April 6, 2003 - Grinnell College: Elaine Aron in Cape Verde

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Cape Verde: Peace Corps Cape Verde : The Peace Corps in Cape Verde: April 6, 2003 - Grinnell College: Elaine Aron in Cape Verde

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, April 06, 2003 - 4:49 pm: Edit Post

Elaine Aron in Cape Verde

Elaine Aron in Cape Verde

Elaine Aron

major: anthropology/Spanish
destination: Cape Verde, West Africa
job: teaching English

Cape Verde is an archipelago of 10 islands. Before it was colonized by the Portuguese to be used in the slave trade, it was uninhabited. Portuguese and Cape Verdean creole (a combination of archaic Portuguese and different West African languages) are spoken.

I am doing Peace Corps because I wanted to live and volunteer abroad after graduating. I looked at other agencies, and Peace Corps seemed to offer the most benefits and support. I look forward to teaching, as I'm considering a career in teaching English as a second language or bilingual education here in the states. I am also very excited to learn new languages.

I actually had a lot of apprehensions about Peace Corps and its vision of "development". I still feel uncomfortable with the notion of being some kind of cultural imperialist funded by the US government to enlighten and assimilate the poor "undeveloped" masses abroad. However, I find solace in the fact that these countries invited Peace Corps to bring volunteers in certain requested positions and that, according to Peace Corps at least, there aren't skilled host country nationals who could have filled these roles. Also, like it or not, English is the lingua franca of today's world and I will be aiding my students in communicating themselves to those who don't speak Portuguese or CV Creole. So if they want to use their English to tell the United States to piss off, more power to them. I must admit that while I have my reservations about Peace Corps' agenda, I am very curious about how they function and how they are perceived and received by the host country.

In Cape Verde, I hope to put my all into being the best teacher I can be. I hope to learn more about the world around me and about myself through living in a place so different from where I am right now. I am going right now because of the wanderlust, the curiosity, and the fact that I am responsible for no one and nothing after graduation, and I don't know when my life will be like that again. I have absolutely no idea what to expect. Really, it's just like an empty spot in my head, where I imagine parts of my study abroad in Costa Rica and pretend that that's maybe what it'll look like, even though I know that it's totally wrong. I just hope that my roommate wants to learn the languages as much as me.

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Story Source: Grinnell College

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Cape Verde



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