I work within the Peace Corps framework. I dot my i’s, I cross my t’s. I fear I give the impression of a self loathing Peace Corps Volunteer. I certainly have plenty of loathing in me, not much of it is directed at Peace Corps. Peace Corps is a good thing in a scale of things being either good or bad. It does good things, it has good people, it is good that it exists, it is better that it is here than not here. I think these things absolutely yet it still seems futile. The aim of development here is so Sisyphusian as to somehow seem immoral to me. I can’t help but fear there is always an intention to make things here in our own image. To white wash them. A vague hope that one day all Gambians will be able to drink a cold can of coke and live to 85.

I like life here – the culture, the traditions, the mentality. I don’t want to change it. I don’t want to disrupt it. I know it can’t remain in the atavistic state it has been in, I just don’t want to see it dragged kicking and screaming through the development process into a hellish modernity. But I still want to be a good person. I am still a person in my own image. I will still do good Peace Corps things. This week painting my library walls white and repainting the blackboards at the school.

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