Saturday, October 24, 2009

let me tell you about a volunteer way more hardcore than me

I'm in the capital this week working on our esteemed volunteer publication the Gringo Grita. We hole up in the library most of the day, editing and laying out and slowly going crazy. Then at night we go out to dinner and hang out with whoever happens to be in the capital. It's a fun way to meet new people. Last night, my friend Jen and I ate some fried rice with a Water volunteer named Bill. Water volunteers in the DR are known for being the most hardcore of all volunteers--they usually live in the most remote sites and are working to build aqueducts, so they lack running water and electricity. (Compare this to my studio apartment with a water tank and air conditioning.) Here are a few excerpts from our conversations:

Me: Hey, what happened to your finger? (Which has a splint on it.)
Bill: Well, I smashed it with a hammer a few days ago working on laying some pipes. I kept drilling into it to drain the pus, and it was fine, but then I mentioned it to Lissette (the doctor) while I was talking to her about something else, and she freaked out and told me to put a splint on it and come into the capital immediately. So I got some popsicles* and taped the sticks to my finger.
Me and Jen: ...
Bill: But it's fine, really. In fact, I think I'm going to take it off right now. (Untapes the popsicle sticks to reveal a horribly swollen, crooked finger.)
Me and Jen: OH MY GOD.
Bill: It's fine!
Jen: It is definitely crooked.
Bill: Yeah, Lissette says I need X-rays.
Me: Put the splint back on! I'm eating.
Bill: This is nothing.

* This is my favorite part of the whole story.

Bill: I've been waiting on funding for my aqueduct, so I've spent like $500 of my own money on it.
Me and Jen: YOU WHAT?

This morning we also experimented with the Peace Corps Challenge game on the PC website. It's purportedly a game designed to simulate the Peace Corps Experience (tm) but it's a way more hardcore experience than ours. We wanted to design our own game, where you sit around the Peace Corps office and have to decide if you want to have pizza or sushi delivered to you. Then, you try to get the office WiFi to work so you can check the movie listings and figure out what you want to see that night. Be careful not to pick something dubbed into Spanish!! When you walk to the movie theater go in a group so you don't get mugged. Also, watch out for potholes in the street! Minus five points if you get garbage water in your flipflops :(

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