Welcome to JP Melville's review, experience, and statement on foreign aid and the international development industry. A conservative faith in family. A love affair riding the riotous tensions between money, personal freedom, the majestic travesty of our specie's ecological footprint, and economic politics. Selected writing of both prose and poetry, anecdotal travel log to rhetorical essay, dating back from the 1980's to the present. Enjoy!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Collected Notes of a Volunteer #1 - Sex

Sex, The Opposite Sex, Race, Class, Disparity
All Those Things About Which We Are No Longer Allowed To Laugh[1]

What's the difference between light and hard?
You can sleep with a light on.
What do you call a guy driving a Rolls Royce?
Really.  A chauffeur?  A driver?  A cabby who doesn't know when he's got too much of a good thing?  A car thief?
For all the agriculturalists who are interested in cultural trivia:
Why does Dolly Parton have such a small waist?
Because things don't grow well in the shade.

No longer able to laugh?  My thought is simple.  While poorer people in poorer countries are invariably experiencing cultural upheaval as they are dragged into the industrial age, affecting even the minutest details of their lives, so too are we.  We do not purchase fuel for our cars, buy cocoa, think of coconut, drink a fair-trade coffee without thought of something… oh but we love our coffee.  Upheaval for a moment.  Sigh.  Political correctness.  Exhaustively self-conscious, we rage against ourselves in the name of utopia.  

[1] A volunteer in international development has been almost invariably someone who chooses to work in a poor country for, say, the financial equivalent of a local salary, sometimes called a stipend.  The dollar amount figure and value of volunteering is (and is not) irrelevant.  There is full health insurance, travel to and from the country, a housing allowance, and various other benefits, depending on the program and organization.  Your local national colleagues have the salary equivalent – minus the benefits + the kickbacks.  Maybe it works out the same.

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