July 31st 2003
July 31st 2003
This thing about being a Peace Corps Volunteer is not always easy. A lot of the volunteers lately have been going home early. Six in the month of July to be exact. It was like one girl set off a train a while back and the others have just been following her. Some are done with their time but a lot are leaving early. A couple of them Lesotho has not really been ideal for but a lot of them it seems like are not making the most of their experience.
I feel like I am faced with a lot of the same problems they are but am having a comparably much better experience. What is working for me and not them is I am proactive and have been for a few years now. I know for some of my family that has known me for quite some twenty-six years that was not always the case but people and times change. I like many of the people here was given a place to stay and a big fancy description of what I was going to be doing. The house was nice but my job was basically null. I can remember during my training I was talking to a Volunteer that had been here for about a year and I asked him how it was. He replied, “It is okay once I got over the fact that I did not have a job” The whole time he was here he did very little in the way of building up the community but what he did do was cultural exchange. Real quickly there are three main goals of Peace Corps. One build up a community. Two give foreigners an idea of what it is like to be American and three vice versa. So he did real well two of the three goals.
I seem to find a lot of people though that aren’t doing much of the three and they seem to be unhappy. For the most part they don’t leave their houses but to buy food and to do Peace Corps related activities. They then when we get together complain about how their jobs are either non-existent or that people don’t show up very often or are not motivated to do anything when they do. Well, that is Lesotho and that is for the most part third world Africa. Over half of the people that could work don’t and of those that do most really don’t do very much at all. This results in not very much getting done. Many Peace Corps Volunteers complain a lot about how there is nothing to do. The fact of the matter is though that I have not talked to a single one that has said that they were basically like okay my job is basically non-existent and so I need to find something else to do. They can do anything they want and in a country with a high HIV rate there is lot’s to do with that. This would of course mean them being proactive and going around looking for ways to help people instead of someone coming up to them and saying, “You are a volunteer and you are going to do X,Y, and Z” which it seems that most of them want and are unhappy they are not getting it.I feel like Peace Corps is really a proactive person’s dream. And I know that still some people might not think me proactive but let’s not get the difference between proactive which I am and overactive which I try not to be. Love ya’ll, Jeff