The phrase, all day every day, has become our anthem. This means, we clean the most focal section of our small village (Pop: 3,000) on our day-off. This section is a 40 foot bridge which had about 4 inches of muck lining its walkway. It took us about one to two hours to complete the job. After which, I thought about what we had accomplished.
We made an impact on the community. It was a beautiful thing, and well timed, on Election Day and after church services. There was a steady flow of people crossing the bridge. Baboosia after Baboosia (Grandmother) looked on with curious amusement. One person even shouted out his car window, “thank you for cleaning our street!”
This is the types of small projects which will help us integrate into this small town’s social circles. We are not going to end corruption or decentralize the government. But, we can make many small ripples that lead to bigger changes.
Earlier this week my family and I sat down to dinner. I asked them about the upcoming elections and if they were planning to vote. They all said no. However, today my sister was exited to vote. It was like she won a prize and wanted me to go with her to pick it up.
While I sat in the waiting area I thought about Maidan. Then, I looked right. There was a small girl gazing into the voting chamber. Her curiosity was precious and I knew that moment would impact her life forever. A tear ran down my cheek. My empathy and love for Ukraine streamed down my face and fell abruptly on the floor. A chill ran down my spine and sublimity filled my heart. How lucky am I?
*These are the thoughts of Richard Roman and are in no way affiliated with the Peace Corps or its affiliates.