2001.10.04

In response to a request from Jane, the associate Peace Corps director, to write how we were feeling today, I wrote the following:

Sawadee krab! Greetings from Thailand.

Life is uncetain, confusing, and full of pain. In America we have managed to control much of the uncertainty in life and have egun to think we are in control of things. But fo the majority of people in the world, life changes without notice or recourse. The power of the individual to affect change in her own life is limited. Thus you are left with the choice of making the best of a situation or being whipped aroudn in the sea of change.

It is tough to pack and leave with little planning. All of my irons were left in the fire, commitments unfulfilled, appointments not met, nacent friendships aborted, dreams unfulfilled, food noteaten, roads not traveled. How cn I leave everything that I know on a whim of someone half a world away?

But I think of the real refugees - in Afghanistan now and in countries around the world throughout history. Their lives are full of uncertianty, turmoil, and suffering - both physical and emotional. And I compare that to my situation - staying for free at a bech resort that people from the Western world save their moeny to visit and then talk of their visit for months afteward, receiving a daily allowance of spending money, having a personal doctor and Thai interpretor available at all times, and having complete faith that every basic need will be taken care of until life returns to normal. Someone in America might call this experience a dream vacation, and I hve to agree. With no control over plans to return to Bangladesh or not, all I can do is enjoy where I am now and make the most of it. Speculating won't help - just as speculating each day in Bangladesh about evacuating would not have helped, but would have hurt my efficiency. What can I do here and now? When decisions are finally made, then i will deal with Bangladesh.

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