Thirty days left, and I have been trying to muster enough motivation to mentally come to terms with my leaving for twenty seven months. This morning I book my train ticket to Philadelphia, where staging will take place. As of February, 9th 2014 I will be embarking on a journey as a Health Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, East Africa.
I have been trying to pack while simultaneously unpacking my emotions. Friends, family and strangers often ask, "Why the Peace Corps?" I could tell them how I love to travel, how I fell in love with motion and universe and challenges and helping others because I can never find the right words to explain the guilt of privilege filling inside. How I am a piece of war torn land and struggles and history of conflict and family escaping into America for security, opportunity. Making home far away from where I come from. For me, Peace Corps is acknowledging the sense of responsibility I owe to my people, to all people and humanity. An opportunity to utilize the experiences I have gained along the way, while challenging my beliefs, comfort and reminder to self how I am no different from third world struggle than the reality of family getting away.
This past summer sitting at a coffee shop in Nairobi, contemplating what it means to be home. An older man with all the wisdom he could convene tells me, “to know who you are and where you are going, you must understand where you come from.” I reflect on his words. What it means to be from somewhere. I begin to understand that home is never still, always moving. Home is everyone I have met, loved and lost. Every shared laughter, and photograph and nostalgic memory. I carry pieces of home everywhere I go. For the next two years, I will claim home half-way across the world. The land of the Maasai and sunsets and beaches and rich culture and wonderful people. I am a whole lot excited and a little nervous to embark on this life-altering journey in East Africa. This is going to be the beginning of the most fulfilling, exhilarating and terrifying journey I have yet to experience.
Bismillah alrahman alraheem.