Muraho! (That’s hello in Kinyarwandan!)
Seven years ago, I attended an alumni event at UCLA where a woman was given an award for a lifetime of service. In addition to a wide variety of local volunteering, she had been on multiple tours with the Peace Corps throughout her life. I was inspired.
I have always believed in volunteering. We are a people who need to come together, to help one another, and to love. There is no greater way to show love than to stand alongside someone and offer a helping hand. Wherever we are, whatever our financial resources, however busy our schedule – there is something we can be doing to help others. It may be within your own family or circle of friends, it may be at a local soup kitchen or mentoring a child, or it may be traveling to another part of the world to share your skills and bridge a cultural divide. There is no better or worse way to serve. Find what you can do and just start.
September 11, 2012 marks the beginning of a new type of service for me. Beyond local, I’m going global, as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Rwanda. I will be teaching English as a foreign language to secondary level (high school) students, in addition to any other opportunities I have to be a partner in the development of Rwanda. I am equal parts terrified and exhilarated by all that this means!
The title of this blog, Detour Scenery, and the accompanying quote: “A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour,” are my anthem in life. As much as I make plans for the next 5 years, or even the next day, being truly happy means finding joy even when my plans get waylaid. Sometimes changes, as hard as they may be at the time, end up being for the best. They introduce us to new friends, develop new skills, or show us that our original plan wasn’t what we should doing all along! My goal in the Peace Corps is to be flexible as I adapt to a new job and culture, to be open to meeting new family and friends, and to always find joy even when nothing goes as I plan!
This blog will be a place for me to share the personal adventures, and challenges, I have during the 27 months of my service (and possibly beyond as I bring my Peace Corps experience back home to the States). Internet access will be intermittent in Rwanda so I cannot guarantee regular posts, but I will share what I can, when I can and hope you all can join me in being truly happy at wherever life may lead!
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.