I’ve been here in Colombia almost 11 months. I’ve been a Peace Corps Volunteer, officially, almost 8 months. As Volunteers, we must turn in Volunteer Report Forms three times a year. In these forms, we provide Peace Corps the numbers that help them remain financed by Congress (I mean, presumably). We fill in each and every activity that we have completed and with how many people of what ages and genders. Then we detail out what Peace Corps goals and priorities those activities hit and how many people were impacted by them. For both of the report forms I have filled out to date, I have had a lot to report on.
The thing is, though, I don’t really feel like I’m doing anything. One thing that I didn’t know about being a Peace Corps Volunteer until I got here is that a lot of times it is really boring. I’ve literally had hours this week where I have just sat and cross-stitched in my house. Like, an embarrassing number of hours. See, I work with public schools. Public schools just ended their school year, so I’m on break until later January. Even when schools are in session, there are a lot of days when school doesn’t happen, or when my teachers don’t show up, or a million other things.
Fortunately, besides school, I have started adult community English classes. We meet twice a week, and I love it. My students are engaged and motivated, and I love teaching them. This activity also means that besides the 3 hours I am actually in class with them, I occupy some of my free time planning said classes.
This week I also had my first meeting with a group of 9th and 10th graders who are willing to continue to practice and study English during vacation. We’ll be meeting 3 hours a week to focus on things that they don’t get a lot of in their normal classes – listening and speaking practice, plus some reading comprehension, which I hope will culminate in a final video and writing project. I’ve obviously got a little bit of planning to do for this one…
Despite having a couple of projects that I am working on over break, plus my regular activities of working out, going to the beach, cooking meals, and cross-stitching, I find myself a little too in my head. I’ve got about 15.5 months of service left, yet I’m already obsessing over what I am going to do when I return. I thought my rollercoaster days would be done with school on vacation, but it turns out you can build your own rollercoasters if you don’t watch out!