i remember getting into a debate with a fellow PCV when i was in south africa – we were on opposite sides of the “as long as you affect some change, no matter how small, it matters” conversation. she was adamantl opposed and i, a staunch believer. we didn’t change each other’s minds but…i have since reinforced my own.

i was at best an average volunteer. it was part of my bit when i recruited for peace corps. i didn’t try to sell illusions of my own greatness…i talked about some things i was proud of…but i talked heavily about what i wish i had know/done so that i could be better. my hope was that new folks would have a better start – see things differently.

even so, i can see the affect pc has had on me. and i like it. almost five years removed from service and am mindful of what i didn’t do in south africa. i recall the ways tha ti was uncomfortable and didn’t like it instead of embracing it.

keeping that in mind has driven me in different paths since peace corps. it has taqken me to various countries and invovled me in a different kind of life. it has since brought me zed – to a university that is ranked pretty high in the world and has inner workings that are more foreign to me than zulu.

but what i learned as a result of peace corps is that i have to throw myself in and see what happens. i have to speak to strangers and offer my services until someone decides to take me up on them…or until i know enough to take myself.

looking back on our argument i can’t help but think of how my time in south africa did not have the HUGE impact i had invisioned for it before i left the states. even so…the differences are important…hopefully in other lives…but defintiely in mine. and those differences are affecting change on a bigger scope now…because i learned so much there…and i’m open and eager to learn and to share so much now.

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