Monday, October 25, 2010

Privileged Lifestyle

In response to the most recent blog, "Lifetime Volunteer," a recent anonymous commenter wrote, "In a way you are living the upper class lifestyle in these countries you are in, because you have an upper class standard of living provided to you (compared to other host country nationals), and you have more money than they do to spend indiscriminately, on travel, on clothing, on food and so forth."

I agree with the commenter that as a PC volunteer, we have a different standard of living than the host country nationals.  In Africa, I was lent a two room house for one person; whereas, the people living in my village had tons of people living in each house.  I had good medical care provided by PC and I received a teacher's salary that was the same as the local teachers.  My money went a longer way because I wasn't married with a family.  

In China, I am given a nice flat with lots of amenities, good health care and actually I receive half as much as the teachers at my university.  Chinese university teachers make 3000 RMB.  I only get 1500 RMB, but again I don't have a family to support so 1500 RMB is plenty.

As a volunteer, it is a privileged lifestyle.  I do not have to worry about health, food, clothes, water, shelter.  It is all provided for me.  That is the type of lifestyle I want, one where I am not working to death to meet my basic needs plus having some extra pocket money to eat a special treat.

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