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Showing posts from September, 2012

All I Ever Wanted to Be Was A Peace Corps Volunteer: Dedicated to Margarita Sorock

Everyone, Colombian and American, always asks me if I like Cartagena and how long am I going to stay. It seems surprising to both sides that I like it here. When the heat mixes with sewer gases and I have just finished fighting with a taxi driver, I find it surprising too. But then, a few minutes later, when I see the Caribbean and its fishermen straight out of Hemingway´s Old Man and the Sea , floating along a wall the Spanish built 300 years ago, I remember why I am here. However, it is not because of the beauty of the city or sea. Beauty does not replace family, friends, or culture. It does not hide crime, poverty, or corruption.  I am here because all I have ever wanted to be is a Peace Corps Volunteer.   Magarita Sorock, a volunteer in Colombia in the 1960s and current resident of Cartagena, stated this at a party. Her audience was current and former PCVs, a motley crew drinking beers and talking about American politics and the conditions of the schools they worked in; a scenar