Off to Suriname
I am sitting in a hotel room, in pajamas at 7:30 in the evening, knowing that I won’t get to bed by any time that will allow me a full night’s sleep before my 3:20 alarm tomorrow. That’s a.m. After seven weeks (exactly) in the U.S., I am about to head to Suriname for the next six months, to work as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer.
I’ll admit it – I am a little bit nervous. Strangely, I was not when I went to Ukraine. Perhaps because there were really no expectations (on either side) for that gig. For this one, though, it’s different. The organization where I will work asked for a volunteer with specific skills, and knowing what they know about the project I will work on, they think I have the skills they seek. They know what they want done in the next six months – now it’s up to me to do it.
In addition, I will be more visible in this position than I was in Ukraine. When I was a PCV, I viewed my role as getting work done, not trying to get myself pats on the back, from Peace Corps or anyone else – for doing my job. It was easy to fly under the radar most of the time because there were so many of us there. Suriname is different. I am going from the largest PC country in the world, and the largest country area wise in Europe to the smallest country area wise in South America. There are also not so many PCVs or PCRVs there, so it won’t be so easy to fly low! Perhaps it will be good for me to toot my own horn, so to speak, and sell myself the way that others seem to be able to do (I had previously thought that people would see what I had to offer and for a while, it seemed like they did. Everything has changed now).
This is also in so many ways an opportunity, and I am completely cognizant of that fact. I hope to make the most of this opportunity. I hope to meet some wonderful people and learn as much as I can about the Surinamese culture. I hope to do good work, that will be sustainable and have an impact.
Getting there will be interesting! There will be two others with whom I will meet up, and we will all spend the night on Curacao on our way to Paramaribo. I think we will hit the ground running, for the most part – about a week or orientation/training and then right to our organizations to start our work.
What does that mean for this blog? Well, I will keep writing about my experiences. I will remain as honest as I can, keeping in mind that I do not password protect my blog, so I have to be careful to (1) not say too much and (2) keep goals two and three in mind.
I’ve also added a new page, called “About Suriname”, for people who are interested in learning a little more about this little country where I will live for the next six months.
Thanks for reading…I hope you continue to do so and give me feedback!