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Hey! Thanks for pointing out that I missed Indonesia on my list of Peace Corps countries by GDP. I edited the post to add Indonesia to my list :) I checked out your main blog and love your posts about Indonesia. I just started a second blog and interviewing PCVs about food/cooking in their host country (cookinginthecorps on tumblr). If you have time to answer some questions via e-mail, I would love to interview you! Message me back if you are interested. Thanks again!

Asked by graceoverseas

Hey! Thanks for checking out my PC blog. I really like yours too and thanks for including Indonesia in the post. :) I’d love to answer your questions. You can email me a melanie.m.aleman [at] gmail.com.

08.31.14 1
"Posh Corps" By the Numbers

graceoverseas:

I’ve been thinking a lot about “Posh Corps” lately. For those who haven’t heard the phrase before, it’s a dismissive term to categorize Peace Corps service in seemingly more developed countries (particularly Eastern Europe, Thailand, China, and South Africa.). The other volunteers in my area and I have been discussing this a lot recently, as our small province has the highest GDP per capita in Thailand and one of the largest PCV clusters. One new volunteer told us that his co-workers offered to buy him a smart phone, while another told me about how her host family is always worried that she doesn’t earn enough money. My own experience has been a mixed bag: students with iPads studying next to kids with no shoes; neighbors driving swanky, new SUVs on pot-holed roads that haven’t been repaired in years; the new wealth of families who have sold their farmland to foreign companies; a crumbling local infrastructure that hasn’t quite caught up with the influx of money.

While thinking through this, I decided to do some research and put together a list of Peace Corps countries ranked by GDP per capita (according to World  Bank data in 2013). Surprisingly, Thailand doesn’t even crack the top 10. Kazakhstan takes the top position with a GDP per capita of $13,172 USD, while Thailand comes in 19th with a GDP per capita of $5,779 USD. On the other hand, my province Rayong has a Gross Provincial Product per capita of $40,277 USD, or more than 6 times the GDP per capita of Thailand and more than 2.5 times the GDP per capita of Palau. If my province was a country, it would rank 18th highest GDP per capita in the world- above New Zealand, The United Kingdom, and Japan! UNREAL.

Obviously, these statistics don’t paint a full picture of any place. GDP per capita estimates vary greatly depending on the reporting agency and don’t account for income disparity within a population. And while Rayong’s GDP per capita may be comparable to New Zealand, The UK, and Japan, those countries are far, far ahead in terms of education, health, and infrastructure development. Yet, I do think these numbers raise an interesting question: At what point of economic development does Peace Corps no longer belong in a country or region? Do we stay until we are asked to leave? Do we stay until it becomes simply unreasonable to live on a volunteer salary? (I can’t imagine living in the UK on less than $300 a month, but it’s perfectly comfortable for my site.) Personally, while I certainly think Peace Corps still has a place in Thailand, I’m not sure that place is Rayong. 

Click below for a list of Peace Corps countries by GDP per capita

Read More

Really cool post on the GDP of Peace Corps countries although Indonesia has been left out!

08.30.14 4
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.

— Bob Marley - “Redemption Song” - Uprising (1980)

08.20.14 1
Zoom
08.19.14 146
What does seventy million years mean to beings who live one-millionth as long? We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.

— Carl Sagan, Cosmos pg. 27  (via laughing-treees)

08.17.14 2694
In happy hours, nature appears to us one with art; art perfected, — the work of genius. And the individual, in whom simple tastes and susceptibility to all the great human influences overpower the accidents of a local and special culture, is the best critic of art. Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.

Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Art

Essays: First Series (1841)

08.12.14 0
Nature transcends all our moods of thought, and its secret we do not yet find.

Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Art

Essays: First Series (1841)

08.12.14 0
When science is learned in love, and its powers are wielded by love, they will appear the supplements and continuations of the material creation.

Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Art

Essays: First Series (1841)

We are all made of stars.

08.12.14 1
In nature, all is useful, all is beautiful. It is therefore beautiful, because it is alive, moving, reproductive; it is therefore useful, because it is symmetrical and fair. Beauty will not come at the call of a legislature, nor will it repeat in England or America its history in Greece. It will come, as always, unannounced, and spring up between the feet of brave and earnest men.

Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Art

Essays: First Series (1841)

08.12.14 1
As soon as beauty is sought, not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker. High beauty is no longer attainable by him in canvas or in stone, in sound, or in lyrical construction; an effeminate, prudent, sickly beauty, which is not beauty, is all that can be formed; for the hand can never execute any thing higher than the character can inspire.

Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Art

Essays: First Series (1841)

08.12.14 1
I should think fire the best thing in the world, if I were not acquainted with air, and water, and earth. For it is the right and property of all natural objects, of all genuine talents, of all native properties whatsoever, to be for their moment the top of the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Art

Essays: First Series (1841)

08.12.14 0
Because the soul is progressive, it never quite repeats itself, but in every act attempts the production of a new and fairer whole. This appears in works both of the useful and the fine arts, if we employ the popular distinction of works according to their aim, either at use or beauty. Thus in our fine arts, not imitation, but creation is the aim.

Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Art

Essays: First Series (1841)

08.12.14 0
Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Song: Dosed
Album: By The Way
Plays: 1,996
audio

This song is everything. Perfect in every way.


I got dosed by you and
Closer than most to you and
What am I supposed to do
Take it away I never had it anyway
Take it away and everything will be okay

In you a star is born and
You cut a perfect form and
Someone forever warm
Lay on lay on lay on lay on
Lay on lay on lay on lay on

Way upon the mountain where she died
All I ever wanted was your life
Deep inside the canyon I can hide
All I ever wanted was your life

SHOW LOVE WITH NO REMORSE
and climb onto your seahorse
and this ride is right on course
This is the way I wanted it to be with you
This is the way I knew that it would be with you

Lay on lay on lay on lay on
Lay on lay on lay on lay on

Way upon the mountain where she died
All I ever wanted was your life
Deep inside the canyon I can hide
All I ever wanted was your life

I got dosed by you and
Closer than most to you and
What am I supposed to do
Take it away…I never had it anyway.
Take it away and everything will be okay

Way upon the mountain where she died
All I ever wanted was your life
Deep inside the canyon I can hide
All I ever wanted was your life

08.06.14 457
Zoom wandering-adventurer:

▲
07.31.14 368
Artist: John Powell & Jonsi
Song: Where No One Goes
Album: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Plays: 289
audio

The most majestic song ever. The sound of flying and freedom.

No doubt Sigur Ros’s frontman, Jonsi, would come up with this kind of sound.

07.23.14 38