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