Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jibing that boat

My Dear Family and Friends,

I have some news about where my life (and the direction of this blog) will be headed for the next two years and would love to share it with you!

-- -- --

This is a letter and a pledge:

At the very end of May in 2008, summer was coming around the corner in all its eagerness to deliver something exciting: like a really good concert, a fling with a bird, a road trip, or a minimum wage job. But, like the economy, I spent the season working and dreaming about grass being greener on the other side. This year's summer saw our country change shape in many different ways and as it did, I decided to make my own kind of investment and apply for the Peace Corps.

What is the Peace Corps?

It is a civilian organization, sponsored by the U.S. government that began with our late president, John F. Kennedy, in 196o and was carried out by Sargent Shriver after the passing of the Peace Corps act of September 22, 1961.

The Peace Corps' mission has three simple goals:

  1. Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
In applying for this opportunity, I began a nine month process in which, aside from interviews, medical tests and exams, and a legal background check, I have done a lot of waiting and a lot of waiting.

However, on this past Monday, November 17, 2008, my wait ended. I have been invited to join the Peace Corps as a trainee and eventual volunteer in South America. I will be leaving the states on February 16th for two years service in the country of Guyana where I will be working with the Ministry of Education to help with the following:
  • Raise literacy rates at the primary and secondary grade levels
  • Encourage and develop new teaching methodologies
  • Improve parent/teacher relationships
  • Design, facilitate, and evaluate health and family life planning education programs
  • Facilitate educational field trips
and much, much more...

This will be quite a change for me and the lifestyle I live. I am both excited and somewhat scared to experience it. To help record these adventures, discoveries, lessons, and frustrations (and there will be frustrations they say) I will be writing as frequently as I can on this blogsite; as electricity and technology will be sparse where I am going.

The coming months will be a time for preparation and eventual transition into a near completely different culture and environment. There, I will be applying everything I have ever known and learned into living and working. As a graduate of the University of California, I will also be applying Anthropological and Ehtnomusicalogical practicum to my day to day life as much as possible in order to better understand myself as a humbled American patriot and to better understand what it is to be Guyanese.

It is going to be hot, humid, and very foreign. And I plan on diving right in. I hope you will, too. Either by visiting me overseas, or vicariously through this blog. For all of you that I have had the good fortune of crossing paths with in my life, know this: You have helped to prepare me for this journey in more ways than you know. I thank you for your love, support, friendship, challenges, questions, and vetting. The sounding board has been integral and I welcome your input (i.e. comments on the blog, emails, or care packages with In N Out in them).

I will be collecting an email list soon. Please keep an eye out.

"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.
Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
-Kennedy in '61

My best,

Now playing: Little Dragon - After The Rain
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

AKADO107 said...

hey chris! that's totally awesome you joined the peace corps! i hope you have a great service! when do you leave? guyana will probably be a totally different experience than eastern europe, but let me know if you have any questions.