Joining the Peace Corps?
I have been considering the Peace Corps for about six or seven years. Now, the journey begins with my turned-in application. Here’s why, and how, and what-for, an excerpt from one of my essays:
“Once I had a cultural anthropology professor who had written her dissertation about women in a very small village in southern Mexico, spending two years on location. Another time, in Budapest, I met a woman who had just completed two years teaching on a Navajo reservation in northwest New Mexico. Two years, both these women said, are required to fully understand someplace else. Two years are required to move beyond the initial bubble of glee, beyond the emptiness of culture shock, to the moments when an academic can write, a teacher can teach, a volunteer can work, a person can understand. Two years are required to see the other side.
“I want to serve in the Peace Corps because I want to see the other side.
“I want to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer because I want to help the world. I want to go to new places and to challenge myself. I want to feel the exhilaration of living abroad, of meeting people different from myself, of developing deep relationships with them. I want to make a difference. I want to learn a new language. I want to give everything I have in me, for two years, to people who need it.”
So now, in this blog, I will recount the journey of the year-long application process, and then, I hope, the even longer and more tumultuous and educational journey of two years in a mysterious other country.