This coming Monday, I'll be starting a new Peace Corps Volunteer position called Response. For those of you outside the PC realm, Response is just that, a call answered by a former PCV to do a specific job or task in an area of need for a shorter time period than a normal two-year volunteer. The positions require certain skill sets and abilities that many former PCVs hold from past experiences. The only difference between most PCRVs (Peace Corps Response Volunteers) and myself is that they go to another country to do their service and I am doing mine in good ol' Guyana.
Someone asked me the other day if I was still in Guyana. When I answered yes, the replied with "Wow! You're a PC Legend!" I have to disagree... while I've been here for almost 4 years now, I still feel that I have made a small dent in what should have been a major crater. In all honesty, I feel like I've gained more from these experiences than I've given. After a conversation with my CD earlier this week, I realized I'm not the only one who feels this way. But for all PCVs across the board, serving and living a life of a volunteer in a third-world or developing country changes you for life, even if your service was 3 months or 4 years.
My next position will be working within the Ministry of Education implementing a new HIV/AIDS curriculum and training course for schools across Guyana. Having already been involved in a pilot program of sorts leading up to this position, I feel somewhat prepared ahead of time and eager to see this project through. Similarly, after having lived in an area familiar with HIV/AIDS persons and the community's involvement with prevention and awareness, I feel that I can have a better understanding of how to execute this project to the fullest.
With all this optimism.. I'm sure there is bound to be failure. However, I know that I'll make it through somehow, someway. And before I post this somewhat cheesy post with an equally cheesy picture, let me just give thanks to those who support me through many rough times and happy times alike.... Mica, Liza, Barry, my family, my Patentia friends, my neighbors, PC staff and GUY PCVs, my friends back home and more. Because of all of your words, hugs, smiles, challenges, corrections and suggestions, I'm a better person today. I feel that I can face the world with almost anything as long as I have you by my side.
With that.. enjoy your cheesy post and picture until next time...