PCV strategy: build up your support system

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on May 15, 2011

Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.

– Mark Jenkins

At the year mark, it’s not uncommon for PCVs to reflect on his/her reasons for joining PC.

This evening, I caught myself looking over a year’s worth of pictures, places and faces. cultural/gender/ethnic/etc. challenges withstanding, I concur:

Peace Corps is (still) the hardest job you’ll ever love.

At the year mark, the letters “ET” also float around. In PC, “ET” means “early termination” (or, as some would interpret, “quit”). To that, I say to each his/her own service and his/her own decision. ETing is not an option for me because, frankly, I don’t want it to be.

Here’s what I say to counter the possibility of ET: build up your support system. Here. In country. With people who share (thus better understand) what it is you’re going through. Build up your support system early on – during staging, PST, CBT – so that you’ll have people to reach out to when you find yourself facing a tough day (or week).

In service, as in life, there are ups and downs. You decide how and who  you want to ride those waves with.


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