there near Ouaga? Also, I'm assuming you ate some of them, but how many of them did you train and bring home?

20 Blunts
Jan 21, 2017



The_Continental posted:

drat that sucks. They are extremely clear about the no moto rides rule though. They drill it in to you from the time you arrive that its a one strike and you're out rule. Basically, they did a statistical analysis of volunteer deaths and motorcycle accidents was the number one cause by a long shot. You can get away with pretty much anything in Peace Corps, the three exceptions are 1. not wearing a bike helmet 2. not taking your malaria meds, and 3. riding a motorcycle. The reason is that you are way more likely to die. I knew people who not only rode motorcycles, but actually purchased them while they were volunteers. They of course waited until well after training. They watch you like a hawk during training.

As far as her placement, I've heard of stuff like that happening. I think a lot of it has to do with the need of the organization at the time. I also suspect they don't really want people going to places where they have heaps of previous experience because it could make them less apt during training, or distract them from service as they try to reconnect with their previous organization, friends, or colleagues.

Just sounded like incredible chickenshit leader stuff to me. Apparently the lady in charge of the country was newly appointed, trying to make an example of misbehaving volunteers. The American tradition of high rising turds. I mean, isn't it mixed messaging, instructions unclear, to put somebody up with a host family, but then say they can't accept rides from said host family? Common sense says this clearly wasn't some brazen motorcycle ride laughing in the face of a zero tolerance policy. In fact, my girlfriend had had some issues really connecting with her family, saw the ride offer as making progress. I've always wondered how experienced the host family was with volunteer hosting, like maybe they were trying to set her up to get sent home?

I'm glad she got the gently caress out of the situation, really. Just seems like a larger issue for the organization, to rather haphazardly insert volunteers into agricultural and education projects with a "you'll figure it out" attitude, while at the same time having bureaucrats handing out pink slips for infractions that actually made sense in context. Like you have all these young volunteers living out in the sticks, dealing with life, struggling, and then this station manager in an air-conditioned compound in the capital city being like "oh no I heard you broke rule!!!."

Flowers for QAnon
May 20, 2019



20 Blunts posted:

My girlfriend got sent to a West African country by peace corps despite having actual experience teaching in a foreign language in Central Asia beforehand. Dunno how they didn't have better place or her.


Teaching English in Asia isnít exactly some high-level credential

punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

I will NEVER become THE PIRATE KING!!! I am just a lazy, hypocritical idiot.


How did the locals view Thomas Sankara? Is he and his communist regime revered?

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


20 Blunts posted:

Just sounded like incredible chickenshit leader stuff to me. Apparently the lady in charge of the country was newly appointed, trying to make an example of misbehaving volunteers. The American tradition of high rising turds. I mean, isn't it mixed messaging, instructions unclear, to put somebody up with a host family, but then say they can't accept rides from said host family? Common sense says this clearly wasn't some brazen motorcycle ride laughing in the face of a zero tolerance policy. In fact, my girlfriend had had some issues really connecting with her family, saw the ride offer as making progress. I've always wondered how experienced the host family was with volunteer hosting, like maybe they were trying to set her up to get sent home?

I'm glad she got the gently caress out of the situation, really. Just seems like a larger issue for the organization, to rather haphazardly insert volunteers into agricultural and education projects with a "you'll figure it out" attitude, while at the same time having bureaucrats handing out pink slips for infractions that actually made sense in context. Like you have all these young volunteers living out in the sticks, dealing with life, struggling, and then this station manager in an air-conditioned compound in the capital city being like "oh no I heard you broke rule!!!."

There is no mixed messaging when it comes to riding on motos with Peace Corps. They say it before you even board the plane: Ride a moto, get sent home. That kind of stuff isn't even up to individual country directors, it's Peace Corps wide. The idea of blaming a new country director, as someone who's been in country for less than 3 months, is absurd. The conspiracy theory about the host family is also fairly absurd. I think you and your girlfriend should probably try to come to terms with the fact that she hosed up and broke a clearly stated rule which resulted in her firing. Its a tough pill to swallow but all of this conjecture about it being anyone's fault but her own is a bit cringe-worthy to be completely honest.

Its also possible she just didn't want to be there in the first place. Its an incredibly stressful time while your body adjusts to new food and climate, the mind to a new language and social mores. Many people are emotional train-wrecks during training and self-sabotage isn't unheard of.

I have my own qualms with the moto rule and do believe it can have detrimental effects on integration. I've also seen a young girl killed on one after getting blindsided by a Mercedes, and two friends need to have their entire faces reconstructed. One had to be airlifted. Both the friends were former volunteers who had finished service and remained in country as private employees of other NGOs. So, while the rule sucks, its there for a drat good reason.

PinheadSlim
Apr 2, 2015

FRIENDS for EVER

The_Continental posted:

There is no mixed messaging when it comes to riding on motos with Peace Corps. They say it before you even board the plane: Ride a moto, get sent home. That kind of stuff isn't even up to individual country directors, it's Peace Corps wide. The idea of blaming a new country director, as someone who's been in country for less than 3 months, is absurd. The conspiracy theory about the host family is also fairly absurd. I think you and your girlfriend should probably try to come to terms with the fact that she hosed up and broke a clearly stated rule which resulted in her firing. Its a tough pill to swallow but all of this conjecture about it being anyone's fault but her own is a bit cringe-worthy to be completely honest.

Its also possible she just didn't want to be there in the first place. Its an incredibly stressful time while your body adjusts to new food and climate, the mind to a new language and social mores. Many people are emotional train-wrecks during training and self-sabotage isn't unheard of.

