Friday, June 12, 2009

More ETs

Taken from my journal on Thursday, June 4, 2008:

Today, three more PCVs chose to ET (early termination) from their sites and return back to the States. One was our good friend, Tolga, who was living in a Amerindian and logging community 28 miles into the interior from where Tyler and I live. It was unfortunate, yet necessary as Tolga explained to us. Except, neither Tyler or I wanted him to go. He was one of the three Bartica Boys. We all wear jean shorts, mesh tank tops and mustaches! Now there are only two. Shucks, it’s going to be a shit show this weekend as Tyler and I grieve.

On a slightly more serious note, I am beginning to understand how the morale of a group can be shaken so easily when one or many of its members leave. Like in combat, I suppose, when a soldier is killed. In our case, however, there is no war or fatality tied to our job description and I must mention that I have no idea what it is like to lose a friend in combat. It must be indescribable and overwhelming. With that in mind, the leaving of a close friend has had huge effects on my spirit here. Morale is low, I’m agitated easily and find it extremely difficult to motivate myself to do anything. The heat and humidity just adds to it. So, I think that perception is a very important thing to have positive control over. Especially when one is living in a foreign country below the poverty line. And especially in a time like this, when members of your family are leaving.

I am very excited for Tolga because he has wonderful plans of working in a summer camp in Michigan and then moving to Turkey to get involved with education there. He is one of the most gifted teachers I have ever met, experienced, and partied with. He can captivate anyone and his stage presence in and out of the classroom is unrivaled in Guy 21 and probably against millions of others. In addition to this, he is very smart, very funny, and excellent with children. Ladies, watch out!

Jen Grigsby (or Jen Jen as we know and call her) is one of the three ETing. She loved her job and site here in Guyana, however, she was offered a job position in education that she could not refuse. Strike while the iron is hot I say. It will be sad to see Jen return to Pennsylvania, but I know that she will continue to love her job and love the place she is in. Go Jen, you hot ‘lil iron

Ryan is the third of the three departing in the next 48 hours. He will return to Kentucky and probably ultimately find his way to Colombia as he once shared with me. He is a well traveled individual and I admire his sense of pace in life and his interest in how the world works. Snow peaks and long sparks Ryan!


Rachel said...

Hi Chris,
You most likely don't remember me (I think we worked together at the UCSB corner store my senior year of college? or.. junior?) but I've been reading your blog courtesy of the Facebook link. Amazing stuff! I studied abroad in Barbados so some of what you write about sounds vaguely familiar. Just wanted to say hi and keep up the great work!
Rachel Baudoin

Anastasia said...

I am sorry that you are losing your comrades but look at it this way - more people to send you cards & packages!!