Friday, November 21, 2014

Leaving Lesotho


 This season has been one of clarity and transformation, truly one of the best of my life. I'll always be grateful for my Peace Corps experience.

   When I applied for the Peace Corps nearly three years ago, my recruiter said that my application wasn’t strong enough. At the time, Peace Corps was suffering from budget cuts--resulting in few service opportunities--so in order for me to be competitive, I had a lot of work to do.
   My recruiter advised me to take formal language classes, do more volunteer work and get more teaching experience. I had three months to get my act together. And I’m glad that I did.
   My experience in the Peace Corps has been some kind of everything –mainly awesome—and I’m forever grateful for this season of growth, service and for the rich and rewarding relationships that I was immersed in these days.
   It’s hard for me to believe that my time in Lesotho is up, though. Today is my last day of service and I am boarding a plane to America.
   I joined Peace Corps to be of service to others, my way of thanking God for all my blessings. I didn’t know what to expect in Lesotho, or what I was doing as I taught and served.    
   Funny thing is that I learned and received way more than I taught and gave. I lived with a selfless host family who wrapped me with tender arms of warmth, protection and love. My host siblings –those little chocolate nuggets—and my host mom, colored my life, kept me sane and ultimately alive during my time here.
   I worked with model Peace Corps staffers, supportive Peace Corps volunteers and open-minded teachers who nurtured my vision and guided me to some kind of greatness that I rarely felt before.  I daily saw children – my beautiful, brilliant students—who embodied what resilience truly is. My life brimmed with hope and meaning, even when my American bank account fell below $25 USD.
   Alas, this milestone did not come without sacrifice. Every day, the sun acted as my electricity. Sometimes, a baby wipe became running water. During brutal winters, fleece blankets posed as central heating. The list goes on: bed bugs, diarrhea, bad transport, lack of customer service, psychopathic teachers, and homesickness.
   Back home, I missed many engagements and weddings and births and birthdays. Haven’t seen my loved ones in two years, and they were the ones who truly allowed me to live out this dream with their words of encouragement, unwavering support, care packages, cards and letters. My peace and bliss here were always their anxiety and concern stateside.
   To their delight, I’m coming home soon.
   I’ll be a much better version of myself than when I left, for *I* developed in a developing country!! Ha! 
   This experience has pressed a reset button in my life. My vision, purpose and passion are clear. And this all-encompassing season in Lesotho helped me to get there.

2 comments:

  1. I have read many of your posts with great interest, I've been invited to serve with the PC in Lesotho, as a primary education teacher in October 2015. I would like to ask you some questions Please can I have your email address? My e-mail address is: Sonia@soniamarsh.com. Thanks, and hope to hear back from you.

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