In 7 days it it will be 2 MONTHS until I leave for Uganda, Africa to serve as a Community Health Peace Corps Volunteer!!!! As many of you know it has been a LONG journey already and I haven't even left the country! With placement cancellations and moving of departure dates, I have come to realize that a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) needs to be flexible and extremely patient! I have met and talked with current and returned PCV's, having these two attributes are just as important now as they are during my actual service. Yeah, I'm thinkin by the time I leave in May I just may have them mastered!!
It seems like ages ago from when I first applied for the Peace Corps. To be honest, I think it will be three years this coming September that I first applied. Usually it takes an individual about a year to get through interviews, medical clearance, nomination, a placement and then finally leave. Well, I apparently like the long route, granted I was still in school when I applied and extended my graduation a semester to travel abroad Europe for 3 months. Definitely one of the best decisions I have ever done. If you get the opportunity to travel, especially Europe...sorry kinda biased, DO IT!!! I promise you will not regret it. I have been to places and met people I never thought I would and loved every minute of it. Okay, sidetracked there for a minute but my point is that school took me longer and when I finally got into more meaningful volunteer work it was already a year since I applied. Then, after the cancellation of my first placement to Guatemala and then movement of the departure date for my second placement....well time adds up fast.
I've had A LOT of time to think and look at where I'm currently at in my life....well I realized if I wasn't going into the PC I would have absolutely no idea what I would be doing! I probably wouldn't be working at the place I'm currently working, I only got the job for the PC. I love the people I work with there and enjoy my job! Also, I would not have met as many awesome people as I have volunteering at MN AIDS Project, nor would I have become so much more comfortable with public speaking since becoming a community educator with MN AIDS Project. The PC has already benefited me in ways I had not realized before and to think I'm not even a volunteer yet! I can't wait to see what is yet to come!!
The PC is my plan A and I have no plan B...so here's to hoping my departure date holds true, that I make it to Africa, and can make a difference whether it be big or small. I'm going into this experience with no expectations other than I hope to leave Africa having affected something or someone positively. Every time I travel somewhere I always learn a lot about that culture and about the place I'm visiting, as well as a little bit more about myself. Living in Uganda for 27 months I'm bound to learn a TON about Africa and a lot more about myself. So, hopefully (*fingers crossed*) things go smoothly and I can finally start this blog about, what I'm definitely positive will be, the most epic adventure of my life!