Part 2: "Peace Corps is far, far, far from prison but it’s my 27 months to grow"

What are some of your Goals – day, a few years out. What their desired end result is?

My goals for my last six months of service are to start giving workshops on small business practices to help people within my community better their micro-business. I also have a goal to become more fluent in my Spanish and to find a job here in Latin America after Peace Corps.

In a few years, I hope I am working for a NGO and to have received my masters in either International Relations, or International Development.

What is my desired end goal?
That is a question I am still trying to answer. At the moment, my goal is to mature more and start exploring different types of jobs to see what it is exactly that I wish to do.

Challenges you had to overcome, reasons people fail and have difficulties.

People fail, when they don’t learn from unsuccessful actions. I tried starting a series of monthly teacher workshops in my county, time and time again they were cancelled for one reason or another. In the end, I only had one workshop where two teachers showed up, is this a failure? No. I learned what I need to do differently, I took lessons away from trying to plan these workshops.

One challenge I have had to overcome is being afraid to ‘fail.’ I found myself not taking certain risks because I didn’t know what the outcome would be, and that in itself is a bit of failure. During my time in Peace Corps I have learned to say yes and put myself in situations I didn’t think I would be in. For example, giving presentations in front of 300 people in Spanish with little time to prep for the presentation.

Another personal challenge I have had is with medication. Since 2nd grade I was taking ADHD meds and sometimes those controlled me. During my 20 months in Peace Corps I have been learning how to do professional work free of medication. I have been able to learn more about myself, and find different methods to work in a professional style without being depend on pills. This was a great challenge, but taking my own advice and trying new things and risks I knew it was something I had to do.

How can others get involved and make a difference

Start small. I did not wake up and decide to serve in the Peace Corps. It started getting involved in weekly Boy Scout meetings when I was little, and little by little I found what activities I enjoyed helping and then began taking on my ways to being involved.

Think of a small commitment you can make, a bi-weekly or weekly event that you can do to help others, learn or have fun in a different way.

If you want to know how to get involved with Peace Corps or other projects contact me and we can talk and figure out how you can help! There are a lot of different projects to HIV, Youth leadership camps, Men’s groups and so on, so, for details contact me.

Conventional wisdom, advice that you will give those trying to follow the same path

If you don’t know what is your calling start exploring different paths. If you are lost and don’t know what you want to do, how will you learn doing the same thing over and over. TAKE A RISK, explore a different path.

My father has had a small piece of paper with a quote tacked to above his desk, and I think this has guided me through my life.                                                         
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

Lessons learned through the process, what would you do differently what help you get where you are?

One of my biggest regrets was not trying to learn Spanish while I was PAYING to study Spanish in school and while I was living with three Spanish speakers and had numerous Spanish friends. For fear of embarrassment of speaking in front of them, making mistakes I was foolish not to learn a skill that I know need and wish I had earlier coming into Peace Corps.
If I could change something, I was I was more open to taking risks, putting myself out there. Learning how to speak in public, fail and self-motivation. These are all things I wish I could change, and would have done differently. I personally feel when I was in high school, I had a lot of motivation but it was only to get into College and complete the typical life. I wish I had experienced more of different parts of life to gain this extra motivation to help push me. Finally, I wished I took a gap year between high school and college. A year to mature, grow and learn about the world. I believe, this type of experience would have positively shaped my college experience.

Resources that you could recommend for others

People are your greatest resource. Talk to people of different walks of life. The history and stories that we, as humans have are invaluable. People who have experienced the struggles, lows and the highs and successes of life can share a mountain of wealth. These people, also have met others who may be in a similar situation as you, they can help guide you. Networking is one of the greatest resources you can have.

contact info, where to follow up with you?

My e-mail is Andrew.clark@assumption.edu I will try my best to respond at a timely matter with my current internet access but I’m generally pretty fast considering the circumstances.

 

Felix AfranieComment