Friday, July 9, 2010

This is Not What I Had in Mind

When I dreamt of my days as a Peace Corps volunteer, I pictured extreme isolation with my only mode of transportation being a bike. I imagined becoming fluent in the local language. I pictured myself as becoming someone completely different. Someone who wasn’t scared to talk to a stranger, an extrovert with the ability to mobilized mass quantities of people. Yet, I am beginning to wonder, who was this person I imagined?

My dream has come true, I am a Peace Corps volunteer and I am living in Africa. However, I am slowly coming to the realization that what I had imagined was just a dream and that becoming a Peace Corps volunteer didn’t change who I am as an individual. I am still me, the introvert that would prefer to disappear into the background rather than be the center of attention. My isiZulu name says it all, Nokuthula, a quiet individual, peaceful, and down-to-earth. Every day I am challenged, I am forced to step outside my comfort zone, to challenge my boundaries, and to question my abilities. I no longer blend in with all those around me; I am now the star of the show, the one that people are looking up to for help. I can’t help but question if I am really cut out for this job. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being here. I feel that this is where I need to be right now. I just need to find a way to use my strengths and to challenge my abilities to become that great Peace Corps volunteer I once imagined.

This is a picture of me with two other women that I met named Nokuthula. The three Nokuthulas.


Marcia said...

I so enjoy reading your blog Erin. You are perfect the way you are; just use your strengths to obtain your goals. People do not change they evolve into the person that they are most comfortable with. In this way they can best help others...sounds like you are on your way!! Peace Corps sounds like it agrees with you...
Keep enjoying your incredible journey...L, Marcia

Claire said...

Erin! I am really bad at updating my own blog and reading other people's. I really feel you on this one, girl. I struggle with the same stuff every day. But I very much agree with Marcia above- you are awesome the way you are and I believe that by being true to ourselves we can be the best PCVs (and human beings!) possible :) And that is going to be very different for all of us. Lots of love and talk to you soon!

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