Traveling and My Experiences
Peace Corps Essay #1
I am 48 years old. I live in America and have had the privilege of enjoying a varied and full life. I even served in the US Military and yet, the United States Peace Corps service was literally undefined to me until just recently in my life. All of my life that I can remember, I have wanted to help other people, give back to my many communities, volunteer for anything and everything, and just do good things that other people might notice or be advantaged by. Yet in looking back on my life, I find that I have not nearly fulfilled that desire to the extent that I wanted to.
I have now come to a time in my life where I strongly feel there is a window of opportunity being presented to me that could allow me to not only accomplish those desires, but also to be able to do it in an organized fashion that could result in other people truly benefitting from my contributions. The Peace Corps is an organization with the structure and resources to assist me in accomplishing my goals. Learning about the function and purpose of the Peace Corps has spurred my motivation to take advantage of that window of opportunity.
My past experiences in life have been many. I have traveled extensively, lived abroad, attended exceptional schools, dedicated time to uncommon hobbies, and participated in many activities that have all cumulatively created the persona I now am.
My experiences vary from Bee Keeping, Gardening, Pig Farming, Folk Dancing, Theatre and Woodworking in my early school years, to Pottery, Drumming, Fishing and Flying in my later years. Along with this is an education in Electrical, Plumbing and Construction trades, and a Military and University education in Computers. I have traveled to over 20 countries on multiple occasions with extended stays in both Spain and Mexico. A University Degree in Computer Engineering and 20 years of Computer, Finance and Small Business Administration round out my professional life, and most recently, I have found the time and desire to tutor English to Adults in my community.
These past experiences and the current sudden availability of time and resources to me, has increased my desire to fulfill my hopes of helping others.
I am ready for a life change. I am also ready to help potentially provide a life change for someone else. I have no grand illusions about changing the world or even really changing any one persons' life significantly. However, I do know that being part of an ongoing initiative, where everyone involved is there for the same purpose, can make a significant difference.
If I am accepted in the Peace Corps, the single most difficult issue I will face is the practical preparation for the departure. Any significant change in life can always be accomplished better with preparation and forethought. I have already begun examining the arrangements that are going to be needed for such issues as lease termination, business requirements replacements, payables and receivables handling, and storage for personal goods. I also am formulating a plan for when I return; doing my best to leave open options for the hopeful possibility of an extended stay with the Peace Corps, if that should be my destiny. My preparation plans will firm up and become much more forefront, once an acceptance is obtained, but with the proper planning and timing, I am comfortable that it can all be handled in a smooth and sensible way.
One of my life goals is to be able to look back and be satisfied that I participated in volunteer programs and other actions that hopefully have made an actual positive difference in some other, less privileged part of our world. I want to be proud to be a part of the type of people who don't spend their life just dreaming of this, but actually make it happen.
I feel strongly that I can bring a substantial contribution to the table. I am generally flexible and can easily adapt to most any environment. I enjoy the dynamics of working with others and always respect the fact that there are always other valid perspectives. I find deflection a better defense than absorption, and conflict, in general, is not part of my lifestyle. I tend to listen more than speak, and "do" more than "talk about" doing. I am persistent and will avoid undertaking a project where I don't anticipate a satisfactory conclusion.
As a private pilot and a business manager, I have developed a permanent sense of responsibility for those around and involved with me. Protecting and observing everyone's best interest is my nature. Doing so within the restrictions and limitations of my current environment is something I am always aware of. Being proud to be an American and a US Citizen is something I will constantly justify. And yet, while I feel privileged to be from the United States, I am also aware that others feel the same about their own countries and origins. Therefore I will always proudly represent my country and yet remain flexible and accepting of others cultures and ideologies.
Throughout my travels abroad, there have been many things that I have learned. However, one lesson stands out more so than any other: the fact that so many Americans have never left the United States, or have only been exposed to the more modern and Westernized world outside the US. There is an endless amount of culture and wonderment beyond our borders that I have just begun to scratch the surface of. I wish to share my experiences, excitements and adventurous stories with every American with whom I have the occasion, in the hopes that they too, may be inspired and more open minded about the cultures of the rest of the world.