Well here it is. From what I have seen and read about the Peace Corps, every good volunteer needs a blog to write about the adventures they go through while away. So here is mine. This week has started out with many phone calls to the bank, phone company and a conference call with the other volunteers in my group tying all the loose ends together. All summer I have been thinking about what it would be like to leave my family and friends for two years, and finally that day is almost here. I depart to training in Philadelphia on Friday morning and then leave for Johannesburg the next morning. From there I will fly to Windhoek, Namibia where my Peace Corps journey will begin. It is crazy to think that in less than a week I will be half way around the world in a completely new culture.
This summer I have tried to explain to people why I wanted to apply for the Peace Corps. It was hard for people to understand the desire to live somewhere that running water and electricity would be a blessing. It has been hard for me to explain all of my reasoning behind it but I will do my best in the next few paragraphs.
First and foremost it is for the adventure. I learned pretty quickly in college that sitting behind a desk in a cubicle was not the life for me. I spent many days responding to emails, waiting for people to give me meaningless tasks, and not engaging myself in the jobs and internships that I had. I needed to move, to engage with people who needed my help. I love traveling, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures. The Peace Corps will provide all of this and more while I am away.
Secondly it is to help people. While I am in Namibia I will be an English teacher. Working with kids has been a passion of mine since I can remember. I have always been a role model for my 7 younger siblings but I have also taught and tutored kids since I was in 8th grade. The Peace Corps has given me the opportunity to go somewhere were kids don’t have all the delicacies that we have here. But they still have the creativity, the desire to learn, and the passion for fun that kids in America have. These are the skills I want to foster and nurture. I want to be able to leave the Peace Corps in 27 months and explain to those back home that I helped the children of Namibia reach their potential in school.
Lastly it is to continue to learn about myself. I have grown up with the mindset of helping those around me before I help myself. This experience is another way for me to grow and develop myself into the adult that I want to become.
I know this is not going to be an easy journey. I am preparing for tough times. Whether it be dealing with unknown climate or the culture shock I am expecting when I get off the plane, I appreciate all the support that my family and friends have given me leading up to my departure. I will do my best to respond to comments and messages when I can. I will post again once I am settled in Namibia with a mailing address and the best times to contact me.
“I believe that we form our own lives, that we create our own reality, and that everything works out for the best.” — Jim Henson