Sometimes I need a little motivation to write about life in Guyana, so after my last post, I took to social media (Instagram and Facebook to be exact) to see what people want to know about my service. In response, I got the following questions. Here are my answers!
How did your AmeriCorps experience and your experience at [Easter Seals Wisconsin Camps] become relevant in your Peace Corps service?
I think one of the biggest things my AmeriCorps service at camp taught me was adaptability. I learned that adaptation takes on many forms – physically, mentally, and socially. At camp, adaptation was needed both for others and myself. Without truly knowing how and when to adapt, I don’t know if my transition from being a college student to a Peace Corps Volunteer would have gone as well as it did. Whether its language, lesson plans, food recipes, and/or the way I dress, I am constantly having to adapt to do well in my service.
How do you think this experience has changed you?
I think my Peace Corps service has encouraged me to get more in touch with my emotions. As many would attest, feelings were not my thing and I always made jokes about my resistance to empathy. I think back in the states it was really easy for me to ignore my emotions or distract myself with life. However, I don’t have that option here in Guyana. Life does not move at the same pace here. My service/project is unique to me, and I think the realization of that has allowed time for more self-reflection and, in turn, brought more emotional awareness.
How has this experience changed your perspective on America and also the world?
My service has allowed me to reflect more on what American culture consists of and how that compares to Guyanese culture. Knowing the similarities and differences between the two is eye-opening, especially when you think about how we both speak a form of English but use very different terminology.
[Reminder: this is just my very broad opinion.] I think we are taught at a young age that the “world revolves around America.” Therefore, as Americans, we don’t need to put in as much effort into understanding the world around us and how impactful our actions are. For me, it took committing and living 27 months of my life in another country to see this. It also has made me feel grateful for the things I have, the opportunities I have available to me as an American. Even after I return to the states, I hope I never take for granted running water, electricity, hot showers, and washing machines – amenities not consistently found throughout Guyana.