Repost of my piece for Peace Corps Thailand Magazine I was unsure of you at first. A bit timid and anxious about the thought of being stuck with you, every day, for over two years. Then we got off to an awfully rocky start – literally. Our first morning together was wind in my hair, throw…
So yes, every time I meet a new person in my community, we have the conversation about my size. We talk about why I’m brown. They ask if I’m really American, and then ask someone else just to double check. But now, I know I don’t have to wait long before someone who knows me chimes in “she’s strong, and smart, and funny”. There is no better feeling in the world than being known well enough to let someone else defend me in a battle I’m tired of fighting.
Together we have traversed emotional landscapes full of unexpected land mines. I think, to an outsider, we’re probably all bordering on insane.
When you go to the website it states that volunteers are: “U.S. citizens 18 and older who are curious about the world and committed to helping others.” It sounds idyllic. Have a heart for travel and service? Have the luxury of being born in an English speaking country? Have an adventurous and open-minded spirit? Here’s a ready-made government program willing to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime.
Spoiler alert: the website doesn’t tell you everything.
This piece was originally written for Peace Corps Thailand Sticky Rice Magazine. Here it is for my own memory and to serve as a reminder of how very far from rock bottom I am now. Enjoy! I biked over one Sunday afternoon and found yaai (my host grandmother) alone in her usual spot. Just outside…
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says ‘I’ll try again tomorrow’.” ~Mary Anne Radmacher I used to think panic attacks were just extreme bouts of anxiety. I thought they would come and go and you’d be fine after a minute or two. I figured…
During Pre-Service Training (PST) Peace Corps gave us all a chart. This chart: I took one look and said “NAH”. Because I’m a narcissist with an innate need to be different (AKA human)….I had determined I would not be allowing a generic chart to tell me how I was going to feel about this experience….
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Maybe I’ll wish I had this time back. Maybe I’ll wish for a do-over. Maybe I’ll wish I had stayed in closer proximity to the people I love and care about. Then again…maybe I won’t.