Wednesday, April 22, 2009

happy earth day!

I thought about organizing some sort of Earth Day celebration at the school, but then I decided I couldn't really bear the crushing defeat when it inevitably fell apart or suffered tragically low attendance or just exploded. Instead I'm trying to install Windows on some computers at my center, and also celebrating the fact that we just got Internet here!! Hooray. Also, I put up some posters for the Photoshop class I'm going to start soon, si Dios quiere, although it just started pouring rain so all the outdoor ones are probably ruined. Stupid Dios.

What else? I just finished reading the book The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost. It's not really about the sex lives of cannibals, it's about his two years living on the small Pacific island of Tarawa, where his girlfriend was working for an NGO and where he was basically just hanging out. I relate to it way more than I do to the Peace Corps narrative books I've read, which are all like "Blah blah blah I built a clinic and dug a million wells and saved my village from destruction by evil imperialist slugs.¨" In contrast, here's an excerpt from Troost's book:

"The longer we spent on Tarawa the more Sylvia and I came to realize that to live on Tarawa is to experience a visceral form of bipolar disorder. There is the ecstatic high, when you find yourself swept away in a lagoonside maneaba rumbling to the frenzied singing and dancing of hundreds of rapturous islanders. And there are the crushing lows, when you succumb to a listless depression, brought about by the unyielding heat, sporadic sickness, pitiless isolation, food shortages, and the realization that so much of what ails Tarawa, the overpopulation and all its attendant health and social problems, need not be as bad as it is."
-- J. Maarten Troost, The Sex Lives of Cannibals, p. 207

Which it's kind of sad that I relate to life of someone who is UNEMPLOYED, but also I think that Peace Corps/NGO lives in places like Tarawa and the DR are different from the kind of countries that get Peace Corps books written about them (mostly African nations). And especially I am sure that no Information Technology volunteer has ever written an inspirational memoir of any sort. Oh well, at least now I can check my email every day! (Until our router inevitably breaks.)

Also, as I type this, some Dominican muchacho is using the new Internet to play awesome American music: Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio, Single Ladies by Beyonce, and That One Song by Linkin Park. God bless you, The Internet.

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