Sitting on the ground crossed-legged reading with a pile of cute kids= changing the world?!
When you join the Peace Corps, nothing about the recruitment process warns you about the deep frustrations and depression you will feel once here. They seriously trick you into thinking that the Peace Corps is all about sitting around the campfire, and reading books with children and laughing and teaching them to wash your hands- thus, consequently, changing the world forever…..WRONG… It is not all rainbows and butterflies…. When we first arrived in country, we talked a lot about the many challenges of being a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize. Our nurse even put up a graph that was similar to a SINE function in math that showed us how happy and excited we would be when we first arrived. She called this the honeymoon stage of the Peace Corps. Everything is new, the people are kind, there is hope that we can make a difference and change this country. Then, at the 6 month mark, you sink deep into a hole, filled with frustration, loneliness, misunderstanding, hurt, and depression. Soon after you are back on top of the roller coaster, flying high and feeling positive. Well today- I am on my way back up from the obligatory 6 month low. I struggle with being able to relate to anyone back home, outside of this acute bubble I live in here, the daily challenges and struggles I have here in Belize. How it is so difficult to relate to and work with my local community members. How their lack of willingness to help with any project or get excited about anything to improve their very own community is so annoying. How they view white people as dollar signs and expect us to bring some tangible item, like a playground, a building, and school, and then leave. That is their view of development, and rightly they should have it. Every day I battle those stereotypes and reassert my role in this community and country. I find solace in working with the children of the village because they have yet to be molded into such thoughts and perceptions.