Sunday, September 17, 2017

And I'm off...tomorrow

I woke up early this morning, my last full day at home. Preparing to leave has been stressful in that I feel like I'm waiting for some sort of justification/approval. Like: "okay, you're all set! You packed what you need, you have your paperwork, time to go". I feel like I did a sloppy job of packing and am definitely missing things. In any case, the crescent moon kept me company. I think the hardest part has been the waiting. I just want to go. I applied over a year ago and am very anxious but also very excited. Let's get this show on the road folks!

I head to staging for a couple of days tomorrow in Miami then it's off to Guatemala for a three day in-country orientation and then we get placed with our host families for pre-service training (PST)!

I had originally intended on doing a "packing list" post, but I've just had so much else to do. After I've been in-site for a while I'll let you know what I'm glad I brought and what I wish I brought

Monday, May 29, 2017

“A single bracelet does not jingle”

This Congolese proverb rings true in many situations but I have related to it strongly in the past few weeks.  Because I am constantly moving around, I find myself saying goodbye more often than I might like. Don’t get me wrong, I love the thrill of a new adventure, of meeting new people, of breathing new air, but it can get tiring having to say goodbye to a place or an experience that you are in love with.


As I was preparing to leave my Virginia home I remembered this proverb and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. It can be interpreted in a few ways but I like to imagine and arm full of bracelets, each different from the last–some bright and colorful, some understated and elegant, some very loud and some silent–each one representing an experience, or a place, or a person. We are made up of our experiences, comprised of our stories. This beautiful arm represents our entire being and when we reflect and celebrate those experiences…when we dance with all of the energy that life gives us…those experiences sing and shine for us and for those around us. 

This beautiful image is even more impresionante when you remember that you and your friendships, and kindness, and shared adventures are actively weaving the bracelets of others. Your participation in the lives of others is important and you too are celebrated and carried across the globe. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"A place to stand"

Welcome back!

Those of you who read this blog when I posted regularly during my year abroad will notice the new title. The purpose of this blog largely remains the same, it's a way for those at home to keep up with me and also to inspire and encourage others to get out and see our big, beautiful world.

As a Peace Corps Guatemala invitee, most of the posts this summer will be focused on my preparation for departure as well as other things I am working on or have participated in in the past year. Maybe I'll even get around to finishing writing about Spain, Costa Rica, and Norway.

SO, the title change. My year abroad was focused on self-reflection and improving myself. My next long-term travel experience, Peace Corps, will be focused on serving those around me and attempting to better the world in whatever way I can. I believe that you can't be effective in helping others until you are confident in yourself. Self-esteem, self-respect, and self-care are extremely important, this I have learned through experience.

"A place to stand" comes from John F. Kennedy's speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1963. Speaking about the limited (nuclear) test ban that was recently signed with the USSR he said: "It will not put an end to war. It will not remove basic conflicts. It will not secure freedom for all. But it can be a lever, and Archimedes, in explaining the principles of the lever, was said to have declared to his friends: 'give me a place where I can stand - and I shall move the
world' "

As a Peace Corps volunteer I know that I will not change the world but if I can help to move it along, I will be content.

Look for more in the coming weeks :)

Best,
Holly