A More Appropriate Blog

Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend who himself had just finished reading the articles linked to in yesterday’s post. During this conversation it came up that with my blogging all the time about technology I must be confusing my readers about true Peace Corps life. How am I really making an impact if my work has nothing to do with goats or donkey’s or children or digging latrines. Thus to clear up the confusion, I have come up with a new vocabulary to make my readers who expect a more, “Peace Corps,” Peace Corps blog more comfortable reading it. So to begin, here are some new terms I will be using in future posts:

  • Whenever I discuss sending emails out to tech support, or surfing the Canonical Ubuntu Help Forums, I will use say something like, “Consulted the village elders under the baobob tree.”
  • Whenever I need to fix some viruses on computers or flash drives, I might take a more medical approach and use examples like, “Cleaned an infected lion bite,” or maybe, “Pulled a 5-foot tape worm out of a child’s foot today.”
  • Transport will not longer be discussed in terms of tuk-tuk and matatus.  From now on, I only ride donkeys.  Also, once in a while I may wrassle me an elephant which I may ride around.  There are plenty in Shimba Hills.
  • I no longer lay network cabling.  instead, I am designing some sort of irrigation system.  I don’t feed people with knowledge tools. Instead, I am the bringer of irrigated maize.
  • If I ever need to use a tool such as SSH to remotely log into a machine such as the RIK, then I will talk about consulting the local witchdoctor about burning the proper sages so that I may consult my ancestors living far away.
  • Finally, I do not design web sites.  Instead, I am teaching villagers how to educate illiterate people through interpretive dance and story.

Now don’t take all of this the wrong way. It is just a continuation of yesterday’s post highlighting how little many people understand about Peace Corps. It is such a multi-faceted organization, where even within a country individuals are tackling problems in such unique ways that any attempt to create a unified description is difficult. Of course, with such an ethereal purpose, can an organization like Peace Corps as it is today exist in this day of stringent quantitative and qualitative measures used as justification for funding. Probably not. But I have already written about all of this before.

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One response to “A More Appropriate Blog

  1. Jan

    So true that most Americans have an outdated image of the Peace Corps. Reading your blog has changed mine, for the better. I was interested to learn (from the New Yorker link in your prior post) about Rajeev Goyal’s lobbying to double the number of volunteers. Curious that Teach for America has been so successful at marketing itself that its selectivity now rivals those of the Ivies (which only feeds the demand among Ivy grads…).