Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Last Call

Friends, Family and whomever else it may concern,

Please come in. Have a seat, stay a while, for we have much to talk about.

"Such as?"

"Why, relationships of course,"

"I thought you wrote only about your adventures in the Desh?"

"Since when?" What blog have you been reading?

"Since ... (A lulu quietness an almost confused look) ... OK so why relationships? Why bother?"

"Because every day we have countless relationships to maintain, strengthen, or watch deteriorate. The success or failure of these daily social interactions is based on one thing and one thing only: communication."

"I see."

"Do you? Because in a truly successful relationship one side does not dominate the communications paths, but in fact, each side shares a mutual respect for what the other has to say. Even if both sides agree to disagree"

"Are you trying to save the world?" I know you are in Peace Corps and all, but isn’t this all a little bit extreme?

Ok, you got me, I’m just trying to be interesting so you’ll read my updated and complete blog.

"Carry on then,"

"I appreciate your imaginary support."

"No problem, I’m here to help”

With a little help from my friends (due to circumstances beyond my control will be with myself. A long running theme for return readers) I will delve into what I consider the most important relationship: The office vs. the volunteer. Because after all Peace Corps wouldn’t exist without the volunteers.

How will you achieve this?

I offer you, to my own bewilderment the method behind my madness:

Topic #1 Why was Peace Corps taken out of Bangladesh? Side note: Peace Corps I.E Travis and his buddies were taken out of the Desh on March 12. Now that I have brought the formerly pacific nation of Bangladesh to the verge of a revolution, right now seems like a dandy time to tell you about it.

Point: (Merlin, the wizard, prophet and adviser for Arthur himself) It will be very easy to answer your question. It’s obvious really, due to your (Travis) amazing English teaching Bangladesh no longer needs your help in strengthening their forces in the English power. Your control, wisdom, and infinite knowledge over Grammar and the English language are proven with each blog entry.

Counter point: (Knowledge better know as reality, or a donkey) The decision to suspend the program was because of Bangladeshs broader security environment or lack their of. (Please refer to previous blog entry on ‘Safety and security in the desh’)

Point: Someone didn’t have much luck in Teaching their English classes while they were in the desh. Clearly someone didn’t integrate into their site/town very well.

Counterpoint: Sounds to me a certain Volunteer has lost touch with reality and all common sense. (point me, Burned!)

Point: Only if reality means playing badminton with the locals and varying degrees of attention deficit disorder. So what, life in the desh was a little Krazy, it’s the developing world after all. Yeah they almost have running water and squat toilets. But we all know it’s not going to be like America, that’s why you go there for an Adventure like no other (shameless self promotion, coming summer 2006 to a bookstore near you).

Counterpoint: I see how it is. We're playing prison rules. Listen, it is our job to keep the volunteers safe and that is the most importation thing. It is always easier to be a Monday morning quarterback. Well, here in reality there is no re-set button. And I don’t like going to funerals.

Topic #2 Why were the DYD (department of youth and Development) always complaining about the TEFELS (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) not doing anything?

Point: (a TEFEL volunteer) I would like to say that I did next to nothing during my service. In between dodging bombs and pooping all the time, I couldn’t find much time to do anything else. TEFL volunteers didn't do anything...not lying.

Counterpoint: (my Father) If the schools were a joke and didn’t do anything. Why didn’t you take some of that American zest your always talking about and start your own school? You were always talking about how everybody wanted to be your best friend and how you stopped traffic when you went places. Why didn’t you use your star power for good instead of just being lazy sitting under the fan all day?

Point: It's not like I enjoyed doing nothing, the schools are the masters of the TEFL volunteer's destiny and when the schools do nothing(which was frequent) the volunteers do nothing (though, they could do other things, but that required a little more time than what we were given).

Counterpoint: Should TEFELs even be considered teachers when most taught class once or twice a month?

Point: Neither should be considered teachers because they aren't...that's just how it is.

(Bonus topic for my own personal curiosity) Who is was the bigger star
in the desh, the TEFEL or the DYD?

Ben: Neither TEFL nor DYD were greater than the other. This is not due to the mutual respect held by colleagues but rather because Ben was the biggest star and he considers all below him: they are equal in that they are both not Ben.

Counterpoint: (my Father) If you are worried about who was cooler or signed more autographs in the Desh, then you missed the point of your adventure. There are no stars, you all were working together to give hope and help uplift people that wanted the chance to make a better life for themselves.

Each day started with unlimited potential for happiness. Just like the beginning of a spring day. The only thing that could soil a day was people,(or the lack of toilet paper). And if you could keep from making engagements each day had no limits, people were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as a (nice Top-City) spring day itself.

Post script: More to come, I have no idea what my next move is or will be. There is a good chance I may be going on another adventure.


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Hawaii Dave, So what you up to now? So no greater appreciation for your American President after seeing life in another country?

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1:40 AM  
Blogger Mike Sheppard said...


Here are some PC / Bangladesh blogs that I have found. If you know of any others that I have missed please let me know. Thanks!

-Mike Sheppard
RPCV / The Gambia


12:22 PM  
Blogger alex said...


5:08 AM  

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