What made you decide to do that?
Isn’t that where the movie Taken was filmed?
Are you excited?
Are you ready and packed?
Those are just a few of the questions I have received over the past few months since I found out I would be heading to Albania in March. The most common of which is “What made you sign up for the Peace Corps?” Followed by “Isn’t that where the movie Taken is filmed.”
There are many different reasons I signed up for it and since I started that initial application process almost two years ago. While I was midway through the medical review I ended up having knee surgery. A couple of weeks after my knee surgery I got a blood clot in my leg. I learned a few things from this 1) it multiplied the medical paperwork I needed to complete by a hefty number, 2)My estimated departure date was pushed into what I thought was the unforeseeable future and 3) I needed to have patience and faith that all this paperwork would eventually pay off. The application process is long, sometimes frustrating and a lot of times seems daunting. Don’t forget you are not alone and stick with it! Once you get that blue invitation packet in the mail it is worth it!
Am I packed? No, not yet. I am too indecisive and I hate packing. I am working on that over my last couple of weeks here. I have a feeling I will be taking things out and shoving more items in my bag right up until the moment I leave for the airport. Two bags and a 100 lbs doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room.Less is more sometimes in life and I think Albania may have to agree!
Why the Peace Corps is a hard question to answer. My reasons have changed and evolved as I have grown over the last few years. The answers I give people for why I am doing this seem to depend on the day I am asked. I want to see more of the world than what I’ve known in North Dakota. The different cultures and people of the world have always amazed me, not to mention the different cuisines. I think many of my fellow PCV’s will agree that the Peace Corps just seemed to fit me at this point in my life. When I first got my officialy inviation there was a moment of panic. Thoughts of being gone for two years, missing my family and friends and heading into a completely foreign world scared me quite a bit. However, those feelings have almost dissapeared and that unknown world is starting to appeal more and more to me. The changes I will make to adapt to this new environment is also one of the reasons I want to go. I am looking forward to what it will teach me and I think it’s safe to say I will be a different person when I return.