My Why

When I first started using a computer, I thought the sole purpose of the device was scribbling in paint, playing solitaire, and being baffled by minesweeper.

(Full disclosure: I still don’t understand exactly how that game works.)

And then there was dial-up internet.

This led to the advent of an email address and the ever-important AIM instant messenger account. (Backstreetgrl151. My away message game was fire.) I was also one of those people who LOVED chain emails. That should probably be embarrassing, but what was more fun than emailing all your best friends a list of 100 innocuous questions about their crush, favorite color, and last person they kissed? (LoL! NoT TeLlInG!)

This isn’t exactly the same thing, but I just signed up for a six-week blogging abroad challenge. I’m guessing they won’t ask about my favorite color (ajvar red) or the last person I kissed (Host mom. Merry Christmas.), but it should be a fun way to blog more.

First prompt: Why did you go abroad?

The short answer is Peace Corps.

The long answer is more complicated. Here is how I answered it in my first post, on Sept. 3, 2014:

“I’m closer to 30 than 20 and I realized one day that if I didn’t let my wanderlust explode into a PC application, I never would. What if’s aren’t really my thing. (Please see: I wonder if I could pull off a pixie cut; See also: I wonder if I could run a marathon; Related, knee issues.)

… Plus, I didn’t really have any plans for the next two years.”

Here’s how I’m answering it today:

I’ve been wandering for as long as I’ve been mobile on two legs. (I was the kid who got lost in the grocery store. Sorry mom.) I had thought about joining the Peace Corps ever since I met an RPCV at our church who talked about traveling the world with the same ease as talking about a trip to the grocery store.

I worked as a teacher and then as a reporter before I became a PCV; education and curiosity have always been a big part of my life. I also thought I was in a place where I felt comfortable stepping away from my American life for a stretch. (By the time I left, I questioned how comfortable I was, but I’m glad I’m here anyway.) Comfortable or not, I wanted to challenge myself.

I hate when people say they joined the Peace Corps to make a difference or change the world. You’re probably not going to do either of those things. But that’s okay. It’s not about changing the world. It’s about about sharing our worlds and for me, about the adventure. I love working with my counterparts, sharing ideas, teaching my incredible students, chatting over coffee with my host family, and sharing my culture, snacks, and as much Beyoncé as I can work into every lesson and conversation. I hope I’m expanding their horizons even a fraction of how they’re expanding mine.

So I guess that’s why I’m here.

Plus, I didn’t really have any plans for the next two years.

Blogging Abroad's Boot Camp Blog Challenge: Starting January 2015


6 thoughts on “My Why

  1. Any plans for a new haircut? You pulled off that pixie SO WELL.

    Also my typical day looks a lot like what you wear for yours. But I hold baby instead of make ajvar.

    Also my screen name was jahoy721.

    Also I hope one day you travel to Denver bc we can eat here too. Cake cake and more cake if you want.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Obviously you know a lot more about the Peace Corps than I do, but I have to disagree with you about not making a difference or changing the world. If you mean changing the world like Barack Obama can change the world, then no. If you mean making a difference like Macedonia native Future St. Teresa of Calcutta made a difference, probably no to that too. But with every person you touch or teach, you’re doing both, in overt ways you’ll occasionally see and in subtle ways you’ll never know about. Maybe my viewpoint is naive, and maybe the way I put that is a little saccharine, but I honestly believe it. Every person will make the world better or worse or leave it the same. You, without a doubt, are making it better.

    Liked by 1 person

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