The Volunteer Life Cycle

5 Jul

So the joke is we are officially one baby down (9 months in). Dodged the first bullet, only two more babies to go. Of course, 27 months is a long time, and the amount of emotional roller coaster climbs, dips, and loops can make a volunteer go a little crazy from time to time, or even from hour to hour.

But it’s all been done before, recorded, documented, lamented, and praised. When we were first presented with the “volunteer life cycle” diagram, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. How could they know what challenges each of us would face? How could they know when our hardest or most exciting moments would be? But so far, they, the ephemeral Peace Corps staff around the world, have been spot on. My highs and lows and pretty much swung very closely to th

It's upside down, dips are good here.

It’s upside down, dips are good here.

Now, at nine months in, I’m supposed to be feeling more adjusted (check), more comfortable (check), at a language plateau (double check), overzealousness (yup), tend to compare with other volunteers (meh, my site is so different, I try not to), and frequent frustration with host culture (depends on the day, but harassment bothers me less even though the problem of consistency here bothers me more than before).

What this means is that as I pack my schedule with projects I’ll never be able to keep up with, I’m starting to make better Ethiopian friends, planning trips for the future, and for the first time I’m thinking 27 months is too short to do everything I want to do. But of course, talk to me in 3 months, when I hit a “mid-service crisis”… I’ll probably need to stalk up on chocolate in preparation.

One Response to “The Volunteer Life Cycle”

  1. joyce dowd July 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Sarah your blogs are fascinating thank you for allowing me to see them! I bet you are anxious for December to come! Your family is too! Much love Aunt Joyce

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