Here’s another email that I just had to share. It shows some of the frustrations that the volunteers are having with the Peace Corps hypocrisy. I removed the volunteer’s name for privacy purposes.
Date: Wed, 04 Sep 2002
Well i’m probably on E.B.’s “radar” now but I did want to fill you in on a meeting I had with him a couple of weeks ago (for those of you who don’t have email regularly – this was shortly after Jason was sent home).
I confronted him about the contradiction of web photos displayed and a newspaper article [found here]…. what is the difference?
Basically, with all the talk of the Ofoto (not OTOFOTO – teehee) and personal web page information reprimandment – I asked Earl “where did i sign that I could have my photo released on the front page of the Guyana newspaper (which is also online)?”
He responded with “that is NOT the same thing – we hired someone, we invited them to the swearing in ceremony – and that was their job, to take photos” I replied with “you still didn’t answer my question – where did i sign off to have my photo released?” “i need some clarification because i surely don’t understand what is the difference among a newspaper and the Internet”
He of course didn’t give me a straight answer and rebuked with “well you’re obviously upset that Jason left, but you shouldn’t be mad at me….blah blah blah” I of course said “i’m not even talking about Jason – this is about photo clarification”
He was extremely defensive and mad I was even bringing this up to him – so i said “i’m sorry are you mad at me? You seem defensive and I just need some clarification on this matter – i don’t quite understand the difference” I was rather amused with how it went – me: calm; E.B.: speechless and babbling with annoyance.
I also brought it up that I felt that it’s a big safety and security issue to have all 23 of our site attachments published on a program that could be easily dispersed. He responded with “oh…no…..those were only given to those who were invited to the swearing in” I said “you don’t think it could be handed to one person, which would hand it to another and it could end up in the trash and then someone could pick it up….it’s a safety/security issue.”
Again, it was a rather intersting conversation and I got no real answer – just an ear full of nonsense. So i just wanted to share that with all of you….afterall we are all going thru this journey together :)
Maybe it was unnecessary – but I strongly believe that someone as our Country Director shouldn’t be so contradicting and think it’s okay. There’s a lot going on and perhaps we don’t know everything (like how other volunteers are being sent home, besides Jason) but I also think we should stand up for what we believe. “So that’s my story and i’m sticking to it”
Hope you’re all well and life is in bloom….
Well said. Most of all, I really liked this statement: “I strongly believe that someone as our Country Director shouldn’t be so contradicting and think it’s okay.”
Many of my colleagues felt that I was singled out. For there are other Guyana volunteers who maintain websites, online photo albums, and listserves. And that’s just in Guyana. Worldwide, there must be several hundered, if not thousands of online sites, communities, photo albums, and chat rooms relating to the Peace Corps.
I, however, am the only one that I know of who has been sent home because of it. Thanks for pressing the issue.