Gratitude: Day 22 and 23

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

Day 22: Though I miss my American friends, family, ease of life, and traditions on holidays, like Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the experience of living in an isolated village. It can be frustrating, but I am grateful for the challenges of my Peace Corps life. I appreciate that few people in my village speak English, and that when I’m in my village, I am 100% removed from First World South Africa. Some days it frustrates me, or makes me homesick or lonely. But living in a isolated, rural village is making me resilient, self-reliant, and stronger in my relationship with God. It also makes me realize all the blessings I have in my life now, and the plethora of blessings in my American life. Two years of isolation from my culture and my comfort zone are turning me into a different (and better) person, and allowing me to develop a whole new comfort zone.

Day 23: In honor of my PC Thanksgiving, which was held a day late, I am very thankful for my fellow PCVs. SA24, my cohort, is an amazing group of individuals that has become a family of sorts. My fellow PCVs have been an invaluable support system for me, and I’ve found some true friends. I spent Friday with about 20 other PCVs in Kuruman, celebrating an American style Thanksgiving. Though we are all from different backgrounds and belief systems, it was an incredibly day. I feel equipped to handle the end-of-year school challenges because I know SA24’s got my back if I stumble and need help. When we met in Washington DC in July 2011 for staging, there was scarcely a need for ice-breakers because we immediately became a group. That hasn’t changed in the past 16 months. My service has been enjoyable, largely due to the support from SA24. You guys rock!
-Jen

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About Jen Daugherty

Christ follower. Writer. Permaculturist. RPCV. Photographer. Real Food Eater. Daughter of God.

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