05 August 2011

Funnyquote Friday

Catching up with a good buddy of mine Wednesday night on Skype, and mentioning that the Peace Corps is phasing out the program on St. Kitts following my term of service, led to this gem:

"So they figured, [after you,] how could they do better?"

Something like that.  Whatever the reason, though, it's true that my class of EC82 will be the last bunch sent by the U.S. Peace Corps to St. Kitts and Nevis for the foreseeable future.  The disappointment that each one of us volunteers feels is, as you might expect, a fraction of what the host-country national stakeholders feel: projects, burgeoning NGOs, government institutions that have all recently been approved for a new PCV have since been told that their request, while always subject to last minute change, will not be honored.  This change is most likely due to the combined effects of the manifest limitations on the government agency's budget, and the continued rise of living expenses for volunteers (and indeed, everyone) living in this corner of the world.  Speaking just from personal experience, the purchasing power of the average individual here is very small, despite the image that everyone and their kid walks around with a Blackberry®.  Curiously, this seems more often true than not; as first-world amenities come to this developing nation, so does the vanity of having, and more importantly being seen having them.

As for updates, where to start?  The island did experience the threat of Tropical Storm Emily late Monday night and Tuesday morning, but was thoroughly underwhelmed when it only skirted our island to the south, headed for Hispaniola.  I had taken special precautions, "battening down the hatches at the fort" as it were, and was prepared to be awakened at 3AM by what could sound like a train passing just outside my window.  Instead, the electricity came back on at precisely 10PM, never going out again, and it only rained off and on over the course of the night.  We volunteers were on Standfast mode, prepared in the event of a sudden call to consolidate at one of the hotels in town.  This did not happen either, (wisely it seems now,) and the rest of the week has been a calm week like any other in the Caribbean.  Why, Emily didn't even throw off our work schedules: Monday and Tuesday of this week was a national work holiday for SKN in honor of Emancipation Day.  And the long weekend is perfect for revelers to partake in Carnival-styled festivities on Nevis, known as Culturama.  I was not able to see the events this year, but will keep my schedule open for next year.

In other news, the long weekend guaranteed that I finish up my work on the newest issue of the Serious Ting, expected for publication at the end of this month or the start of next.  I'm simultaneously very proud and very tired of the work that went into this issue.  It was my first experience laying out an entire magazine, composed of 40 pages of content, and the outside and inside covers, making 44 individual 8 1/2" x 11" layouts in the span of around 3 weeks.  And while each on is, barring instruction otherwise, set up to be in full color, the big question mark now is whether or not we have the budget to accommodate that luxury.  Time will tell, I guess.  At least there is some talk about hosting a virtual copy on the internet, free to readers.  Should that pan out, I will certainly post the link here for all of you – I recommend it heartily.  I'm also thrilled to say that I finally found a forum for my crosswords, in only my fourth attempt to get one published.  They are high quality, matching all the rules of the best newspaper crosswords (i.e. no less-than-three letter words, every letter goes to two words, radial symmetry) and is to the New York Times puzzle what Junior Varsity football is to Varsity.  So I'm surprised it has taken this long.

That's it on my end for now.  Did I forget anything?  Post a comment!

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