At a Crossroads

Peace Corps

Inevitably, as you go through life, you come upon a crossroads. Sometimes, that crossroads seems to coincide with major life events and sometimes a crossroads is a major life event in and of itself. Maybe crossroads allows us to choose the path that will continue to define us, or maybe the path chooses us because it will lead to the person we are meant to be. Whatever the cause and wherever the choice will take us, crossroads will always continue to break the mundane routine of the comfortable person.

With graduation just around the corner, I have been contemplating the various options available to me. Volunteering. Internships. Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Korea. Full-time jobs. Travel. As a soon-to-be college graduate, the possibilities seem endless.

But something was pulling me toward the unconventional…

On a whim, back in April, I applied to be a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV). Just wanting to keep my options open, I never really gave the application a second thought.

Until a Peace Corps Recruiter called me in May, interviewed me, and, at the end of the interview, nominated me to a business program in Western Africa scheduled to leave in early 2014. I would have no further details until an formal invitation was extended to me.

Suddenly, the ball was rolling.

Throughout the summer months, I continued to contemplate the Peace Corps as well as a few other options. Knowing that I was quickly approaching a crossroads, I didn’t want to take the decision lightly.

Then, on Tuesday, September 3, I opened my email to find an invitation from the Peace Corps to serve as a Community Economic Development Agent in Senegal. I had seven days to accept or decline.

This was the crux of the matter.

Not wanting to make a poor decision, I used the full week to contemplate the invitation and seek advice. In my heart, I knew my decision. But my mind was a little slower.

Finally, on Tuesday, I accepted the invitation to become a PCV.

The Senegal program will depart in March. For 27 months, I will serve as a business adviser for small businesses and a mentor for youth and women in the areas of business and information technology. Throughout the three months of training and then my community placement, I will develop language skills in French and possibly another local language while immersing myself in another culture.

These 27 months will be biggest challenge I have ever encountered. But also the most rewarding. Excitement, nervousness, and anticipating course through my veins.

Here at this crossroads, I can’t wait to meet the person at the end of this journey.