I dread writing this entry. But I know I’m going to get asked a million times what I’m doing after Peace Corps, so here’s my best shot. With two months left, I feel as though I should have some sort of “plan.” And yet, not really.
My original goals for after my service were:
Be hired into a well-paying, rewarding job with a respected international conservation organization.
Get a Master’s in Environmental Management.
Now, my goals are:
get a car.
Actually, I do still have pretty substantial goals. I’ve just realized that applying for grad schools and/or respected jobs is not possible from a mud hut. Also, the more I think about it, the more I want to take advantage of this unhindered time in my life to visit family and friends, such as those who got married and to who’s wedding I did not go (Rachel. Allison.), get a whole new everything (my entire wardrobe is full of holes and mice pee stains, my computer broke before I even left, I never even had a car), and maybe eat a few truckloads of vegetables. So when I completely my service April 16th, I hopefully plan on traveling around West Africa for a few weeks, visiting my friend Jerome in France for a little while, coming home to WNC for the summer and getting a part-time job or taking pre-requisite grad school classes and visiting people on the weekends. After the two years I’ve had here, just sitting in a comfortable chair and eating a taco would make me ecstatic, let alone beginning my professional career. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned here is not to be in any rush. Focus on enjoying life, no matter what you are doing. Oh, don’t worry, I still have my exotic schemes…my latest plan is to sail around the world for 8 months getting paid to visit far-off lands and write about it. Don’t go thinking I can’t do it, didn’t I just spend 2 years the only white person in a remote African village! But actually, I am looking forward to settling down sometime in the next year, I’d like to start a master’s program in 2008. My work here has exposed me to a lot of different career fields, and what I’ve learned has drastically influenced what I want to do in life. Instead of sustainable development (unbelievable riddled with corruption, moral dilemmas, insecurity), I’ve found that the only interest of mine that’s held up under all the tests is nature conservation.
So, I’ve been doing as much research as I can when I get a chance to go to the internet cafe, but I’d also like you as you all for your input. Have you come across any relevant grad programs I should check out? Or heard of an interesting organization I should apply to? Or a nice part-time job for the summer? I appreciate your suggestions, you people in the “real” world, and I will see all of you before you know it!