The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys): Why I Stopped Being a Voluntourist

Kiersten Marek:

Interesting perspective…I like the honesty and humility.

Originally posted on Pippa Biddle:

White people aren’t told that the color of their skin is a problem very often. We sail through police check points, don’t garner sideways glances in affluent neighborhoods, and are generally understood to be predispositioned for success based on a physical characteristic (the color of our skin) we have little control over beyond sunscreen and tanning oil.

After six years of working in and traveling through a number of different countries where white people are in the numerical minority, I’ve come to realize that there is one place being white is not only a hindrance, but negative –  most of the developing world.

Removing rocks from buckets of beans in Tanzania.
Removing rocks from buckets of beans in Tanzania.

In high school, I travelled to Tanzania as part of a school trip. There were 14 white girls, 1 black girl who, to her frustration, was called white by almost everyone we met in Tanzania, and a few teachers/chaperones…

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One thought on “The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys): Why I Stopped Being a Voluntourist

  1. When the Peace Corps started up a lot of people thought it was an easy way to avoid the draft-turned out that it wasn’t-you needed real skills.The people I knew who went into it had something of value to offer in the countries they were sent to.Wearing a bright bandana doesn’t make you a peasant in a third world country because you have the option of not being one.

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