I love to walk. When I was living in D.C., the 45 minutes that I would spend walking to and from work were often the only chunks of time when I was not anxiously tapping away on my phone and trying to keep up with the constant influx of e-mails generated by work. In those 45 minutes I felt connected to the city and immersed in its energy. Regardless of the weather, I walked – on more than one occasion arriving at work half soaked after being caught in a rainstorm. The act of walking became a kind of relief; it made me feel alive in a way that I could not in the hours I spent behind a computer screen.
I realize that part of what I was seeking in the Peace Corps was an expansion of this feeling, what I would describe as the electric thrill of existing, of being out in the world and connecting and engaging with it. And, I think that, overall, this has been true of my experience as a volunteer so far. When I wake up in the morning, 95% of the time I have no idea what lies ahead during the day. Something new happens every day – I am invited to bake cookies at a friends house, I meet the Director of the Cultural Center and I begin to teach English classes, an English teacher at the high school invites me to sit in on his English classes and I meet his family for dinner, an employee of a local Roma non-profit stops by and invites me to an event they are having at the schools the next day…There are so many opportunities that pop up for me to be involved in my community that I have no doubt I will be very busy for the next two years. And, for the first time in a long time, I feel that I am in the right place and that I am doing the right thing.
Please note that this does not mean that I do not have rough days or doubt myself and my decisions – I’m only human after all : )