Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just a few thoughts

When you apply for Peace Corps, they tell you to be flexible and don’t have expectations. This makes sense; don’t get your hopes up for a certain country or job and then be disappointed when you go somewhere else doing something else.

When I got my invitation packet I was told I’d be going to Samoa to be a marine science teacher at a junior secondary school. Not gonna lie, I wasn’t really excited about that. I do not think I’d make a good teacher (even if it was marine science), but I decided it would be worth a try. I get into training and I go out to a village and become a jack of all trades, none of that involving being a full time teacher. My main project was the marine protected area: clam farming, fish houses, coral gardening, creating a species list and a promotional flyer explaining what a marine protected area is. I was excited about this. Getting to work in my field right out of college, snorkeling whenever I wanted to and that being work was fantastic. Other projects include: working with a government ministry to hold a sewing clinic to teach the women how to use the sewing machines we got through a grant from New Zealand Aid, obtaining books and computers for the primary school, holding a rubbish seminar to explain why trash should not be thrown on the ground, obtaining funding for a spring fed pool for use when the pipe water is contaminated or shut off, and holding a dog and cat de-sexing clinic. And now I work with Football Federation Samoa developing soccer in Samoa. All over the place with jobs I’ve done here in Samoa.

Sites have been very different; going from rural Samoa to the big city (ok, not that big but for Samoa Apia is the only city like urban area). As far as housing is concerned I’ve been all over the place. First, by myself but having villagers stay at my house to “leoleo” (protect) me, to totally by myself, then post-tsunami living with a family, and now a site change to Apia where I again live by myself.

It’s funny about my current job. I have, again, a jack of all trades position. I’ve done simple data entry into a database registering players for the National League, looking up drills and creating a packet of activities we can use on Saturdays for the Fun Football program for kids, designing a newsletter template and contributing to the newsletter, supervising ball kids and referees. I never thought I’d be working in a national soccer office, working with players on a national team. Pretty cool when I think about it. I never thought I’d be in any kind of soccer development role such as I find myself in currently. I thought maybe when I go back to the US I’d strap on the old boots again and see if they still fit after I hanging them up at the end of my last college game. I figure I’ll join a league, maybe do some coaching. Now that I’m involved with the game as much as I am, I realize once it is in your blood, it never leaves.

I only have about 4 months left here in Samoa; I’m a bit curious as to what else might be thrown my way. I can honestly say PC has been an experience like no other. I wanted a bit of adventure and I surely got what I asked for (I need to learn to keep my mouth shut). It has been the toughest 2 years of my life for a lot of obvious reasons and some not so obvious, but it is experiences like this one which show you who you are. I’ve learned a lot about myself, but that also ends up leading to more questions. Not really sure where I was going with this blog; I guess this is one of those stream of thought posts. Oh well, I should probably get back to work.

1 comment:

  1. Your new job sounds like a very cool one to land after college.

    The awesome kind one stumbles on, thrive in and can actually consider settling into as a career, while working on other life milestones.

    You should look into it when you return sateside.