i’m excited to finally announce that i’m joining the peace corps! yup! i got my invitation in november. this means i’ll spend two years (plus 3 months of training) volunteering my time in another country, assisting in areas the country’s requested, and all in all, serving the country’s people. it’s a 24-hour job that can be, at times, very uncomfortable and dirty, but will be an experience of a lifetime.
i will be in the dominican republic! i’m very excited about this. since i speak spanish, obviously, i wanted to be placed in a country where spanish is spoken. this was part of my main reason for applying: to live in latin america and increase my fluency in spanish. i prayed for the DR (or panama), and i’m really glad i got it. 🙂 i don’t yet know exactly where i’ll be in the DR, and i wont find out until after i’m down there and well into training. my work will be teaching english and teaching computer skills (they call it ICT – information communication technology).
what the peace corps is not:
- it’s not a part of the military. i will NOT be in combat or fighting (other than fighting off bugs of the caribbean, that is), or go through a basic training that is extremely physically rigorous (well, except dealing with all the walking and the heat!).
- it’s not a christian mission trip. the peace corps is not an organization whose purpose is to spread the gospel of jesus christ. there are TONS of organizations for that; and i could certainly join one of those if i wanted to. peace corps work is simply about serving the community. my hope is to use this experience as an opportunity to grow in many of christ’s attributes, including his heart for people and his heart for service. and of course, i hope to influence those around me to put their trust in christ. but to be clear, the overall purpose of peace corps is not to spread the wonderful name and fame of jesus christ. (it is the federal government afterall.)
- it’s not a 2-year caribbean getaway/vacation. while the DR is a truly beautiful country, know that i wont be living in a plush hotel in colonial santo domingo for two years. i will likely have running water, but i may not have it all the time, and when the water “comes”
it probably wont be warmedit will never be warmed. electricity there will probably be inconsistent. some volunteers dont have toilets, and use latrines (although, hopefully, i think i will have a toilet). so the peace corps is not for the faint of heart, or for those looking for a tropical getaway.
- it’s not paid employment. that’s right! say it with me people: vo-lun-teer ser-vice. BUT! they do cover all your living expenses, and i’ve been told i’ll never have better medical coverage. and they do also give returned peace corps volunteers (RPCVs) a good chunk of money upon returning to the US (a readjustment allowance).
what the peace corps is:
peace corps is in essence, americans building bridges across the world (i mean, let’s be honest, we have a lot of enemies, we should probably make some friends). it’s service on behalf of the federal government. and that comes with perks and affords opportunities: it is an awesome opportunity to see the world, live in another country and enhance my language skills. it’s an opportunity to increase my global marketability in the workplace (b/c employers are increasingly interested in a global-minded workforce). it’s the chance to see God’s hands operate in new and beautiful ways. it’s an opportunity to grow!
so while it’s not the military, i think it will help me become a more disciplined individual. while it’s not a mission trip, i believe i will see the glory of God moving in me and in others in amazing ways; i believe i’ll take on christ’s call for service in a real way (pray for me! lol); i believe i’ll see God speaking to and through me. while it’s not a vacation, i know i will have the time of my life. while it’s not paid employment, having travailed living outside of your comforts and culture for 2 years speaks volumes to employers. they say it’s “the toughest job you’ll ever love.”
here’s a video that the peace corps recently released for its 50th anniversary. it’s called conversations. hopefully, soon i’ll be able to have some of these conversations with many of my fam and friends.
i’m sure i’ll have more of these to add on as time goes by, but here’s a start:
- please pray that God will provide some form of christian fellowship and accountability during my service.
- that God will give me the wisdom and courage to carry out my tasks.
- that God will provide comfort and/or resolve in the mentally- and emotionally-taxing times.
- that God will give me a sober perspective about the people, culture and community (especially during the frustrating moments).
- please pray for those that will surround me – my training group, my community/site.
feel free to keep up:
a lot of PCVs (peace coprs volunteers) start a blog to log their experiences. but since i have one already, i’ve decided to incorporate my PCV life into this one, and use it for my other interests as well. feel free to subscribe or to just check back frequently. i can’t wait to share more with you! 🙂