The End of an Amazing Journey...

Trip Start Feb 06, 2007
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Trip End Apr 26, 2009


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Flag of Paraguay  ,
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I write to you back in the States filled with so much confusion...about where am I actually supposed to be in life. I thought that this experience was going to bef or me...that this was what God wanted me to do, but I have hit the one month mark and I just don't see myself here in this Peace Corps picture. After careful consideration and prayer, I have decided to end my training with the Peace Corps. You may recall that I asked several weeks ago to pray for me as I had an unspoken. Well here it is...Peace Corps wanted me to chance some aspects about me in order to "possibly" be a successful volunteer in my future site. I am very disappointed with the PC system and somewhat in the culture of Paraguay in that certain characteristics and my behavior might be taken in the wrong way...hence, the changes they wanted me to make. Of course, this is the clean version.

What have I learned?

Good question. I am who I am. No one should ever have to change who they are...how God made you is who you are -- it's what is specail about me - my constant cheerfulness, my love of talking to other people about random things, always laughing, and carrying on... We as Americans pride ourselves on our individuality..it's what makes us a very special and unique people. I tired to explain... you know the old saying, "what you see is what you get." When I was told that I was going to have to change or face serious difficultues in my service within my community in order to integrate, that was a clean signal to me that...Trevor, you don't need to chance who you are in order to please other people in order to help them --- something that I can do without repurcussion back home in the States.

The fact of the matter is that we have it so gOOD in the good ole' USA. No one can ever truly and fully realize that until you travel to another country and LIVE just like the locals do for an extended period of time. I may have only done this for one month and two days, but for me, it was enough to tell me that ... you know, Trevor... this isn't for you. (Funny moments, including falling into the latrine, no toilet paper in the latrine, brusing teeth at the well, drawing water from the well in the morning, noon, and night, bug galore in my room and flies by the thousand, washing clothes by hand, and eating the same foods over and over). The cold hard fact is that Peace Corps isn't for everyone, and I am just not ready for two years of this type of service in a foreign country. My enthusiasm, granted, was completely squelched when I had to sit down and talk with my trainers about the "changes" that were needed to be made. It was like being stabbed in the back. I just couldn't breath. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time...live in another culture and help in some way...but just a week into my experience, it turned negative and hasn't gotten any better since then (except for the time that I spend in the schools or am with reading club kids).

Yes, I am very disappointed in myself. I spent months soliciting support from my friends, families, and businesses in which I received both financially and prayerfull and now this dream is coming to a close. When your health and happiness comei nto question, the thing you need to do is to rest on it...I did that and am convinced, at least for the time being, that I am making the right decision to return home.
With al of this said, I know that months down the road and even years in the future, I will regret this decision. But, for now, I want to put this negative experience behind me and move on with my life. Any prayeful support you can offer for me would be most appreciated. The biggest challenge for me was getting on the plane on Feb 5. On that very cold day, I was convinced that this was going to be the greatest experience of my life..but I guess I came in expecting too much and, as a result, the system let me down big time. I don't expect any of you to fully understand where I am coming from and I expect many of you will be disappointed in me. I, with the support of my immediate family, am prepared for such disspointment.
What's in my future? If you only knew how many times I asked God that in the past month...I just don't really know to be honest. I have all these things that I want to do with my life, but this experience has for now...halted them.
The clearance process to leave the PC early is lengthy, but in the works as I type this. For those of you who supported me financially, I will mail a reimbursement check back to you by March 20. I am working on that now with my bank.

Until next time, Trevor
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