Saturday, August 30, 2008

One Week

It is hard to believe that in on week I will be embarking on such an amazing adventure. I applied to join the Peace Corps in April 2007 and will be departing September 6th, 2008, slightly over one year later. When I told my recruiter I wanted to be placed in North Africa and Morocco was my first choice I was told not to pin all my hopes on receiving that placement due to the odds that only 3% of total volunteers are placed there and the Peace Corps would place me where they felt I would be best suited. I was given two options June 2007 to serve in West Africa as either a business advisor for women's entrepreneur groups or eco-tourism, then before I had finalized my decision a nomination possibility to serve as a small business developer for artisans in Morocco became available, so of course my decision was easy to make, :).

I have spent the past year working and learning how to survive in the "real world". I began as an AmeriCorps*VISTA with the Iowa Asian Alliance in Des Moines as their organizational architect, I loved it. Some issues developed in October/November though that led me to terminate my service and take a job with ITAGroup as their French bilingual and in turning down a dream job possibility working as an after school programs leader in Alaska with Camp Fie USA. ITAGroup was a good experience and I met many good people that I will miss seeing everyday. It was also very good for me to keep up with my french.

I have overcome several medical barriers as well. At one point I believed I would no longer be able to serve, but then by some miracle everything worked out, :). Then the trouble was convincing my landlord to let me move out early, but I was successful. All the barriers melted away which led me to believe that I was making the right choice even more, :).

I have spent the past 4 weeks visiting with friends, eating good food, shopping for needed items and tying up loose ends. I was able to spend a week at my favorite place in the world, Camp Hantesa, taking 4 amazing girls on a horseback riding trip with the help of two other amazing counselors. I had an amazing time. Then I spent the last three weeks sorting out how to file a Power of Attorney, changing my voting address of record, etc. I was shocked at how much I needed to do before I leave! Been spending as much time with friends and family as possible and just preparing to move to a new world.

Anyone who knows me well will agree that I am making a great decision. I have a large heart and want to do good in this world. I am so grateful to have been given this amazing opportunity. Many believe I am going there to help them, but in actuality it is going to be 50/50. Yes I will bring my American ways and new ideas, but they will also teach me of their way of life, of their culture and their language. My goal in life is to create change in our world whether that is helping a small group find ways to increase productivity through pooling resources or creating new laws.

I am excited to be getting on that plane to Philadelphia on September 6th and then the next plane to Morocco on September 8th. Of course I am also nervous and will miss many things and people, but I will meet new friends and try new things to miss when I leave. Some things I will miss the most are: pizza, driving, the new movie Twilight, wearing short sleeves ;), my friends, my cat, belly dance lessons with Inna...and too many other things to name.

"There are always new beginnings where another ends."

"All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible." - Orison Swett Marden

"Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true." -- Leon J. Suenes