Sunday, September 29, 2013

Answers at the bottom of a bottle

Staring at a bottle of scotch.  It's Johnny Walker Red.  I prefer Black, but you can get a bottle of Red for the equivalent of 16 American dollars.  It is just me and the bottle though: no glass.  Drinking straight out of a bottle feels like a problem.  A glass would imply some sort of control over the situation.  Really though, it is just inconvenient to clean my one glass.  You have to go to the well, draw water, wash the glass by hand and then rinse and dry it or you end up with soapy tasting booze.  That's a lot of work when you don't really need the glass to begin with.


I haven't known what to write about for quite some time.  Lost the ability to express what I'm experiencing.  Mostly I'm just bored.


The little things people are always amazed that I deal with are really nothing.  To live an hour out on a dirt road from a town that is itself far off the beaten path.  To not have regular electricity (honestly, it is amazing I have any).  Water comes from a well.   Language, culture, isolation.  Food.  I live with an inordinate variety of animals.   You get used to it all.  It's not even hard after awhile.  Don't get me wrong: fuck cockroaches; I kill those on sight.  Flies too as they spread disease.  And I've poisoned a number of mice cause those bitches get into food that has been shipped specifically for me from America.  That's worthy of capital punishment in my book.  Ants, lizards, spiders, frogs, and the rest pretty much just passively exist in my home.  I don't care.  What gets you is when you ask yourself why you are putting up with all those things to being with.  And you don't have an answer.


Work is not going anywhere.  Everyone tries to tell you that it is the relationships you build, the individuals you touch and inspire, and the people who walk away empowered to change their lives.  That sounds all fantastic, but I don't give a damn.  Strange individuals?  Couldn't care less.  I care about friends and family, but strangers have never moved me in the slightest.  I want to change systems and create opportunities so that those who are actually worth a damn can move up.  I had amazing chances growing up mostly because of the hard work put in by my parents and theirs before them.  And because of our culture's idea that if you work hard you deserve to progress.  I have a debt to society and want to pay it by providing others with a chance too.  But not a handout.


Development is broken.  I could talk about it all day.  The Peace Corps was designed as a diplomacy organization and has just not sorted itself out to do development.  Virtually all the development organizations I have run into (and it is an extreme rarity) don't have people on the ground.  I may have already told this joke… Missionary sees an African in a hole trying to get out; he throws a bible to him and walks off.  NGO worker sees  an African in a hole trying to get out; he throws a bunch of money to him and walks off.  Peace Corps Volunteers sees an African in a hole trying to get out; he jumps in and asks him how he's doing.  "I really could just use a ladder."


I don't have an answer, but I'll keep looking.  I believe it might be at the bottom of this bottle.  If not, there are others to search.


Wait!  I just got it: the answer is "ladders"!