Not long ago I received an invitation to a going away party. The invitation came from my friend Karen and stated that she was hosting a party for her daughter, Mariah, and son-in-law, Collin, who were leaving to take a position with the Peace Corps. In fact, in a few weeks, Mariah and Collin will be leaving for Zambia!
It’s been a few years since I have seen Mariah, but back when my kids were small, she used to babysit for me when I had a meeting to attend or an errand to run. Mariah was more like a big sister to the kids and since she has beautiful red hair, just like my daughter, she would often be asked if they were sisters. (And Mariah knows that when she is in Zambia that red hair will surely create a stir!)
Curious as to what the next two years will be like for Mariah and Collin, I did a little research and found a few articles that offered some insight. This one listed five reasons NOT to join the Peace Corps, one of which is “to build my resume.” Clearly this is not a good reason (there are easier ways to do that) and using this as a mantra won’t get you through the tough times. Then I found this YouTube video by Carrie Pavlik (who was in the Peace Corps 2007-2009) that shows the beauty of Zambia but also demonstrates just how much work is involved in doing the everyday things that we in America take for granted (getting water, cooking, taking a shower, etc).
Mariah and Collin are excited that they are going to put their skills (both of them are fisheries experts) to work to help people in a country that is thousands of miles away. Yesterday was the bon voyage party for Mariah and Collin, and even though I knew I would be late in arriving if I baked a pie before going, I just had to do it. I wanted to say with that pie that I am so proud to know them, that I admire what they are doing, and to wish them all the best on their grand adventure!
If you are interested in learning more about their journey, you can follow them on their blog: www.MariahandCollin@wordpress.com
“The Peace Corps is guilty of enthusiasm and a crusading spirit. But we’re not apologetic about it.” Sargent Shriver
“You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” Tom Brokaw