The End

Posted in General on October 9, 2009 by Chris

Well, the Peace Corps is no longer a reality. For a primer, see the previous post.

The medical advisor is still demanding a PPD which goes against all the medical advice I’ve received on the matter. Not only is it unsafe, but the results would be meaningless. I picture some 85 year old dude who hasn’t practiced medicine in 30 years sitting behind a desk going down a check list. He gets to the PPD, sees it hasn’t been done, and demands one to be placed; ignoring all the documentation included from me and my doctor on why one can’t be placed.

It’s very frustrating and disappointing to have it all come to an end over something as miniscule as this. I could appeal the decision, but if I win the appeal and am medically cleared do I really want to work with/for a bureaucratic institution that is so inflexible? What happens when I’m in Africa and something comes up that doesn’t fit into their preordained mold of how things work?

Now I gotta figure out what to do with my life…any suggestions?


Frustration sets in…

Posted in General on September 24, 2009 by Chris

Starting to get slightly frustrated with the whole Peace Corps process. More specifically with the medical clearance part of it. Every time I jump through a hoop, another one pops up!

The latest hoop: about 6 yrs ago I tested positive for tuberculosis (TB) via a skin test (PPD). Once you have a positive PPD, indicating exposure to TB, you will ALWAYS have a positive PPD; no ifs, ands, or buts about it. So, in order to rule out active TB, a chest x-ray is needed. My latest being from 3 weeks ago, with the results indicating no TB, in the hands of the Peace Corps.

Now they want documentation indicating a current positive PPD. Do you see the problem? Not only is it GUARANTEED to be positive, the reintroduction of tuberculin into someone with a past history of a positive PPD runs a high risk for a “SEVERE REACTION” per my doctor who, thankfully, refuses to place another PPD.

Africa Work

Posted in General on August 20, 2009 by Chris

Follow the link below below to see a general description of what I’ll be doing in Africa.

Peace Corps Assignment

Putzing Around

Posted in General on July 16, 2009 by Chris

The days are slowly getting closer and closer till the time to leave. Trying to keep my mind focused on the fact I’ll be headed to Africa in about 8 months…WOW!

I’m finding it kind of hard to update this blog with anything of relevance. Not a whole lot happening on the Peace Corps front. However, I did recently buy some “learn to speak French” CD’s…figured I might as well start early.

And I would like to throw out a big THANKS to Honour and Jason for stepping up and offering to watch Zanni!

Where Does Time Go?

Posted in General on June 3, 2009 by Chris

It’s interesting to ponder the thought that on this day a year from now I’ll be turning 30 in some remote African village. While I’m very excited about my upcoming adventure with the Peace Corps I’m also a little (don’t know what word to use, fill in the blank for me) about the fact I’ve never consistently, over time, been a part of something. It seems the American dream includes the climb up the ladder of American corporate success.

I, on the other hand, can’t seem to stay put in one place, or with one thing.  Then again, I’ve always enjoyed the saying “variety is the spice of life”.


Just a reminder: feel free to comment on any and all posts. 

In Need of a Home

Posted in General on May 26, 2009 by Chris

Zanni the cat is starting to inquire about living arrangements while I’m away. Anybody interested in cat sitting for two and 1/2 years? She is 6 yrs old and loves to cuddle. Plays well with dogs but not other cats. Did I mention she is really cute…


Zanni...cute, no?

Zanni...cute, no?

Dead Aid

Posted in General on May 19, 2009 by Chris

I’ve been reading an interesting book…                                                                                      

Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo brings up some interesting thoughts on African aid. Her main premise being that the billions of $’s given to Africa in the form of aid money has been more of a hinderance than a blessing. She argues the continent would be much better off today had it not been for these monies.  

The thinking being that the aid has basically been an unlimited cash cow which retards the economic growth of the receiving country. Why should a country fend for it’s self when a huge check is in the mail? (Of course I’ve grossly oversimplified the matter.)

Kind of gets me thinking about other types of aid…..