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.