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.