The following quotes are from an article off The New Yorker. If you are interested in the quotes you should read it. I will respond with some responses to the quotes. This article really made me think about my purpose here and it is very well written. It has been circulating around Peace Corps blogs the last month or so. I am sorry if it is repetitive by now but it’s a great article. I hope you enjoy it!
“The problem with Peace Corps is that the 27-month commitment is a major deterrent for young people"
-Nicholas D. Kristof
Before joining the Peace Corps I never met anyone who was a volunteer. Most people I do know who service oriented things like the short term projects. Leaving things like family, friends, and country is very difficult. I don’t know if I call it a problem. I think the time is about right because if you are not serious about developing others this would not be too big of a deal. Development does not happen overnight, or even in a 27 month period sometimes. Development in my mind is best described as a journey.
I understand where he is coming from here. I feel this way when it comes to teaching. I have never taught English before. Sometimes I feel underprepared to teach something about a language I just naturally speak. For example, what in the world is a modal and what is its function? This is a question I got from one of my students. I had to answer him by saying, “I am not sure. I don’t know this kind of stuff. I just speak English but I am not a teacher.” Though it seems my primary job now is to teach English. I have no clue what I am doing most of the time.
My primary job has not been teaching English. It seems my primary job has been peace. Imagine that. We promote peace just by getting a better understanding of the people here and also them understanding our culture and country. Getting people to understand misconceptions of American culture and its people makes peace more attainable. Development is a part of my job but without living humbly or understanding I could not do development. True development is done when you are at the level of the people you are with and they trust you. That way the journey of development is done with the people, not separate. Development is great but peace is better.
Thanks for reading :)