I almost can´t believe that we swore in as volunteers a year ago today, but I am quite happy to believe it. I´m happy because it´s not been the easiest year of my life – nor most of ours – but we lived it!; happy because it´s been one of the most worthwhile years of my life; happy because I finally see some projects, and the productive work I so crave, lining itself up for this last year. Peace Corps is a crazy rollercoaster – a better explanation of which deserves its own post - but for the most part I feel quite content with where I am, what I´m doing, and the relationships I´ve formed.
Today all of PC/Guatemala´s volunteers - including those just swearing in and those just COSing - sat down in the capital with PC staff, host families, and a handful of dignitaries to commemorate Peace Corp´s 50th anniversary and watch the new volunteers swear in. It was good timing for a celebration; lately it has felt like more is happening in site, both in the confidence I have with people and the concrete projects we´re getting rolling – for interpretative and orientational signage, environmental education with women and schools, an active and successful tourism committee - and – perhaps – even a municipal recycling center.
I know not all of these projects may work, but I feel immensely satisfied just to have arrived at this point, to have managed to plant the seeds in the ground. Even knowing there have been plenty of times when I could have been more proactive, worked just a bit harder or put myself out there a bit more, I also know that I put in my fair share of patience, flexibility, and understanding to get to those seeds planted. And, evening knowing that not all will germinate, I think they will bring something to fruition that is more positive than not.
So looking around at my fellow volunteers and the ones about to start, listening to the speakers reflecting on the accomplishments of the volunteers about to COS or extend their service - I didn´t feel jealousy or the sense of ´¨what-if¨ or aimlessness that has pulled at the back of my brain for some of my service: just the sense of having hard-earned a few days´ pause, a dark beer, celebration with good friends.