Having grown up in a politically-charged family I always took politics and matters of great concern with a grain of salt. It was not until my return from a year in Germany as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student that I started to have a greater appreciation for the world around me. Exactly one year later I returned from a 6-month trip to Brazil. As my mother says, “Germany opened my eyes to the world and Brazil opened my eyes to myself.”
I have long since believed in a life of “Service Above Self,” the mantra of Rotary International, an organization that has done more for me than is deserved. I have been an active Rotaractor on the local and international stage and I have spread the word of Rotary everywhere I have traveled and lived. If I spend the rest of my life working for their cause it will not be enough to pay back this debt. Luckily for me, they aren’t looking to cash in on anything. This is just the way I feel!
While I was in Atlanta as a lost soul trying to figure out the rest of life I found a job opening at the Rotary International headquarters in Evanston Illinois. I applied right away and started reading about working for RI. Among other interesting statistics, they listed that many of their multi-lingual employees were returned Peace Corps volunteers! For me, that was all I needed to read to remind me that serving in the Peace Corps could be much more than just part of a political path. Its not about politics, and for that I am glad. It is about serving others. Hopefully in the process I will pick up the experience and credentials to be better suited to serve humanity for the rest of my life.
It should also not go unmentioned that I would probably not have actually applied to the Peace Corps had I not first spent the first half of 2010 in Los Angeles. While there I became friends with David B., a Peace Corps Masters International participant. He was in the program but was not yet started. he talked to me a great length about the process and encouraged me to apply. It is only now, months later, after reading about working at RI that it has finally clicked and I am filling out the extensive application.
Wish me luck!
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