06 June 2011

Peace Corps Day: A Critique

All in all, Peace Corps Day in St. Kitts will be remembered as a success.  So many things went as expected, which is the good news.  Things like the kids showed up – and the showed up in droves.  In truth, we never had more than three classes visiting at one time, and after 9:30AM we very rarely had less than one class visiting.  So there were always people to share the experience with, whether primary school students, local adults in the park, tourists in town, or anybody else.  Not to mention the PCVs, all of whom showed up.  Kudos to my fellow volunteers, since there was some debate as to how important or mandatory this type of activity was, but in the end everybody made an appearance and contributed something to the day's activities.  And not to be forgotten, the DJ showed up, and there was music for everybody.  We got started a little earlier than our NAGICO Insurance counterparts, who were sharing the park that day and also supplied their own DJ, but sound pollution was never a serious problem except when the Police approached our DJ and requested that he lower the volume, as the sound was "disturbing the public."  This, even after we sent an official letter to the police department informing them of our planned activities for the day.

There were some (probably unavoidable) oversights on our part – little things like the decorative Peace Tree's leaves and seed clusters may in fact have been poisonous.  At least that's what some of my Ross University friends claimed.  Also, as it would turn out, the DJ didn't really need a tent, as the weather conditions never even approached rainy and he was shaded by the large trees all day.  Thirdly, another tent was completely superfluous, since the catering service never showed up, due to a communication breakdown and a resultant scheduling error.  This meant that all the children who either (a) brought money for a snack or (b) quite simply did not want to completely dehydrate themselves were out of luck.  My poor Iron Band flock got so thirsty after having fried chicken for lunch and marching around in the sun that I had students begging me for water, a direction to water, or money for water, none of which I could give them.

But all things considered, as I mentioned before, the ultimate goal was to get the word out about the Peace Corps, noting its 50 years of existence and its presence in the Federation since 1966.  Our VAC had this to say regarding Friday's reception by the community:
The games and activities were a great success, keeping the attention of all participants, particularly the school children. Throughout the day, I met various people walking through the park, some locals, some visitors from the cruise ship, who were impressed by the event and for that, you should be very proud of the work you do as Volunteers.
With Peace Corps day through, and an evening of bat catching following, I was thoroughly exhausted this weekend, and used the lull to catch up on rest and drive the savage anxieties of handling the logistics for Peace Corps Day from my tired mind.  It was good; I'm taking the opportunity to introduce my girlfriend to STAR WARS, by way of an episode a week starting with Episode I and continuing chronologically.  I want to find out what it's like to watch them out of order, and see if the experience is particularly different from mine (as well as basically everybody else that is over the age of 13).

I'll probably end up combining May and June for the sake of a highlight video, though I may change my mind; we'll see just as soon as I get some time to look at that.  Right now going through media capture from Peace Corps Day as well as learning my new duties for editing the Serious Ting will be taking up most of my free time.

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