On may 24th, 2009 I wrote my Peace Corps Aspiration Statement. In it I expressed a hope to “peal back the layers of myself, like an onion and get to know myself” as well as a desire to promote development “without feeling like a tool of globalization and an opponent of a slower, more natural, prelapsarian world.”
It has been almost two years since that day. With my service coming to an end in six months on November 16th 2011, I took the time to reread my Aspiration Statement and take stock of the Peace Corps Morocco experience.
Ignoring the horrible clichés, I can say that I have learned a lot and grown a lot. I now know the fantasy of a prelapsarian world existing somewhere beyond the reach of the modern world is just that, a fantasy. Having never read Thoreau I can’t categorically say he was wrong, but he probably was.
I think the biggest lesson I have learned is that, no matter how much time I spend, I will always be an outsider here and I am ok with that. I have become far more aware and proud of the culture and traditions that make me, me.
There is a lot more I could say on the subject, but the time, if it ever will come, has yet to arise for waxing philosophical. What I can say is that at this point the closing line of my Aspiration Statement is undoubtedly true, “Personally, I think that having volunteered in the Peace Corps, I will be able to look back at that fact and feel proud of myself and pleased at the person I have become as a result.”