Tish’s Peace Corps Essay

Essay #1:  The Motivational Essay, was to tell why we wanted to join the Peace Corps.  This is what Tish wrote…

I want to join the Peace Corps for three distinct reasons.  I have a servant’s heart and find joy in serving others.  I am looking for a new challenge in my life.  I have an adventurous spirit.

My primary life goal is to love and serve others.  I define others as family, friends, the community, the world.  For my family and friends, my love and service is demonstrated by hospitality.  I strive to make my home an inviting place of comfort.  I have fun hosting meals and celebrations for others, providing a place for building relationships and fellowship.  To serve my community, I chose a career as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner, to be in a helping profession.  I find great satisfaction in helping someone develop a healthy lifestyle, recover from an acute illness, or adapt to living with a chronic illness. My professional strengths include creative problem solving, communication, and teaching.  I feel I am talented at taking complex ideas and communicating them clearly in terms a less educated person can understand.  I work well with other professionals to develop and implement new programs for the patients we serve.  I enjoy mentoring and teaching new professionals in my workplace.  To serve the world, I have participated in short term mission trips to Honduras, Peru and Lebanon.  However, I came home feeling the benefit was fleeting.  We provided a service for the moment, but didn’t effect any lasting change.  I think the Peace Corps offers a mechanism for me to use my talents to make a lasting contribution in another country, and that excites me.

I am looking for a new challenge in my life. I have been in my current professional position for about fifteen years.  I have always enjoyed what I do as a nurse practitioner, working with individuals with diabetes.  I counsel, not only Americans, but immigrants from the Caribbean, Mexico, the Middle East, central Europe, Asia, and Africa, and learn about their foods, and how to adapt them into a healthy diabetic diet.  However, I am frustrated with our American health problems, caused by excessive indulgence in food, a sedentary lifestyle, and a stressful pace of life.  I am beginning to question my effectiveness in what I do here and feel it is time to move on.  In visiting other countries, I have been in awe of the resourcefulness of the people, the strong sense of community with neighbors, and slower pace of life where time for relationships is valued. I think my healthcare and education skills can be effectively used in a developing country.  I have a heart for serving the underprivileged, and am looking for a way to make a more meaningful contribution to others.

I have a sense of adventure and am interested in seeing different parts of the world and learning how others live.  I love the beauty of nature and am awed by the differences around the world.  I enjoy tasting different foods and learning how others cook.  I like seeing the rituals of new cultures.  When I was returning from Peru, our group stayed in a modest hotel in a small city.  A wedding took place in the gathering room and we were invited to observe.  What a treat to see the clothing, the ceremony, the music, the food, and the excitement of the bride, groom, family and friends.

I have to admit, my cultural experiences have mainly been as an observer from the outside.  In short term missions to other countries, I have had to adapt to limited hot water and bathroom conditions, and cultural foods cooked outdoors.   I worked with translators, but after a few days, could pick up on answers to basic questions.  Learning a new language will be one of my biggest challenges.  I think living in, and integrating myself into a new environment and culture, will be an eye opening experience; a richer, more valuable encounter for me.

The thing I think would be most challenging for me as a Peace Corps volunteer, would be dealing with cultural issues that are in direct conflict with my core values.  I would struggle with violence, abuse, gender inequality, or a lack of basic human rights.  I would deal with uncomfortable issues by learning more about the culture; seeking relationships with key stakeholders in the community, and with Peace Corps supervisors to do problem solving; and provide support and encouragement to the local people to effect change.

Lastly, I am in a place in my life where I am ready personally, professionally, and financially to join the Peace Corps, and can readily commit to 27 months of service.  When I was in my twenties, I would have been too timid to join.  Being in my fifties, I am self confident, have experiential wisdom that has taught me what is really important in life, and am interested and willing to forge new relationships.  I am healthy.  I am financially comfortable, and don’t want or need any more material things.  My children are grown, educated, employed, and independent.  In applying to serve with my husband, I am looking forward to sharing this new adventure with him.  I am ready to grow as an individual.  I am ready to demonstrate the American values of honesty, integrity, a strong work ethic, respect for individual rights, and democracy to others.  I am ready to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer.

To see Marion’s Peace Corps Essays click HERE