Monday, June 22, 2009

The Meat and Potatoes

It was brought to my attention the other day that I really haven't spent any time writing journals about what I have been doing at my site as a volunteer, what the day-to-day is like where I live, what my community is like, etc.

So let's address this, because I think it was a very important inquiry and a legitimate request. It makes me really happy when I get a message like this because it means that there is room for me to improve in my journaling.

For starters, I am going to write about everything I've mentioned above* and encourage all of you to ask me questions, request certain topics in my posts, or simply tell me what you think about the things you read. Part of this exercise in journaling is not to just practice my writing, record my thoughts, or showcase my growth as an individual. Nor is it to set the grounds for a publication. I want this to primarily be a way for readers to freely access excerpts of what it is like for me to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guyana. This can help others who are interested in volunteering gain perspective as well as help non-Guyanese get to know Guyana more intimately. This is where globalization meets the road for me. I want Americans to look out their windows more often an observe what their neighbors are doing. This journal is only one, small representation of our changing world.

I want those who read to feel like they can have some sort of connection with this country and its culture. In no way am I unbiased, but I believe my studies at University help to give me a perspective that is informative and as balanced as one can be. This is why I value feedback so much. If I stray to far towards topics that are introspective, then readers will not have a chance to read about things like how much I sweat in a day, or what dhal and rice tastes like, or how to make roti with chicken curry. Please remember to ask these kinds of questions whenever you want to know something and I will try to publish what I experience and not just what goes on in my head.

*There are some restrictions, however. And, behind words and phrases like: confidentiality, "safety & security", and "upholding the constitution from threats both foreign and domestic," I am not allowed to reveal certain details of what I do and where I live. I will describe to the best of my ability what my community is like and the things I do at my site without disturbing the people who have enforce these restrictions. Unfortunately... I mean fortunately I value my job.

Thank you for all the comments, questions, and requests so far. Please keep them coming and in the efforts to share while following the Peace Corps mandated censorship rules I will continue to look for the line between acceptable and unacceptable and walk right up to it.

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