Before I left, while living here, and once I return one question will always be asked, Why did you join the Peace Corps Andrea? I’ve always given a different answer, but it all had to do with the same thing: My passion. I am passionate about teaching, I am passionate about working with youth. I am passionate about gender rights. I am passionate about feeling good about the work I do. I am passionate about following my passion. I am passionate about listening. I am passionate to teach what I have been so lucky to learn. I am passionate to share my cultural , as confusing as it might be to others. I am passionate to share who I am. I am passionate to see smiles over frowns. I am passionate to feel change. I am passionate to learn from other cultures. I am passionate to make mistakes, as long as I’m walking my own path. I am passionate to see improvement where it was least expected. I am passionate to see, feel and talk about this experience. I am passionate.
This, I have tried to say in many ways and languages but most people always give me a disappointed look. Maybe they were expecting me to say something grand like —well actually I can’t think of anything grand to say otherwise I’d be saying it. Not to long ago a college student asked this same question and I gave my usual response and then came more questions ” don’t you think people in America could use your help?” “Did you leave America because you are not proud of where you come from?” “what makes you think other people seek your help?”. While I was a little taken by the questions, I appreciated his honesty. I answered in order: of course, I am proud, I don’t think people seek my help. I know I could be doing this work in many parts of Chicago, places I’ve worked for and other agencies. There is a strong need for human kindness all around the world. There are too many illiterate adults, poor parents, homeless kids, abandoned causes, malnutrition babies and sadly, the list could go on. But for now, this is my passion. This is what I’ve decided to do.
I can’t say all of this grew out of nowhere. If you read my swear-in speech( Swear- in Speech June 2011 –follow the link) you will see that my passion for this type of work has been cooking inside me almost all my life. There are no coincidence in life and there is no path created for us. There is only our passion in life that guide us. My passion has led me here, to Novaci Romania. And as you’ve read in previous post I really like it here. I wake up every morning eager to start my day. Yes, some days are more difficult than others but I get through them because this is my passion.
Maybe when I return I’ll have a less passionate answer, to avoid seeing another disappointed face. It’s hard to convey your passion to those who seem to have no concept of the real meaning of the word.
Before I conclude, let me be clear: I don’t mind the question as long as you accept my answer.
-es fácil perder el camino cuando sigues un sueño ajeno– Andrea