Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why My 10-Year-Old Self Would Love the Peace Corps

The other day as I was hiking back home, I had a thought: My 10 Year-Old self would love my job.  Granted, she probably wouldn’t have been too fond of the lack of opportunities to dress up (Or be clean and nice looking in general), but overall I think she’d be pretty happy.

Part of my job is to encourage people to make chocolate.
Okay, even my current 23-year-old self is really happy about this one.  At the current moment, all of the local cocoa producers sell their raw cocoa beans to a cooperative for between 45 and 70 cents a pound.  However, some volunteers have had great success in teaching their communities how to process the cocoa into chocolate bars- which they now sell for up to $5 a piece.  How do you start to convince them to do this?  Make them fall in love with eating chocolate themselves.  Challenge Accepted.

Sometimes I bathe in the creek.
Okay, so this is usually only when I run out of water at my house and the creek is also really cold.  But still, its beautiful isn’t it?

I finally have a canopy to sleep under.
As a child I can remember dog-earing  the exact page in the JCPenney catalog which depicted the most perfect bubblegum pink bed canopy.  My current model may not be exactly the same, but it sure does keep the mosquitos out. 

I wanted a puppy, so I got a puppy... and a kitten
Do you remember constantly begging your parents for a puppy or kitten when you were little?  We always had animals, but that never stopped me from begging for the sweet-faced, tiny ones.  My first day in my community I saw a litter of puppies and said that I wanted one.   Without consulting a single soul (other than the owners, of course) that puppy became mine.  Naturally, a kitten was next... followed by dog #2. 

If I want to eat brownies for dinner, I eat brownies for dinner.
Granted, anyone not living in their parents’ home can realistically eat anything they want, but as this is my first time ever living alone (and without a meal plan), I’m sure loving it. 

It's a rough life

If I have mail, I pick it up on an island. 
I’m not even joking, the closest post office is located on a Caribbean island.  Only decent customer service (and more mail!) could make the experience of picking up my mail any better. 

I speak another language.
To a 10-year-old, speaking another language seemed like writing in code.  Depending on where you are, I guess it could even be seen that way.  For instance, I could say anything at all in English and not one person in my village would know what I was talking about.  Try breaking that code. 

I read a lot. 
There actually is some truth to the popular belief that Peace Corps volunteers read in their hammocks a lot.  Don’t get me wrong, when there’s work, I work a lot.  Sometimes though, there isn’t.  And for those times there are books and a hammock.

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