I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing but for the sake of optimism I’m going to say that it’s good. A LOT has happened since May, so maybe that’s why…
I remember when I was just a trainee back in pre-service training and one of my favorite training sessions was when the veteran volunteers would come talk to us about their experiences. We were just little buoyant nuggets full of hope and determination and SO eager to know the real deal with being a PCV.
We were always loaded with questions. After a while, I noticed this recurring theme of volunteers telling us how the second year of service was so different from the first and ohhh the second year really flies by because you’re just so busy and yadda yadda yadda.
I brushed it off until my mid-service crisis hit me like a bag of bricks and I was deep down in the dumps. I was feeling useless in site and the women’s group I worked with was just a complete hot mess. Things truly felt like they were getting worse by the day and the little work that I did have to do in my tiny community of 200 was slowly slipping away.
I was nervous because all I had lined up for this amazing “Year 2” were two Camp GLOWs (young female leadership camps), which I was working on with another volunteer. While I was super excited for those to happen, my squeaky clean calendar post-July left me feeling nervous and frankly, a little terrified…
This month, I celebrate the completion of my first year as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica.
It’s true what they say in the Peace Corps, that days pass by slowly but the months fly by.
How is it rainy season again already?
Reaching this point in my service is not only rewarding, but it brings me a sense of stability and comfort.
Before I left for the Peace Corps, 27 months felt like forever. But to really integrate into a new culture and community and work on sustainable long-term projects, all while learning a new language, it’s hardly enough time.
Now, different from a year ago, and even different from six months ago, I finally feel grounded; like I’ve found my place in my community and have a greater understanding for my host country and how things work (ahem, coffee is priority and meetings start at least an hour late).
In the whirlwind of all this, over the past six months I’ve experienced the ups and downs of working at a grass-roots level, transitioned in my role as a PCV, and even had some time to travel around the country (and Nicaragua!). Continue reading →