I have my own qualms with the moto rule and do believe it can have detrimental effects on integration. I've also seen a young girl killed on one after getting blindsided by a Mercedes, and two friends need to have their entire faces reconstructed. One had to be airlifted. Both the friends were former volunteers who had finished service and remained in country as private employees of other NGOs. So, while the rule sucks, its there for a drat good reason.

Just to be clear, didn't you say you rode on a motorcycle while drunk somewhere on the first page of this thread?

Do you think it would have been beneficial to you and the people you were helping to suddenly stop helping them because you chose to do that?

Edit : I'm totally day drunk so I might be reading the thread wrong but it seems kinda silly to me.

PinheadSlim fucked around with this message at 22:26 on May 18, 2020

Im Ready for DEATH
Oct 5, 2016



It's pretty heartening to hear that the most dangerous thing you can do out there is ride a motorcycle.

Also, we need darker burnout stories. Alcoholic irish NYC firefighter isn't going to cut it.

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


SERPUS posted:

How long in country were you before you starting leaving solid poops regularly?

I think it took my body about 3-4 months to adjust. I became acutely aware of how hydrated I was. If you don't hydrate you get the shits really bad. They would distribute ORS packets to us and I kept those around for after bike rides or long days in the sun. I had one of the worst shits of my life while with my host family, during the initial 3 months training.


poop story
I was sleeping in a courtyard under a mosquito net, maybe 30 feet away from the latrine. I woke up and could feel that my abdomen was super bloated, the skin around my stomach was tight like a snare drum. I tried to get up but as soon as I started to bend I could feel my bowels move. I ended up rolling, while keeping my body completely rigid and horizontal, over to the latrine. Then, by some incredible luck, I managed to get myself into a plank position near the outer wall of the latrine, and then walk my hands up the wall to get myself upright while not bending at the waist. I waddled into the latrine, expecting the roaches to scatter. They did not. They stared back at me staring at the concrete hole in the ground. I knew that to slide my shorts down I would have to bend, and bending meant making GBS threads. I positioned myself and assessed the trajectory of the forthcoming torrent. I quickly squatted and pulled my shorts down in one motion. Imagine ripping the cap off a chocolate milk bottle, while simultaneously crushing it between your hands. I hit the back wall of the latrine. Hardly any of it got into the hole. I cleaned up as best I could and fell asleep near the outside of the latrine. I woke up and my host sister had already cleaned most of it. I was incredibly embarrassed.

More photos:











The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


PinheadSlim posted:

Just to be clear, didn't you say you rode on a motorcycle while drunk somewhere on the first page of this thread?

Do you think it would have been beneficial to you and the people you were helping to suddenly stop helping them because you chose to do that?

Edit : I'm totally day drunk so I might be reading the thread wrong but it seems kinda silly to me.

I did mention that. It was a stupid move but makes for a good story. I was well in to my service, and one of the most remote volunteers in the country and the chance of running into anyone related to the Peace Corps was incredibly low. I wanted to blow of some steam, so I took a stupid chance and got away with it. I was really just trying to address the absurdity of blaming larger systemic issues for a conscious choice to break a clearly stated rule.

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


Spoggerific posted:

What was having malaria like? How about the antimalarials? I've heard people say the side effects are worse than the disease before, but I dunno how true it is.

Malaria is a loving nightmare, literally. My experience with the anti-malarials was varied but nowhere near as bad as the disease itself.

The weirdest thing about Malaria was the overwhelming feeling of existential dread that set in before I had any physical symptoms.

ante
Apr 9, 2005

No... Not without incident.

What was the deal with the hosts? Did you ship in and stay with them for a few months, and then get your own place?

Do they serially take in volunteers?


What I'm getting at is: Do they just have a neverending stream (heh) of extremely westerners that can't stop making GBS threads everywhere?

Turrurrurrurrrrrrr
Dec 22, 2018


ante posted:

What was the deal with the hosts? Did you ship in and stay with them for a few months, and then get your own place?

Do they serially take in volunteers?


What I'm getting at is: Do they just have a neverending stream (heh) of extremely westerners that can't stop making GBS threads everywhere?

They get paid extra for each diarhea cleanup.

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


I noticed you visited a lot of historical looking places but no explanation as to what they were so I took a wild guess...

The_Continental
Jan 13, 2019

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


My apologies! All the old looking ruins are actually much younger than you'd think. Most of them were constructed in the 80s. They are all located in a town called Bani and were built by a Muslim leader named Muhammed Al-Hajj. He is basically a cult leader preaching is own brand of Islam. The smallest mosques do not face Mecca, but rather the large Mosque. This is pretty unique and somewhat controversial among traditional Muslims.

I did a quick google search and found this write up about the place, its a pretty good read:

https://roadsandkingdoms.com/2015/t...osques-of-bani/

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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?!


ante posted:

What was the deal with the hosts? Did you ship in and stay with them for a few months, and then get your own place?

Do they serially take in volunteers?


What I'm getting at is: Do they just have a neverending stream (heh) of extremely westerners that can't stop making GBS threads everywhere?

Volunteers stay with a host family during their training, which lasts 3 months. Following training, they are sworn in as volunteers and begin their service "at site". The community provides a home for them to stay in that is comparable to other living in the area. Some families take a few volunteers, but they only bring in a new training class every 12 months or so, and they may not use the same training villages depending on which sector they are training. For example, they would want a much more rural setting for agriculture volunteers, vs something closer to a regional hub for education or business development volunteers.

so families will have at least 9 months free of white boys spraying poo poo on the walls of their home latrine.

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