Thursday, January 18, 2007

A quick rebuttal then back to the fluff....

One of my favorite things about the blog format is that I get to write about my experiences and then from a distance of thousands of miles, people can tell me how I didn't actually experience what I think I did. But, I guess I chose this format and I must live with those consequences.

Here's the thing... this is part of MY Peace Corps experience. All of it. The beautiful stuff as well as the devestating. Read the disclaimer. When all of this is said and done, if I end up in frigic climate working out of a cubical somewhere gazing at a tropical screensaver, I may be tempted to romantacize also. Romance isn't real. This experience is. I'm trying to be as true as I can be.

I know it is tough to swallow but working for the biggest bureaucracy on the planet is not a little slice of heaven everyday. But I believe in what I am doing. I believe in the Peace Corps. I believe in the Peace Corps acknowledging that it is imperfect and, at times, can be the poster-child for futility and personality defects. Assume whatever you need to to be able to sleep at night, but at the end of the day the reality is that a great volunteer was sent home.

I would hope that anyone reading this who is thinking about joining the Peace Corps will do so. It has been, the most significant experience of my life. In fact, I am hoping to be able to extend my service to a third year (in El Salvador). I also hope that if you do, that you are able to appreciate it for what it is and what it will be... real.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love you for so many reasons, but one important is that you say your piece the way you think it and feel it. And the rest you're not preoccupied about. I hope you get what you want, and I want to say the first to say happy b-day on your blog Gringa Perdida :)

I hope you are able to do something fun tomorrow!!

Miss you,

The sexy immigrant ;)

Anonymous said...

oops... just realized it posted at 12:01 am... so happy birthday TODAY :)

Anonymous said...

Kelley,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope you have a great day and that you have peace and tranquility. Your present was returned to me for more postage, so it'll be later than I thought ... it's in the mail now, for sure.

Just know I love you and miss you. You're doing a great job and I'm so proud of your intensity, your passion, your sincerity and your love for the underserved in society. You're very talented and beautiful!

Communicating by email/blog is always a danger because the words seem so stark in black and white...things come out harsher than they were meant. I didn't mean to tick you off... I know you know I totally respect what you have to go through ... and the fact that you're away from family and home and friends makes it doubly difficult. It's not for the weak at heart or the less determined. I admire the strength you have to hang in there and do the hard job. Not everyone could do what you do and I admire you for it.

I'll try to call again soon. In the meantime, Happy B-Day!

Love,
Mom
xoxo

Christine said...

Kelley,

I just wanted to say that I've read through your entire blog, and I appreciate that you're choosing to reflect both the positive and the negative in your journaling. We're all told that PC is something that gives us the opportunity to experience incredible highs- but it comes with the cost of also experiencing devastating lows. It helps to be able to read about both of these things- not just one or the other.

I will be making my way into Costa Rica with the next batch of CYF volunteers in June. Reading your experiences has helped paint a picture of how things may be-- it details some of the frustrations/difficulties I may face, but also gives me an idea of some of the this I might manage to accomplish.

Still, I know that every PC experience is different. Even the less sunny side of what you write here doesn't turn me off of the idea of service- though this particular event makes me anxious, as forgetting to call in is something I would not put past myself, and I'd hate to see my service cut short over my own ditziness. But again- hearing about what happened to Mike helps me prepare for the challenges I'm going to face.

Okay- I'm babbling. Suffice to say, thank you for painting an honest picture of your experiences. I see that others are wishing you a happy birthday, so I hope it was a good one :).

Regards,
Christine

(Also, if you have any ultimate words of wisdom for incoming volunteers, send 'em over. My own journal is listed here)

Anonymous said...

Kelley,

I think your blog is wonderful! I'll be leaving for a Community Development post in Costa Rica this Feb. and it's been great to hear from another volunteer's experiences and reflections. Thank you!

Alicia

P.S. I'm in the midst of attempting to pack, so I'd love any advice you might have- things you wish you'd brought or should've left at home? Just reply to the post if possible.