Well, the day has (almost) finally arrived. After submitting my Peace Corps application almost a year and a half ago, I am finally about to begin my journey as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I am headed for Peru, the land of mountains, potatoes, llamas, and the Incas, as a Community-Based Environmental Education Volunteer.
This adventure has been a long time coming, after submitting my initial application nearly a year and a half ago, and spending the last 9 months living and working at home. I am excited to be off (after a one night pit stop in DC), although admittedly the gravity of the situation still evades my grasp. In the days and weeks leading up to my departure, I have tried to meditate on what I’m about to do, on how my life is going to change, yet each time I do so, I am met with an invisible wall, leaving comprehension just beyond my reach. How can one possibly understand such a radical divergence from everyday life?
What I do know, however, is that this experience will be unlike anything I have faced before. It will be full of challenges, tears, laughter, awkward cultural exchanges, scenic vistas, parasites, wonderful food, amazing people, and unimaginable opportunities. I chose to apply to the Peace Corps because I wanted to be challenged, because I wanted to travel, because I wanted to use Spanish, and most importantly because I wanted to invest in, engage with and assist international communities in ways both small and large. I will be gone for 27 months. I will certainly miss my loving family, I will certainly miss my incredible friends, and I will certainly miss burritos (San Diego spoiled me, Brian), but I will certainly gain innumerable and invaluable experiences.
Here’s to new friends, grand adventures, meaningful work, and lots of fun!