Before I leave :( … :)

Hello amigos!  WAKA WAKA

Perhaps you have heard it from myself or from some little bird flying around spreading the news.  I will be departing for Peace Corps  Volunteer service in Cambodia for two years, and I am both excited and scared.  :O     You may be asking yourself, “What exactly is the Peace Corps?”

It’s awesome! That’s what it is.

The Peace Corps is a government run program in which volunteers such as myself go abroad to a host country and either teach English, provide health education, agricultural education, or provide youth development programs.  There’s a lot more to it though.  Once there, the volunteer will live with a host family, learn the language (khmer), eat the food, go through intensive training, and basically adjust to a new way of life.  Easy right?

(whispers) I’ve been reading blogs of current Peace Corps volunteers in Cambodia, and let me tell you that I am FREAKING OUT.  Spiders, baby crocodiles, dengue and malaria carrying mosquitoes, land mines, and monkey thugs may seem pretty cool and adventurous at first, but one’s perception changes when you realize you are about to be in the middle of it all.  Just thinking about it makes my heart race.  But things have been set into motion, and there is no turning back.

Not when you see an inspiring picture like this one of a Peace Corps Volunteer:

How often does someone get an opportunity like this one?  To immerse oneself in a completely different culture and make a change for both the host community and for oneself.  I am diving into this project like nobody’s business.  In all honesty, I feel that every little thing in my life has led me to this point.   From youth leadership groups at St. Thomas The Apostle Church at the age of ten to becoming a University of North Texas UNICEF chapter officer, it all makes sense.  My spirit was preparing for what is now so close.

NOW, WHERE IS CAMBODIA?

It is in Asia.  Right below Thailand and next to Vietnam.

Here’s a map:

Looking at the pictures, I gather that Cambodia is a beautiful country full of wonderful people.  I am looking forward to taking this step in my life, and if you have read this far, please know that I want to share my experience with you.   I have traveled alone before and I’ve learned that sharing is the best part of an experience. You might not be with me, but at least you will hear from me and hopefully I from you.

This is in Cambodia!

-Arnoldo