Re: [N Tx Peace Corps] pros and
The "rule of thumb" in the PC, at least back when it
was new and I was in it, was that Volunteers who worked as plumbers,
for example, lived on the same amount of money that local plumbers
made every month. I was a school teacher, and teachers were paid
more than plumbers. So I was paid more and had a higher standard
of living than if I'd been there in community development to construct
water systems. Probably some of these "social levels"
vary from country to country.
Also, in my case I was stationed in a resort city -- Massaua, The
Venice Of Africa! Pearl Of The Red Sea! It was an Italian-built,
popular, seacoast city, with nearby islands, long sandy beaches,
cabarets and nightclubs, coral reefs, waterskiing on the sea itself.
I couldn't have asked for a better assignment, and I did indeed ask
for it. I figured that /any/ city on the seacoast would be
"fun". The trouble was that it is officially the
hottest inhabited city on the planet, and only one other Volunteer
besides me dared to live there. But to say that we "lucked
out" is an understatement. Afternoon temps regularly hit
130 degrees. The US Army had a small outpost there. One
afternoon they recorded an alltime high of 165 degrees, and I kid you
not. The whole city shut down from 11-3 each day. TOO
HOT! So we taught school 8:30-11:30 and 3-4:30 each day.
Don't laugh, but I had a 4-bedroom Italian villa, with a salon
and library, by a secluded cove of the Red Sea, with a refrigerator,
running water and electricity 24 hours a day. It was one of the
most unusually beautiful houses I've ever seen, perfectly designed for
living in such a hot climate. It had rooms within rooms with
windows that looked out onto larger rooms, windows which could be
shuttered if a storm passed through. Overhead fans everywhere,
even in the shower. And I had a fulltime maid and cook.
And it was ANIMAL HOUSE every weekend! You wouldn't believe some
of the stories I could tell, including the time that a drunk Ethiopian
sailor sneaked in a back window and tried to rape a pretty Volunteer
from Asmara, who was staying in the front bedroom with her passed-out
boyfriend in the cot next to her. Aie, Aie, Aie! All hell
broke loose that night!
Why did I live like this? Well, I got my refrigerator
merely because of the heat and the "necessity" for
refrigeration of foodstuffs. The Italian villa had been passed
down to me from previous Volunteers. The PC let us have that
villa because it was so spacious. We were required, in turn, to
allow any vacationing PCVs to stay there free. By my second
year, so many PCVs were coming to town, I had to put a sign on my
front door, telling everybody if they weren't "specifically
invited" to stay in my house, to go to one of the following
hotels in town, and I provided a list. You can get away with a
lot of stuff in your second year.
In many ways, my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer resembled that
of Tom Hanks in VOLUNTEERS, one of my alltime favorite movies.
If you haven't seen it yet, run don't walk to the nearest
Blockbuster! Regards, Roberto
The level of
fulfillment and satisfaction fairly frequently is in reverse
proportion to amenities and standard of living. For
example, in my experience and by my observations, PC volunteers
who do not have electricity (or running water) in Ecuador tended to be
more happy than those who did by a noticeable but not
huge margin, etc.
RPCVs: agree or disagree?
To send an email to all members of this group, mail to:
To view past emails or change your membership settings, visit our
YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
PLANET X NIBIRU : SLOW-MOTION DOOMSDAY (2004)
Crossover Dreamtime Is Coming Again! Where Will You Be?
APOLLONIUS OF TYANA & THE SHROUD OF TURIN (2005)
"The dice of God always fall in the right way." Zenobius
"And they do not know the future mystery, or understand ancient
And they do not know what is going to happen to them.
And they will not save their souls from the future
The Dead Sea Scrolls, Prophecy Of The