Monday, September 21, 2009

Depressing Day in the Neighborhood

My friend got kicked out. If I were to make a list of my friends starting with the most likely to get kicked out going down to the last, I might hope to have enough room at the bottom to put this friend, code name Dudesy.

It's a big b.s. story that ends with Peace Corps finding out she rode a moto. That's it.

You know, we're brought here and told to integrate. Part of that integration is to forget all the rules you've learned your entire life. Like, be on time. Don't wipe your mouth on the tablecloth. Don't tell other people they're looking fat today. And we learn. We learn to live this mas o menos lifestyle, where police can be paid off with $5. Where ex-bishop presidents have secret kin running all over the place.

We get a little too comfortable. We forget about that other foot that Peace Corps expects us to keep in America. Some people forget more, some less, some outright pick that foot up and dance out of bounds. Certainly some other volunteers might be feeling a little guilt that we most definitely forgot it more, much more than Dudesy. It's like when your health-nut friend gets cancer, and you think of all the hamburgers and couch hours of your life, and feel even guiltier when you're glad it's not you.

At this point it's not just "Peace Corps," this is your life down here. Your work, your friends, perhaps the person you're in love with, if you're Dudesy. What if suddenly someone banned you from the place where you're living? That's how I imagine it'd feel. So it feels a little like a funeral, in memory of Dudesy's life down here. We made a slideshow of photos, bought her a new termo, ao poi and a hammock, bought her dinner and ice cream. Giving gifts and bringing food, exhibiting all the signs of people at a loss for how to help a sad friend.

We'll miss you Dudesy.

1 comment:

ThinkingMansUhuru said...

Sadly, rules are rules.. and apparently Peace Corps can find out just about anything. I'd love to ride a motorbike if and when I get placed, but I know that it's simply a "liability" and so it's more about gov't lawyers then it is reality.

I think he'll have some great stories to tell and the average employer will look at his experience, maybe even laugh that a volunteer got booted for something as silly as riding a moped.