Monday, June 19, 2006

To Peace Corps or Not To Peace Corps

Pro:
1) Firsthand development experience, catalyzing sustainable change at the local level.
2) Language experience .
3) Twenty-seven months in a mud hut contemplating my belly button and Other Large Life Questions. (Also, reading as many books as I want).
4) Making amazing connections with people and forming forever friendships.
5) Travel.
7) Losing like, twenty pounds.
6) Wait, don't they get like a $6,000 stipend at the end of it?

Con:
1) Two years of being constantly asked for money while catalyzing change and watching it die a slow and painful death.
2) Language experience in something like Chichewa, Ibo, Ciluba, Shabo, Dahalo which are obviously in high demand once you move back to the suburbs.
2) Twenty-seven months in a mud hut contemplating my belly button and Other Large Life Questions. (Plus, running out of books!)
3) Rabies, scabies, babies and other scary diseases.
4) Having to leave behind amazing connections and forever friendships.
5) Traveler's diarrhea.
6) Eating nsimi, ugali or foufou every day for three years. Blech.
7) Ooo $6,000. That will pay for like, 1/9th of my college loans.

I am obviously too cynical already to do this. What do YOU think? Would YOU join the Peace Corps??

M is for mud hut,
M.

5 comments:

emira said...

My dear,

I think that in your field of study and possible career path this would be a great opportunity. Plus you'd really get to know the problems that rest of the world faces first hand. Also, $6000 is not all that little and the experience you would get would be invaluable. Kinda like that MasterCard comercial. Besides what's 27 months of your lifespan which will probably extend into 80's. Then one day you can look back at it and feel like you've done something that trully required only a dedicated heart and patience. How many of us can say we've done a trully benevolent act, and this my dear would be it. Giving your time and knowledge to those who need it without much monetary gain in return would make you my hero. But then again, what do I know. I think your pros outweigh the cons, but you already knew that. I'm proud of you whatever you decide to do.

Sinister Minister said...

There are many people I admire and some of the friends I admire the most are those who have joinded the peace corps and travelled to places I will never see.
I say go for it, but then again I'm just Megan's brother in law. What do I know?

nate-nate-bo-bate said...

Were I younger, not married and didn't have a house, I'd probably do it, given the opportunity. Of course, my younger self would probably be too selfish and unsure of itself to it, so my current self would be the only self that would consider it. But, seeing as I have my current responsibilities (my wife, mowing the lawn and changing the oil in the car) I would be unable to.

In short, I think that it's a very admirable thing to do, and if my circumstances were different, I'd probably do it at this time.

Helen said...

Mere, awesome post! I laughed really hard at some of your points. Email me your address so I can send you some snail mail.Sounds like you are doing well. The heat and the humidity have officially descended on DC.

Megan said...

Don't do it. If you run away to another remote country for a long period of time, I think I might shrivel up and die.

Oh wait. That's selfish. Damn.

You know, of course, that this decision is yours and yours alone. The fact that you're even thinking seriously about it is, I think, a big indication that you're really into it. Like you wanna do it, but are worried what others might think about you - or worse, what you'll talk yourself into thinking about yourself.

You know what you need better than anyone else. And we will all love you for who you are no matter what, even if you're in a mud hut in a far away country that speaks languages that we'll never hear.