“So, why are you doing the Peace Corps?”
It’s a fair question. Some people can’t understand why I would willingly forgo the comforts of American life, how I could leave everything I know behind. Others seem to be searching for a reason that they can identify with, that they can play with, maybe adopt. Whatever the reason, I’ve been asked this time and time again over the last few months. And here’s the answer: It feels like the right thing to do.
I’m lucky. Incredibly lucky. To live here, to have had the experiences I’ve had. I benefitted from free primary education, went to college, went back for more college. I’ve had healthcare coverage my entire life and been blessed with a loving family and incredible friends. Things have been, more or less, easy for me. And it’s important to me that I not take this fact, these opportunities, my life, for granted.
Part of doing this means paying it forward. And I have committed myself to doing so in the most complete way I can imagine: Giving myself and my skills (limited as they are) to a community that could use them.
However, I would be lying if I said that was the whole reason.
There is a also a part of me that wants to see if I can make it. If I have what it takes. In my mind, if I can survive the Peace Corps, I can survive anything. And that kind of confidence in myself and my abilities is something I’ve never had. So, yeah, I’m still being somewhat selfish.
I’m about a week away from departure. Saying goodbyes, packing, re-packing, setting up this blog, eating enough sushi to tide me over for the next two years. The clock is ticking.