Peace Corps and Persistence


headless monkey doll pulling a cart

Excerpts from emails I sent today:

1) About President Trump

I think our goal is to make this a four year presidency. He can do terrible harm in four years, but less than he could do in eight, right? People keep saying this is a marathon, not a sprint, but it isn’t just a marathon. It’s one of those 100-mile desert runs at high altitude that sometimes kill the runners.

But there are more of us than there are Trump supporters – see the popular vote – and we can swing this back. For me, the answer is to pick one issue and give it everything I’ve got, combined with monthly donations with the organizations I think are working.

A friend of mine told me she’s been in therapy for several months and they’re having trouble separating clinical depression from realistic fear and grief due to Trump. It’s ugly right now. But what do we do but keep trying?

2) About the Peace Corps

First of all, you should not be risking your safety to do work that you don’t think is useful. Full stop. You were always going to leave this community; leaving sooner is not abandonment. If you don’t feel safe where you are, you should leave.

That being said, you should talk to your peace corps country team before you make a final decision. They won’t make you leave for having a conversation – it’s to their advantage to have you stay. You also really should consider counseling. It’s not shameful or embarrassing to get help healing after something bad happens. It’s possible that the robbery is coloring your view of ——— in an unhealthy way, and it could keep coloring your view of the world even if/after you leave.
If you’re looking for someone to give you permission to leave, though, I give you mine. You, and no one else, get to decide how much risk you want in your life. If you want to maintain ties to this community after you go, you can become a donor for a local organization, support relevant Kiva loans, advocate and educate about that community, or work towards global social justice in a way that will benefit them. Staying where you are is not the only way to do good.