Why are you here?
I am suppose to have an answer to that question... But I don't. Well at least not anymore.
I joined Peace Corps with the plan to join the UN or Foreign Service.
You know the type of job where you pick up and move every two years to find a new adventure in another country. Learn a new language every time. Meet interesting people.
That plan quickly changed when I got here and realized I don't ever want to leave home again!! I wanted to settle down and have a social life and a secure job where I could make actual money. That was during my intial homesickness stage which ebbs and flows still. And now after 10 months of service I am still left torn. I love the work I do so I would love to continue working in an International Organization continue learning spanish possibly a few other languages.
I think that if I were in any other town I wouldn't love my job so much. For example this coming week I will be assisting in the development of a policy protecting the rights of children, running a training on how to create a business plan for the women in my women's group so they an start small businesses in their communities, creating a work plan for the Defensoria, and planning a training for the new concejal members who come into office on May 1st, as well as finalizing the 1st medical brigade I have organized to come to one of the cantons on the 28th. The people I work with respect me and my opinions and yet I still feel like I have very little to offer these people.
The nice part is they just like seeing me at their meetings. I wouldn't really have to do anything to be loved by these people. But for my own personal sanity at the end of my service I need to see that I have done something for these people. Maybe thats where the trouble is with most Volunteers. They get to the end of their service and they want to leave something tangible for people in their town to remember them by. I don't feel like I have to leave something tangible I just want to see that I have helped someone.
So why am I here? Why do I stay after all the strange rashes, ameobas, parasites, vomiting, shitting, awful food, getting robbed, having no social life, having to travel hours on a overcrowded bus to visit a friend, missing my friends and family...
Well I guess it is just the hope that I will do something for these people. Even if it is small like teachcing them to not throw their trash on the ground (well no i can't call that small becuase it is a HUGE problem) or something big like teaching them they can't get something for nothing (so they should pay their taxes!!!)
17 months left... wish me luck.