It is January 2017 and I finally start writing in my newly created blog space. I applied for the Peace Corps last July just after returning from my first trip to Malawi.
It is a little scary to put myself out there for everyone to see or better read. When I was younger it came easier, but then I only communicated in one language. One would think that two languages would double the vocabulary but for me it is more like I have to make due with 3/4 of words and grammar times two. On top of it I have to decide who I want to write to; my American or German friends. To be honest, just the idea that I will have to make this decision every time I create a post makes my resolve crumble.
Why write at all, you might ask? Well, for once I think I am embarking on a journey that I want to reflect upon. I also think that creating this habit of writing on a regular basis will ground and connect me at the same time. My hope is that you will be an audience for me when I feel lonely in a brick hut 9ooo miles away, living an unfamiliar life with yet another language. I hope I can share my stories with you, my fears, my successes, my failures, the beauty of my new country, the kindness of it’s people, their challenges and victories, their way of life and how it connects to ours.
Last week I finished my last task to be submitted via electronic portal to the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, DC. This has been the longest application process I have ever had to endure. And it might not even be over yet. However, ever since I pressed the send button for the last time I started having dreams that something will happen that would prevent me from leaving, a broken leg, burglars, a violent storm taking off the roof of my Cedar City house. This was the time that I realized I still REALLY want to go.
Many things walk through ones brain when trying to prepare for an adventure like this; initial excitement, doubts in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, questions about ones own sanity, guilt of leaving people behind who potentially might need me, concerns about ones own ability to learn yet another language, to be physically able to live a lifestyle without electricity, running water, easy transportation or familiar foods, doubts about being able to teach 130 students in one class room. And just in case things don’t work out, I have a pre-written letter of resignation on my desktop, ready to go.
And yet, here I am slowly letting myself get excited about my new life. Things are falling into place, one after another, like a pile of dominoes slowly being erected and organized by an invisible hand.
And now I even finished my first post. I hope you can read over my language mistakes and just be part of this journey. Thanks for doing this with me.
Malawi Sketch Book 1 (my journey in sketching)