My Decision

I’ve been asked numerous times why I want to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer.  Many people think I am a bit crazy to want to go halfway around the world for two years, but I have my reasons.

Having studied development initiatives in my classes at Central, I hope to eventually work in a non-profit relating to sustainable development in the developing world.  However, theories and methods don’t always pan out in the real world, and I believe my experience in Peace Corps will help me understand the needs of those in the developing world, and how best to ensure those needs are taken care of, efficiently and sustainably.  There’s so much that can be done for those living in the developing world, I want to take this opportunity to create change in one little spot in the world.  After all, Gandhi did say “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I also believe Peace Corps will help me understand other cultures better.  Coming from small-town Iowa means I grew up in a pretty homogeneous town, and had little exposure to other cultures.  Studying abroad in Mexico opened my eyes to what life in a semi-developing country is like, and gave me a yearning to discover more about cultures different from my own.  And considering that the world is becoming ever more globalized, this knowledge will prove invaluable in the future.

I don’t know what my future holds, but I know I have the change to make the world a better place on a small scale, and affect the lives of people-individuals working hard to live life to its fullest.  I’m trusting in God’s plan, because His plans are always better than mine.

One last tidbit: I read this on someone else’s blog, and it seems to apply to my life.  “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”  I know some people are apprehensive about my decision, but I firmly believe I have not “been built” to stay in one place.

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9 thoughts on “My Decision

  1. Indeed, little ship… sail and discover the world. You will no doubt touch many lives in South Africa and find your own life enriched.

  2. I can totally relate to this page ! Glad to see there are others who think like this 🙂 “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

  3. Hey Jen,
    I don’t think you are crazy at all. Of course, there are a lot of people who think I am crazy, because I decided to move to South Korea to teach English. Still, I am a bit envious. I think think that joining the Peace Corps would be an amazing experience. Maybe I will do that after Korea. Korea is different the US no doubt, but it is still extremely modern. At least half my students, who are are all elementary and middle school students, have nicer phones than I do. Someday, though, maybe I will go back to Africa; it gets into your heart and is a hard place to forget.
    Good luck on the rest of your time there. I wish I would have checked out your blog sooner.
    Sara P.

    • @rosepurse I still have about 1.5 years left, so you’ll see plenty from my blog. 🙂 SA is unique in terms of Peace Corps because there is a first world/third world reality here. I was in town today, 85km from site, and BAM first world-fast food, modern grocery stores, flush toilets, etc. I came back home to my village and BAM third world-hungry kids, tin shacks, cows and goats, pit latrines…. SA is the contradiction and rule of every (mis)conception we have about Africa, depending on where you are in the country.

      If you want to know more about PC, email me! And have fun in South Korea!

  4. I love the quote about the ship at the end of this post. Very appropriate, I think. I am also a Christian and once I graduate next May, I hope to join the PC. I get a lot fo the same reactions you probably get, “Christians don’t go in the Peace Corps.” Your blog is a great encouragement to me 🙂

    • Those comments were hurtful and made me second guess my decision, but I know for sure the Lord led me here, and that He has a plan for me here. Keep the faith, because this is a long, hard journey. Let me know if you have questions!

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