Saturday, June 18, 2011

Different Services, Different Experiences, Different Lives

Attention: this blog post is going to be random, containing many different themes all rolled together.

Recently I began to wonder about my time here in KG. The K 17s have all left and now the 19s are now at site. I have been training my replacement but won't actually leave until October, so its been a little weird being around another American everyday and speaking English so much. However, as she's been asking me questions about my work here during my third year I've begun to wonder more about it. My third year has been so very very different from my first two years. Its like I've had two entirely different experiences. Looking back I'm not sure I've been as impactful, helpful or integrated as I was in the village. I do have more local friends than I did in the village but I also interact more with volunteers than I did before. I don't know if it's living in the city, my work or living alone but at times I'm not really sure how what I'm currently doing here is that much different than it would be in the states. I think part of it is that now at my work I've finally gotten some good projects and work started, just in time for the new vol and just in time for me to leave, so looking back I wonder what did I really do? I've helped my secondary site, yes and definitely impacted my local friends, but it just doesn't feel the same. I don't feel like I've made as significant impact as I had in the village; which in some aspects has been humbling and eye opening. As a volunteer we are not here to be known; we are not here to have the spotlight. Our influence is on a much smaller scale, and usually on the relationship levels, and now more than before I see this and understand it better. Contentment comes in different forms and happens in various ways; so understanding is needed as well as openness and the ability to say, “it's not about me” and to have the foresight to know that we often never see results but they are happening, even if we never know...

Not only has my third year led to different experiences but to a greater understanding of different lives. I'm referring to after PC relationships and how the are maintained or not maintained. During service we often get close to other volunteers and try to stay connected with them after service. But life happens and so friendships change. People stay less connected and sometimes even forgotten. Also non-service friendships change. As the volunteer becomes further removed from the happenings of the US they get forgotten or left behind among their non-PC friends. This is neither good nor bad, but happens as people live different lives and partake in other experiences. It becomes harder and harder to relate and to stay connected. Priorities change, life's general busyness becomes normal and separation happens.

So I know this has been somewhat scattered and not even sure if there's really a point except that life changes and so does everything else. Thoughts?

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Recently I was told by a fellow volunteer that I am a very genuine
person. For me, I felt that was an amazing comment; one of the best
I've received but it also made me wonder- what exactly is genuineness
and how can a person be genuine? Is it a state of mind? Actions? Is it
something that is exuded from someone? Can a person learn it? Can it
be obtained or are they born with it? I don't have any of these
answers but would love to hear thoughts. So far the closest that I've
been able to determine is that genuineness is truth. Its being real
and not presenting yourself in any other way. Showing the world that
hey, this is me, accept me or not. I also think genuineness can be
achieved. I think we all have snippets of it throughout our lives but
don't really ever live in it until we are fully confident and free
with who we are. I'm not sure I was always a genuine person and I know
not everyone I've met would agree that I am but I think its an
underlying aspect for who I am.

I'm not sure its any one thing nor is it always present all the time.
I think it can be shown thought actions, words, deeds and many other
things and oftentimes a genuine act goes unnoticed... which is
probably the point. Anyways, I have no answer to this question but was
glad to have received the compliment non the less.Thoughts?