06 July 2006

Saving the world, stabbing one back at a time.

I wanted to save the world. I wanted to hold babies while they drank milk I just flew in on my plane to the starving plains of Africa; I wanted to drop food from the air to the expanse below with the promise of food and a better life; I wanted to help schools improve and demonstrate for the world that first-world citizens are generous, good people with deep pockets and warm hearts. But nobody wants to let me do that, probablly becasue I can't fly a plane and I'm prone to dropping babies. Still, no one will even let me help do these things. It's like there is a club and I'm not invited. Or even allowed into the lobby. Or to stand on the sidewalk.

I applied to go to graduate school and study international development but was denied. Drop kicked. Thanks for trying, we'll keep that hundred bucks application fee, please come again. I was informed that because I don't have a degree in politics or international relations, I needed to have some work experience in international development before they could see that I was committed to studying with them. Right. Never mind that I am a good manager, speak three languages, whooped that GREs butt with my high scorin' information absorbin' brain, and have already lived overseas for five years. Where I grew up we studied things that we could use to make money which is why I have a degree in food science (that and I like the foods). It might be prosaic, but I guarantee that few of the people who were allowed to study in my place know how to sanitize well water, preserve the bioavailability of calcium in milk or process cereal grain so it can be cooked into porridge at low heat. And I bet none of them ever created their own pop-tart.

So, now I live in DC. I work as a grant writer at the brightly colored poligonal object. I constantly chase interviews with NGOs and nonprofits doing development work overseas. And I constantly get the at-arms-length, gotta-have-experience-before-we-can-give-you-experience, no,-aid-work-is-not-like-any-other-work run around. Maybe aid work isn't like any other work. Maybe that's why it is so incredibly ineffective. Bitter, much? Yes.

All I can say is I CAN DO YOUR JOB. So don't act like you having it will keep me from getting it. See what this industry does to people? Helping the needy? No thanks, I'm to busy stabbing my way to the top of the pile. OUTTA THE WAY STARVING BABY! RICH PEOPLE NEED TO SQUABBLE ABOUT WHO GETS TO HOLD THE BAG OF FOOD!