Tuesday, June 17, 2008


'How was it?' like you came back from a movie.

-- PCV Rich Schreib, on how people may ask us about our time in the Peace Corps, expecting a brief answer to a question that may not ever be answerable, June 6, 2008

I no longer wanted to be permanently temporary, but in many ways I am.

-- RPCV Ed Bresnyan, Sr. Rural Development Economist, The World Bank/Honduras, June 4, 2008

Well I guess it ain't easy doing nothing at all, oh yeah

But hey, man, free rides just don't come along every day.

-- The Offspring, Why Don't You Get A Job?

Last week was our COS conference (close of service, for those of you who don't speak acronym), which walks us through various aspects of the procedures to check us out from Peace Corps Honduras, and to psych us up for going back to the U.S. more generally. Career options, how to parlay our Peace Corps experiences into our next adventures, how to describe it effectively to non-Peace Corps people, etc. The first two of those quotes come from that conference (Rich was going over a list that small groups had come up with as possible stressors once we get back and Ed was part of a panel of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers).

The last is, of course, from The Offspring's 1998 song from its album Americana, and occurred to me thinking about the phenomenon of jalóning that I and other PCVs do more or less regularly. Allow me to tell you that if you are a gringo in Honduras of a certain demographic (and you dress the part), free rides do just come along, if you wait long enough.

So that meeting was a good experience if a little dry and repetitive ("Wait, which is our routing number for our Readjustment Allowance direct deposit?") and a great chance to see the other members of Hondu 9, aka Hondu Awesome aka Hondu Rock 'n' Roll. It's a sobering moment to think that as of the end of that conference, I had but 91 days left in Honduras, and now that is about 81. So that's going to be interesting, making that transition.

I don't really have any plans after September 6, when I am planning to fly back to the U.S., from either Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula, then to Miami or Houston, and finally to Raleigh-Durham. I'm working in some capacity at the 2008 International on Urban Parks from September 21-23 in Pittsburgh. Then it's campaign season, and I'm going to try to get a job with some candidate or another, or failing that, volunteer with someone. (I'm backing Obama now, check Fundrace to see my donation once that gets posted.)

So I'm going to try to finish strong in San Manuel. I just worked on a big electrification study which will hopefully turn out to be something rather than a bunch of wasted effort. All in all, I'm very ambivalent about leaving. I desperately want to leave some aspects but sometimes I feel somewhat unfullfilled and want to stay until I can complete my mission, whatever intangible that thing might be.

I've got around six more trips on the San Manuel bus--a trip which I never really enjoy--and I don't really look forward to any of them. Both because I don't much like the ride, but also because of all the other stuff. Ambivalence is the order of the day.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go for it! Whatever you can eke out of the place.

9:41 PM  

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