Our New Normal

Many Peace Corps volunteers miss their friends and family in America. On a daily basic this support network runs through our minds and has a strong place in our hearts. However, most Peace Corps volunteers understand that they have a new support group in Ukraine. Fellow volunteers provide the personal support which is at the core of our basic human desires.  So, cheers to my family, to my friends, and my Peace Corps collective. You give my life fulfillment through your constant interact and support.

 

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I have shared my life with many people in Ukraine. However, I believe that the important task of any Peace Corps volunteer is to listen to others. We are given an empathetic mandate which we adhere to on a daily basis. The life stories we compile from others throughout our service is the currency we desire.

Recently, I was given a crash course on the theory of “men are from Mars and women are from Venus.” I was told that the theory suggests that men sometimes want to fix a woman’s problems when in actuality all the woman wants is someone to listen. Peace Corps’ mandate is no different.

Each Peace Corps volunteer must look into their communities and ask how can we help others through simply sharing our time with them. As we all know in the Peace Corps we do not have many perishable commodities to share with others. We only have our skills.

My ancestors passed down to me the important principle of “vailed marketplace.” That is, nothing is free. From the smile you give to a stranger, or the samples at Costco. Everything has a currency. He told me, you can never fully comprehend the impact you can have on others until you fully understand this theory.

Each day I see this currency in the actions and behaviors of my new fellow Peace Corps volunteers and Ukrainian partners. We all understand that in order to counteract the greed and corruption in the world we must act with love and compassion. No one is perfect, but everyone can understand that they have the skill and ability to contradict the negative emotions which encompass the current marketplace.

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