Thursday, July 31, 2008

Finally, someone to look up to

For all those who say "why on earth do you live in the heck-holes when you clearly have no soul and are only making yourself hot and miserable" I offer the following story:

I met a woman today who is currently living in Africa. However, in her youth she worked for nine years as an NGO worker in, wait for it, Barbados. Yes, that's right, Barbados. In the first part of her posting, she met a man, another American, they married, purchased a 300 year old planatation home with, I like to think, wide open views of the sea, huge, creaky verandas and a hammock on every corner. For NINE YEARS they had a boat they would sail around the smaller islands on the weekends and sundowners could be enjoyed, not with the roar of the generator, but the sound, again I like to think, of windchimes. And by day, she still fought poverty or injustice or ringworm or whatever the cause du'jour was then!

Why is she not still there, you ask, sitting in her reclining deck chair reading the lasted UNAIDS report on behavior change? Ahh, she made a fatal error, one I would NEVER be so silly as to make. She started worrying about her career. Thinking she would be pigeon-holed as the Barbados woman and never really reach the lofty heights of endless meetings and procurement bureaucracy that she could if she were out in the larger world.

So they left.

See, I would never do that. I say, right now, if I get posted to Barbados, get a husband, a 300 year old plantation home and a hammock with windchimes, you will have to cut my arms off to drag me away, so tightly will I be gripping the pillar outside my turqouise front door.

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