I have been house-abundant for the past year. I have lived in my cute downtown apartment (that abruptly felt more like a luxurious hostel than a home, friends revolving in and out, but everyone eventually leaving including myself). I have hovered in four beautiful addresses in France, heard porcupines climbing hemlocks at my dear ole Auntie’s, crashed in a cabin my coworker was desperately trying to sell, and am now currently living the proverbial dream for all 27 year olds: living in her parent’s house, feeling like a stranger in her childhood bedroom.
Wait, did I say dream?
Sarcasm aside, I have been blessed by the energies-that-be to always have an abode in which to reside. Have I been transient this year? Yes. Does that transience feel more normal to me than my previous years of happy domesticity? Absolutely.
In 95 days, I move again. This time to Jamaica. Some say 95 days is a long time. Others say it is not long enough. I say, it’s time. It too shall pass.
But on that 95th day, I will leave New Hampshire– the place that has been my home and the place that is no longer my home. I’ll find my feet walking on Jamaican soil (after a brief sojourn in Miami), and for 27 months I will be an environmental volunteer for the Peace Corps. My job description is vague as of yet; as an environmental business promoter/adviser I will focus on environmentally friendly and financially sustainable income generating activities, including eco-tourism, but with an emphasis on alternative agriculture technologies. I should expect to work with farming cooperatives, Parish Councils, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and community-based organizations. The assignment was a bit surprising– I have seven years of nonformal education experience with children, and only one year of quasi-business experience with a very small multimedia production company; however, I’m entering into this crazy adventure with an open mind and heart. Do what you will with me Peace Corps. Whomever I work with, I’m still “doin’ it for the kids.”
It is fun to think of the Peace Corps as a spontaneous, impulsive choice made on a hot summer night in my homey hostel last June. Nine months and a steadfast resolve to stick with the turtle-paced application process prove otherwise. I am joining the Peace Corps for many reasons: finally breaking up with sleepy Keene, NH, having a job that I find purpose in, helping a community be more sustainable, finding the beauty in hardship, learning, growing, sharing and perhaps starting down the path to finding a real home– one that I make for myself in a new community, with new people, in a new culture. Hopefully those reasons will come to fruition and are chronicled in this blog. Yet, reader beware! I am a nascent blogospherian who does not particularly enjoy writing or being a “publizen.” However, the Peace Corps’ third goal– helping Americans understand the people and cultures of other countries in hopes of promoting world peace and friendship– is a powerful one. This blog is a product of the third goal. I’ll do my best to record my experiences here honestly, openly, and hopefully after some reflection. Please ask questions! Post comments! Call me out on my assumptions and expectations. I would love this blog to be an exchange rather than a series of my rambling, nonsensical thoughts!
So here we are, an introduction.