Many have asked why I feel the urge to enroll in the Peace Corps. Even more so, why I want to start it all over and try again.
Truth is, I don’t have a good answer.
When I return to America as Lesotho RPCV, insha’Allah, I’ll be nearing 30. I’ll be single with a heap of student loan debt waiting for a payment and no sturdy career path. So, to those with careers and families, my life seems, well, a bit ludicrous. Why move away from friends, family and all that is comfortable? Why put your life on hold? Why?
Today, I was enjoying the Sunday fall morning and walking through neighborhoods full of changing colors. The houses wore welcoming doorsteps, with colored doors and perfectly placed pumpkins. Through the windows, I could imagine a peaceful life. There’s the 8-5 job with social engagements and hobbies plucked into the other spots. There is stability and comfort behind the doors.
As I strolled, I listened to an episode of Being, a show on NPR that I truly don’t listen to enough of. Kristen Tippert, who I can only assume is petite worldly woman, was interviewing Wangari Maathai. A native Kenya, Maathai was talking about her tree planting initiative that was meant to combine spiritual and human needs. Because of that initiative, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Her words oozed of desire to make the world a better place. And, at the end episode, she broke out into song and it rejuvenated me. It sparked a passion within me, one to go out there and do the best that I can.
I don’t have a real good answer as to why I feel the need to go into the Peace Corps other than that it is calling. When I feel that passion, I have to follow it. Passion has led me all sorts of places and now it’s taking me to Lesotho.