I have a confession. I’m not saving the world. And that’s okay, I’m not here to save anything. I’m here to experience. I like to say I joined the Peace Corps for selfish reasons, but that’s not entirely accurate. I came to see what would happen. What would life be like? What would I learn? How would I change? What would I accomplish?
Three goals make up the Peace Corps mission:
1)To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
2)To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
3)To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
As you can see, two out of three are to be here and talk to people about life. (All you readers are checking off #3 for me!) The first one is probably there because 2 and 3 would be a lot harder to accomplish if you just hammocked it up for two years. Having a purpose is usally helpful.
Now not saving the world is not the same as not changing things in the world. But a two year stint in Peace Corps doesn’t create easy to see monumental changes. Change happens slowly and the volunteer doesn’t always get to see it.
Everybody is changing the world. Every interaction you have can create a ripple effect of change. I impact people’s life’s, they impact mine. It is similar for everyone else. Mine may seem more (less) glamorous because I’m somewhere different than most people, but the somethings I’m doing are similar. I am a teacher. I form relationships with my students and coworkers. I interact with my neighbors and my community. I make friends. I live my life with others just as you back home do.
I came to Lesotho with very few expectations. It’s impossible to arrive with zero expectations, especially with a year long application process. I had plenty of time to stare at walls and imagine my life here. But I didn’t arrive with specific ideas of what would make me a successful volunteer. Actually I had one- make it the full 2 years. Not having many expectations have made things easier on me. I don’t stress out when things don’t go as planned. As long as I’m still here I’m winning. Everything else is a bonus.
I’m not saying it’s not hard. Picking up and leaving everything familiar behind was not a cup of tea. It is hard and a challenge but I love it. (Author’s note: spent 10 minutes googling quotes but none fit. I believe it’s out there though.) I have had the best times and learned the most when I throw myself out of my comfort zone. And Peace Corps was an outlet that let me jump with a safety net just in case. Luckly people tend to normalize things and as I wrote in a previous post, life here becomes easier.
Other things happening here:
-Here’s a link to a fellow PCV’s blog about a camp she organized and I was a counselor at:
-I’m facilitating a secondary project at my school. We’re building much needed latrines! Please share and donate. With the current exchange rate every dollar goes a looooooong way. Kea lebhoa! (I am thankful)
-The new Education trainee group is here! One visited me at school for a few days and took lots o’ pictures. Thanks Patricia!