Sunday, December 2, 2007

where do we fit?

i'm constantly amazed at my procrastination skills. somehow i believed that after college i would stop putting work off... right.

i've been reading more about the dominican and its relation to the world community. i guess this doesn't really count as procrastination except that i do it in place of doing something that really needs to be done - like finishing the English Grammar Book that i'm supposed to be writing (and have had finished two weeks ago!!) or cleaning my house.

after hurricane noel - tropical storm? - i decided it was important for me to know our position in the universe ... mainly politically. so, i read some things.

did you know that the global poverty line is drawn for anyone living on less than one american dollar a day. in dominican terms, that's less than $30 pesos a day and less than $1000pesos a month. under this rule only the unemployed in america would count as poor or impoverished.

some 40% of dominicans live under this invisible line. but to me it seems that anyone who makes more than $30 pesos a day is rich. so not true. the cost of living on this island is incredible. in fact, it's the one thing that every ex-pat i know gripes about. when planning budgets, they always allot less money for food and transportation than necessary. add on 16% sales tax and forget about it.

a professional... let's say, a teacher (because i have direct experience with teacher salaries) makes about $400 US dollars a month for an 8 hour day (two schedules, morning from 8-12, afternoon from 2-6) depending on their education and who they know... with this money, there's food to buy, rent to pay and light and water to consume. 400 bucks might cut it, it might not - it's definitely not a richman's purse, but what happens to anyone who makes less than this? any maid, chef, taxi driver or other undereducated servant?

my brother-in-law lives with us. i'd been fighting it for ages, wanting him to get his own place, but it's almost impossible with the $150 he makes every month. he can barely afford transportation and the university as it is.

i get frustrated when i read reports. especially ones like this... no american is poor because they can never live under the global poverty line... but dominicans are rich because most live above it... maybe i'll frustrate myself into not being such a procrastinator...

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