2005.06.28: June 28, 2005: Headlines: COS - Bangladesh: Blogs - Bangladesh: Personal Web Ste: Peace Corps Volunteer Root writes: During all of these formative years of mine, I watched and experienced a steady progress of time. Now, living here in Bangladesh, time is not following this pattern.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Bangladesh: Peace Corps Bangladesh : Peace Corps Bangladesh: Newest Stories: 2005.06.28: June 28, 2005: Headlines: COS - Bangladesh: Blogs - Bangladesh: Personal Web Ste: Peace Corps Volunteer Root writes: During all of these formative years of mine, I watched and experienced a steady progress of time. Now, living here in Bangladesh, time is not following this pattern.

By Admin1 (admin) (70.250.72.124) on Sunday, September 28, 2008 - 1:18 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Volunteer Root writes: During all of these formative years of mine, I watched and experienced a steady progress of time. Now, living here in Bangladesh, time is not following this pattern.

Peace Corps Volunteer Root writes: During all of these formative years of mine, I watched and experienced a steady progress of time. Now, living here in Bangladesh, time is not following this pattern.

Time. It is odd how we view and experience time. For the majority of my life, I have always viewed the passage of time in terms of school years and academic calendars. My life flowed on the redundant river, which is way over used, as I passed through an easy nine month block of scholastic progress with the needed three month vacation when I somehow managed to evolve to the point of jumping up one entire grade level, yet I still feel like I never really learned what I was supposed to which made me no longer a third grader but now a full fledged fourth grader. Regardless, it has traditionally always been this progress through the grades that I viewed time. Even post graduation from my place of higher education, I still used this lens in which to mark the time. Living in DC, I was still connected enough to the academic world that I had no need to discard these lenses which have served me so well. Two aspects of my perception of time are paramount to my experience here. Firstly, time has stopped. There is no flow, no progress, I rest in stasis without the steady change and growth. I am locked in a little eddy of still water as the river rages around me. My friends and family continue with their separate journeys, the world continues to drive head long on to continued destruction; but, it is I here that am stagnant, watching the changes of the world around me. Funny, I canít explain why I feel stagnant. Perhaps it is cause I have so much time on my hands now, endless quantities of time that I struggle with daily to fill and be occupied. Yet, I think that I have learned how to just be and relax and float down the daily passage of everyday time.

Peace Corps Volunteer Root writes: During all of these formative years of mine, I watched and experienced a steady progress of time. Now, living here in Bangladesh, time is not following this pattern.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Time. It is odd how we view and experience time. For the majority of my life, I have always viewed the passage of time in terms of school years and academic calendars. My life flowed on the redundant river, which is way over used, as I passed through an easy nine month block of scholastic progress with the needed three month vacation when I somehow managed to evolve to the point of jumping up one entire grade level, yet I still feel like I never really learned what I was supposed to which made me no longer a third grader but now a full fledged fourth grader. Regardless, it has traditionally always been this progress through the grades that I viewed time. Even post graduation from my place of higher education, I still used this lens in which to mark the time. Living in DC, I was still connected enough to the academic world that I had no need to discard these lenses which have served me so well.

During all of these formative years of mine, I watched and experienced a steady progress of time. Now, living here in Bangladesh, time is not following this pattern. Two aspects of my perception of time are paramount to my experience here. Firstly, time has stopped. There is no flow, no progress, I rest in stasis without the steady change and growth. I am locked in a little eddy of still water as the river rages around me. My friends and family continue with their separate journeys, the world continues to drive head long on to continued destruction; but, it is I here that am stagnant, watching the changes of the world around me. Funny, I canít explain why I feel stagnant. Perhaps it is cause I have so much time on my hands now, endless quantities of time that I struggle with daily to fill and be occupied. Yet, I think that I have learned how to just be and relax and float down the daily passage of everyday time. This is funny because it is while I am here that I have changed so much. At least, that is what I suppose. This is Peace Corps, this is living and breathing the damp dank air of the over humanized zealot Bangladesh. I know in my mind that I was supposed to have to have changed here, but I donít see it. Where is that three month break before I enter the higher grade, informing me that yes indeed David, you have grown? Where is the self-awareness of ones own development? Some here have it, I do not. Will those friends and family of mine be shocked with the evolved David as he crawls out of this land?

