Have you ever lived in a developing country?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : like sands : One Thread

Have you ever considered joining the Peace Corps or doing other sorts of service work in a developing country? If not, do you think you'd be able to survive a year or more in such an environment?

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2000


Actually, I think I am similar to you and would not be able to last a few days without the "comforts" of home. Though it may be interesting to visit and see different cultures and societies.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2000

Well, humans have lived the vast majority of their time without various accoutrements...even as late as the middle ages most of the people were living in tents and cooking their gruel on a cookfire tended with a long spoon and flavored with yesterdays leftovers. So, yeah, I think, if the situation necessitated it, we'd all be able to do that; we're still relatively adapted the the abscence of technology rather than it's prescence, as a species. I even think we'd learn to like it! Living primitively is entirely different from living in squalor, which was really a by-product of technological development, if you think about it.

Oh, yeah. I spent a week in Yosemite, subsisting primarily on a diet of oatmeal, granola, and mac and cheese. The nights were so cold. It was only by the third night that I was convinced that sleeping nearly nude was the best way to keep warm in my sleeping bag. Once, I had to dry out some clothes which had (ahem) been dropped in the lake by one of my friends. I lay them out over my tent overnight and they were as hard as rocks. After about an hour, I was able to bend some of them somewhat as my silk long underwear cracked and snapped, but they were only dry by the end of the day. Of course, the trail mix did have M&M's in it, and the bathrooms (except on hiking trails, of course) were flushies, so I didn't really experience bona fide ruralization...but by the end of the week I swore I was happy hiking 12 miles a day and taking weekly sponge baths in the bathroom sink.

Of course, my body hair grew with a vengance. Luckily it was so cold nobody else was subjected to the sight of it. Should Armageddon ensue, I won't be forgetting my razor.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2000

I enjoy hiking -- for a day.

I enjoy camping -- for a weekend.

I enjoy travel to foreign countries -- but I prefer that they be foreign countries that have London as their major city. Oh, okay, let's make that first world countries where a lot of people speak English.

Mexico was fascinating -- until Montezuma's revenge struck -- I was so sick -- I never want to have that experience again.

My only experiences (not counting Montreal) where English is not the local language are in Mexico City and in Vienna. For the most part I got along fine. But in a few weeks I'm going to France and I'm a bit nervous about how little French I can remember from high school and college (that was a long time ago!)

I admire Peace Corp ideals but I don't think I would cope very well.


-- Anonymous, May 01, 2000

I'd like to be in someplace like Central Asia-- an old,old civilization, and at least urban. I couldn't deal with Africa or Central America. I need electricity, indoor plumbing, water... I loathe the outdoors (bugs, humidity, creepy smells) and I have to have access to books and cafes.

I've been in small villages in Bosnia, but there were things like showers and cafes and radios. Even in the mountains of Friulia, there were vestiges of the urban world to the south...

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2000

I moved to Texas... does that count?

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2000

Sorry about the html tag, guys.

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2000

Thanks, Andrea! I feel like a delinquent forum-owner now for not seeing that...I read everything that gets posted here, but I get the posts via e-mail so I don't usually notice if HTML tags are messed up.

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2000

Yeah, I lived in San Francisco for two weeks back in '96. HA

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2000

I grew up in South Africa. We used to pack up the Land Rover (not the luxury cars you see here in N.A.), and go off into the bush for 6 weeks at a time. (Long vacs down there.) Can't do that anymore.

You get used to the dirt. The animals etc were amazing. Odd going past the Botswana president's house and seeing the yard filled with discarded motorcars. Then disappearing into the bush again.

You get a bit nervous ensuring you've got sufficient supplies and that the animals (monkeys) don't make off with them. You hope nothing goes wrong (health-wise).

But it never seems "bad" because you know eventually you'll be back in the land of showers and hot baths. It's another thing to live in the bush and know you'll never experience a hot bath. But for a few months at a time, or possibly even for a few years, it's an adventure. Not a life sentence.

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