“The greatest freedom I’ve gained is the fact that I no longer have to worry about what happens tomorrow because I’m happy with what I’ve done today.” -Edward Snowden
Jumping into Peace Corps, I would have never expected to have changed as much as I have. I’ve integrated into an entirely different culture than my own and formed my own family here in the Philippines—in the Peace Corps and on Siquijor. Words are incapable of describing my experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I had to find those words when I became a Resource Volunteer for Peace Corps Philippines Batch 276.
The new batch of trainees arrived at 11RR only to be woken up by our screams and cheers. The following week was a flood of questions about Peace Corps, culture in the Philippines, and any topic imaginable. The curious minds of Batch 276 were quickly exhausted from sessions and activities during their Initial Orientation. Their drive to become Volunteers was still intact as their auras were filled with energy. Their curious minds were never satisfied as they kept trying to picture their permanent sites when they just arrived! They are not even concerned about their Community-Based Training. Some of them are ready to rough it out in the most rural site possible in the Philippines. Crazy! I admire their energy and motivation to become Volunteers. This batch has so much potential. I’m excited to hear about their accomplishments around the Philippines!
It was unbelievable to be on the other side of things during their Initial Orientation. The memories flooded back to me as I watched the new Trainees become accustomed to their new environment. I began to remember the little details of my Initial Orientation. It was like looking into the past. The days where I had no idea what was going to the days where I wanted to just get out of 11RR. The Peace Corps Trainees were firing questions at all of us wanting to know more about what to expect in the Philippines. I felt weird being in a position where others were asking me questions when it still feels like I’m only beginning my journey as a Peace Corps Volunteer. All the Trainees looked to me and my fellow Resource Volunteers for guidance. It definitely felt awkward knowing what I say is their impression of the Philippines. I had to be careful on how to form my answers to not sound too bias. They appreciated all my insight and I’m hopeful for this batch! The potential is indescribable. I know this batch will be better than ever.
The Education Sector had an amazing time. Especially during their observations/demo-teaching at Buho Elementary School & Munting Ilog National High School. I observed classes here just one year ago! The Principal actually recognized me from last year, yay me! The nervousness, awkwardness, and anxiousness that I had when I was just a Trainee diminished and was seen in the new Trainees. They were tired from the jet-lag and exhausted from the endless sessions. In the end, they all made it through their observations and demo-teaching at the school. It was a long process and everyone is happy to be moving on to then next stage—CBT! I enjoyed getting to know the new Trainees and I hope I helped them enough to prepare for their journeys as Peace Corps Volunteers. Good luck, everyone!