I will leave this experience with a wife. That is change. Obviously, my life and my being has been transformed into something new. Four nights ago was the first time that Shannon and I have slept apart in nearly exactly eight months. How can a man not be changed after sleeping with such a wonderful woman all that time? We spend nearly every moment of every day in the same room. My consciousness is not complete with out her. Iím not sure I can accurately view the world without my Love in my view. Some may shake their head in disgust at the loss of independence, but I can only laugh at them. Do they not realize that I have never been so complete? I am by far a greater creature now than I have ever been before. I am stronger, smarter, and definitely more compassionate. Yet, here I am wondering as to my own change. How am I stronger, smarter, and more compassionate? I am more of a realist now, still an idealist and also probably more militant as well. Is this true? Are these things that the people who have known me be able to see and pick out as a change in my character? This will all be something for you to decide. Unfortunately, there are only a very few of you that have known me on a large enough timeline to attempt to mark these changes.

So, if you failed to read that last paragraph, I am stagnant. Time is on hold and I am locked in the 23yr old body and mind that I came here with. (But then again, I always considered myself old for my age, but now I think I have started to catch up.) The second aspect of time perception here deals with the seasons. Never have I been so aware of the subtle, and not so subtle, changes that exist with the world and its passage through space and time. The seasons change here. The seasons never made a big deal for me in the states. Why would they? Though I lived in northern climates, with long cold winters, I have had the luxury of living separate and removed from these natural time markers. In the states, we live everyday in artificial environments that place us on a different plane of existence from those that do not. Here, I do not have those luxuries. The monsoon has finally arrived. It was about 7-10 days late, and that little difference I felt, and I have only been in this environment for two years! Nearly overnight, my existence went from a hot and humid oppression to a dank, mud infested, moldy and mildew bed of a world, but it is cool. At least cooler than the hell that gripped us for the past three and half months. Its still humid, it is as if I have gone swimming fully clothed and am now walking around a dark and subdued swamp. Everything is wet, mold and mildew have sprung up everywhere and on everything. The bed in which I share with my wife reeks of microscopic organisms and fungus and everything has a damp feel to them. Nothing is dry. Then again, this marks the start of the blessed fruit season. Mangoes and pineapples are flooding the markets. Palatable vegetables have disappeared, but that happened three months ago. So during the past three months we existed in a world of no food. There was, and is, rice. There is always rice. But now we have fruit! It is hard for me to explain why this is so important. The environments here are not simply mere changes in the temperature and amount of moisture in the air, it is a complete change in diet. During the winter months, we freeze at night as there is no system of heating in our cement block world. We eat rice and vegetables, no fruit. The hot season hits and we are baked in our cement block world. We lose the vegetables and yearn for our fruits. We are a continual pool of salty sweat, nothing we touch is dry due to that sweat, and hot oppressive heat prevents us from moving in the world. Then the monsoon blasts us from India. The time in which the mosquitoes will reign supremeÖall fucking day long! Everything is wet, not with salty sweat but with cool refreshing rain. Too bad the fabrics that get wet donít remain cool and refreshing. They become damp breeding grounds for spores and fungus and everything crawls with the algaeic growth of slime. The streets are flooded and everything is a giant mud pit. But for lunch, we eat the best fruit salad imaginable. The relentless heat has been beaten back, and now we are locked into our cement block world due to the incessant downpour of thunder and lightning as storms roll across the landscape. The twilight sky of sunset is phenomenal. The blazing sun finally drops below the clouds and fires off amazing tendrils of light that fuse in surreal color combinations that few artists could ever imagine.

Through all of this, I exist. I feel these changes and within a year my body is tuned to these rhythms of this world. Never before have I felt such a tuning of body and environment. Everything of this environment effects me, there is no escape, I must adapt to the weather around me. How far removed we have become in the states?




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: June, 2005; Peace Corps Bangladesh; Directory of Bangladesh RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Bangladesh RPCVs; Blogs - Bangladesh





When this story was posted in September 2008, this was on the front page of PCOL:




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Story Source: Personal Web Ste

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Bangladesh; Blogs - Bangladesh

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