Why Peace Corps?

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At the beginning of each year, I conduct a review of my life. What happened in the past year and what would I like to happen in the new year. Through this process I set up my focus areas for that year that allow me to live a life based on my values and dreams.

In January of 2016, I took account of my life and what challenges I would like to face next.

The community dedication to Austin Creative Reuse and the strong foundation that many people helped me establish allowed me to see that Austin Creative Reuse was positioned to thrive and I could release my commitment to the organization.

Additionally, during my recent travels in Spain (walking the Camino de Santiago with my mom), I realized again how much I enjoy speaking the Spanish language.  I have been learning and practicing Spanish from 6th grade and studied in Madrid for a semester while in College. I  decided that I was ready to use it on a daily basis; allowing me to move from disjointed surface level conversations to speaking more fluidly.

And lastly, through the last few years I have moved to a more minimalist lifestyle, I let go of hundreds of books and countless other objects and started to be more conscious and deliberate about what I purchased. I moved to a smaller living space and challenged myself with no buying months, the 333 closet/Capsule Wardrobe project and using the library more.  This allowed me to see how I could leave the US and my stuff for a few years with little effort.

My focus in 2016 was to find a new opportunity to use the skills that I learned through my career, my studies and the creation of Austin Creative Reuse to foster others in their businesses’ or organizations’ dreams, to live in a Spanish speaking country and to learn about ways of life from a new community.

After reading countless blogs and talking to former Peace Corps volunteers, I decided that I wanted to serve in the Peace Corps.  I applied in May 2016 and was accepted into the Peace Corps as a Business Development Volunteer to serve in Peru. I will leave for training on April 18th, 2017.

I will go through 3 months of pre-service training near Lima and at the end of this I will find out where I will be stationed.

I leave you with a poem by Hermann Hesse

As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.

The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slave of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.

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Rebecca

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