essence of serendipity

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on September 26, 2010

Live wildly uncomfortable lives.

– David Lillie, PC/Morocco Country Director

Shout outs are in order:

–       Happy 80th birthday, NeNe (grandma in Hainanese)! I’m so glad I got to talk to you on your special day!

–       Friends who will be/are in Europe (Brussels, Spain, and England thus far) during my time in Morocco! I’ll be coming through, inshallah, at some point.

Currently reading The Audacity of Hope by Barak Obama. Anyone else notice how he dedicated his book to women – his maternal grandmother and mother – and makes a point to acknowledge his relationship with his father in the prologue:

“Someone once said that every man is trying to either live up to his father’s expectations or make up for his father’s mistakes.”

Redefining my job: cultural educator. Then community health volunteer. People care more about where I’m from than how they can improve their health with just small changes in their daily lives.

PCVs often have interesting conversations. Case in point:

–       If there was an average person of the world, what would he/she be like?

–       Male PCV asks female PCVs: “How would you feel if you made more money than your husband?”…”Would you be insecure about him making less than you?”

Response: Actually, that’s how I envision it. I want to be independently and interdependently successful. That means I want to earn a high income in my career. Question isn’t whether I’m okay with it (because I’m prepared for it); question is whether he, whoever my spouse turns out to be, will be secure about it. (Though if he is my spouse, then he will be secure about it because we will have already talked about this possibility before marriage. Haha.)

Peace Corps is the essence of serendipity.

– PCV Tom

When amongst PCVs, it’s interesting to hear about the thought process that did and the decision process that didn’t work out to get them where they are now. For instance, when asked, “Where did you choose as your geographical preference for service?” some PCVs in Morocco will confess that they didn’t choose Morocco or the Northern Africa region, in fact, some didn’t choose Africa at all.

Case and point: myself. On my application, my preferences were South East Asia and South America. I was lukewarm about serving in Africa, quite possibly because the idea of living among impoverished people, sleeping in a mosquito net to prevent getting bit, having to take malaria medication, eat mystery bush meat and grains, and in landlocked country in Sub-Saharan Africa for two years intimidated the heck out of me. Besides, at the time of application, I was still reminiscing about my semester studying in China, where I longed to return to. At the same time, I was also interested in improving my Spanish, learning more about South American culture.

Considering all those things, I can ask, “How did I end up here?”

But I don’t. I consciously choose not to. There’s no need.

Life is about challenging oneself. In order to do that, sometimes you have to admit to yourself that, well, you don’t know what you don’t know.

When I heard about my placement in PC/Morocco, well, I didn’t know the place or culture very well. Actually, I had to consult a map to find where it was. While I gripe about it – or certain aspects of it – I am so happy I accepted my invitation. Not only did I end up in a fabulous country, I was placed in a beautiful and picturesque province with wonderful people.

If you want to live life, if you really want to experience it for all its beauty – I recommend going against the tide. Try something different. Do something new and challenging everyday. Listen to your instinct instead of the crowd – the view from being a leader is so much more vibrant than the view of a follower.

Embrace life’s changes! It’s the only thing that remains constant! Take the direction that makes you grow into a better person – spiritually, mentally, emotionally. Aspire to be and do more than you did before.


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