Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Botswana 2010-2012

I have things to say. First, I am going to Botswana on April 7th for 27 months, two years and three months as a Community Capacity Builder with with the HIV/AIDS program. About one year ago I applied to the Peace Corps. There were a lot of events and people that influenced my decision to apply to this organization. I remember going to a career fair with my friend during my junior year. There was a Peace Corps booth but no recruiter so I took a booklet and moved on. That booklet has sat on my nightstand for the last three years. I liked the idea, but I had never meet any one that had done it. I had heard things about volunteers and about the organization but all hearsay, nothing substantial. I remember entering into my last semester at BYU. I had the desire to go to grad school, but I needed time to not be a student. I sat down with my mentor, Joan Dixon, asking her about how I could get into the field of International Development, and she mentioned the Peace Corps and we chatted for a while. Thinking, yeah… I’ll try it out, see what happens.
The application was daunting and I almost didn’t finish it. But then I took this trip to DC and instantly I meet someone on the bus who had just gotten back from Ghana and then my GW contact had gone to South America. I can’t remember their stories, but it was the extra push I needed.
And then I waited, for what seemed forever. I went through a lot during that time- Graduation, Nepal, My Parent’s Basement, Unemployment, Homeless Shelter. But still, at the back of my mind, I always had this looming possibility. I felt qualified, but what if…
I had been told back in June, that in order to become qualified for a potential position leaving around May 2010, I would have to start gaining HIV/AIDS experience. After a lot of set backs, I finally meet Heather Bush at the Utah Department of Health, who opened my doors to brand new experiences. In the training to become a counselor and instructor, I was pushed beyond my comfort level, but challenged to look at my life and my background in a new way.
Just today I received my invitation from the Peace Corps. (I found out a couple of days ago that it was coming in the mail!). I still have a lot to process. But for now, I am excited.

PS Chicago is great. I have had a lot of great tea! Yummy!

4 stamps of approval:

chaela said...

first comment, no big deal.

I believe with my whole heart that not everything is the worst in Botswana. You won't choke or slip in the tub and you'll probably save a few hundred lives.

HIV is the worst though. No stamp of approval for that.

Lambson [almost] out?

{megs in wonderland} said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Andrew and I were thinking of applying. Until they told me I would be useless without a Bachelors degree. Maybe in a couple more years... will you keep your blog to update us while you're there?? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE?! :)

Alisha & Chris said...

sydney, you are amazing. I mean that whole heartedly. I hope you have the very best of luck in whatever you choose to do, because I know that you always succeed! I miss you. I know you leave soon, but I would still love to see you before you are all the way, opposite side of the world from me!

Chelsea said...

That is awesome Sydney! I am so happy that you have a blog so I can visit it and see all the worthwhile things you are doing. You are incredible.