Sunday, September 11, 2011
Top Ten Expectations!
In two days I leave for an entire new life's experience, an epic adventure, and getting ready for this has been a trying experience in itself. I'll be sacrificing most things that Americans consider essential to happiness, however, I believe that I will find a deeper level of happiness within myself and my natural surroundings. This past week was supposed to be for taking care of last minute things, spending some quiet time at home, and saying final goodbyes to close friends and family. It has been more than I anticipated, with absolutely no rest. Yet all the cards seem to line up perfectly for me to go on this adventure, and I couldn't be more ready. My bags are packed, the banks have been given a heads up on my departure, I quit my job, sold the car, and have been telling the cats for 3 months that all their needs will be met better than mine will be for the next 27 months! One day I hope I can put on resume that I made it through the Peace Corps Application Process and Packing!
I'm not joining the Peace Corps because I think I can change the world, I'm not that naive. I'm going because I want to show the people who have nothing that there are those of us that care. How else will the rest of the world ever know or feel peace! Engaging in an entirely different focus of cultural interchanges does not seem daunting to me. Despite all the differences that will be encountered, I have found that we all have similarities that bind us, and being cognizant that a smile will go a long way when things get rough. What does seem odd to me is that the God's must have been crazy to send me to a conservative society, when all I wanted was to be in Asia to commune with the culture that I most identify with, and bum around in sleeveless shirts. Nevertheless, I'll embrace Africa and the lessons to be learned with an open heart and mind as I have embraced Asia. Because everyone says that this is supposed to be a life changing experience, I wanted to document my fun and/or noble expectations ahead of time, and let the future tell how my ideas and expectations of being a Peace Corps Volunteer come to fruition: Maybe it would be safer to go in with no expectations, but after much consideration, here are my top 10:
1) I expect that to transcend the constraints of society that dictate how I've led my life and how I think!
2) I expect that my request to be vegetarian with my host family will be null and void!
3) I expect that we are going to start projects and clubs to help impoverished people improve their lives!
4) I expect that I will take small jaunts to Namibia to surf down the majestic dunes: lay on a beach in Mozambique or Madagascar during our winter time in Botswana: Go on a safari the Peace Corps way: and go to London to see Roger Federer try for an Olympic Gold!
5) I expect I will integrate into my community, and that none of the kids will climb through my bathroom window, or take a shirt hanging on my clothes line, or think it strange that this older white crazy lady is doing tai chi in their front yard!
6) I expect that I will be on time for all meetings and buses, and then will wait for hours for someone, or a bus, to show up!
7) I expect to make lasting friendships and relationships with my fellow PCV's and the people who live in my village, especially the kids!
8) I expect that if I see a snake or strange bug in my room, I will stand on my bed, scream, and pray that someone comes to rescue me!
9) I expect that I will miss everyone, my cats, organic vegges, and the 60 inch surround sound TV more than I think I will!
10) I expect that the Peace Corps may be the answer to this mid-life lull, and that a book will come out of me as I put life into a different perspective and let go of any stressors endured.
There it is, now I'm gonna buckle up and get ready for the ride under Botswana's skies!
"We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow along the way." G. Gaither