Experts say you should know a person for at least two years before getting married. After that time the blush of ‘new love’ has moved into a more realistic view of your partner. Timing is important. Remember not to grocery shop when you’re hungry. If you do, you’ll likely buy more than you need.
Same same as a Peace Corps Volunteer. The term of service is two years and three months in training prior to assignment. So, a that’s a total of 27 months. We all met for medical check out this week in Bangkok. I’m not the only one who seems to be ‘ready’ to move on.
If I stay here longer, I’d have to learn more language. I can get by, but my relationships are exchanges of basic information and I like to go deep.
My schools and host teachers are ready for a the end of the school year and to ‘let go’ of me. Remember, I’m a responsibility for them. Even if we’re not together, they worry about me. One teacher said I didn’t need to come to class anymore. It feels awful to ‘hang around’ and not be ‘engaged’.
Another realization: Having a Peace Corps Volunteer from America gave them status and attention. THEY were the ones who translated for teachers and for me. They were the center. Plus, their hopes of becoming great teachers with an American trainer (me) at their disposal was a bright hope.
I know change is hard. It’s relentless. It’s daily. It’s risky. Trying new teaching techniques requires planning and preparation. That takes time. The new techniques take more energy. Taking on a Peace Corps Volunteer is like getting a ‘life coach’ for two years.
Gradually, it all went back to where it was. At my age I have experience with wanting to make changes. Doing a new behavior for 15 minutes everyday is better practice than 3 hours once a week. We must own the change every day.
These days I notice my teachers and I have acceptance of this is how it is.
I imagine them thinking let’s have a party, divide up her stuff and a month’s rest before the new school year starts.
What I pictured I would accomplish is not what happened. So, I examine my ego, my role as ‘designer and director’ and keep my opinions and judgements in a box in the bottom drawer.
I have a list of what I have learned and what I’ve gained with the experience. As objectively as possible, I’ve made a list of modest accomplishments.
And there’s still so much I don’t know.