I need to have a little rant against some of the bullshit that is thrown at us during our Peace Corps training. This is in no way an attack on any of the staff here in The Gambia who have all proved to be dedicated to ensuring I am prepared for the work I have ahead of me. No, this is a rant against Peace Corps Inc. This behemoth which is controlled from some deep recess of some gloomy office in Washington D.C which spits out powerpoint presentations that fester amongst our training schedule inducing resentment and sloth.
One such powerpoint presentation, which is accompanied by a meticulously tedious script, discussed the purpose, goals, and objectives of our mission. This semantic bullcrap infuriates me and takes so long to say nothing. It spins you round and round in circles challenging you to differentiate between what is a purpose, what is a goal, what is an objective. You end up reflecting on what little information you do have so much that you feel like you are in a hall of mirrors. Trying to split up such a broad process as coming to a developing country to work in education and put your goals/purpose/objective into narrow boxes. Following splitting up our lives into goals, purposes and objectives, we then had to discuss the what the outputs, the outcomes and impacts would be. The impact/outcome/output of this was merely a deep resentment of Washington. The only benefit was that it fostered a growing anticipation to get out to my school and village, forget all this jargon, do some good, work hard, and enjoy myself.
The final blow that powerpoint inflicted on me was the final slide – a picture of a river with the blurb “Your work is like raindrops, your project is a river” BARF!