Friday, January 21, 2011

Where You Invest Your Love, You Invest Your Life

I have not written in a long time for many reasons. But mostly because I have been stuck in limbo, not moving forward or backward, but finding myself simultaneously looking both directions wondering what my next move will be.

Home helped to clarify my future a little more. While I was in the States I realized what had been missing from the past year and a half in St. Vincent: my family. One night, in a hotel room in Jackson, Mississippi, my mom, sister and I sat up talking until three o'clock in the morning. I had never felt closer to anyone in my life. And I realized that I didn't want to give that up anymore. Two and a half years was enough time. But when that's finished, I need to come home.

Deciding to complete my service and return home completely changed the way I was viewing my current service in-country. It re focused my goals, which in turn really motivated me. There are several projects that I am really excited about for the upcoming months.

Thankfully, we have solidified enough local sponsors to keep the volleyball program running long after I am gone. So I have been able to create and assist in other programs though out the island.

My neighbor, KC, has been asking me for months to start a beach clean up on the Georgetown beach. But instead of just doing one beach for one month, we decided to do beaches all along the coast. And instead of making it a small project, we decided to make it big. We want dumpsters, trash cans. We want volunteers from all around the island. We want laws against littering on the beaches. We want signs. We, like Barack, want change.

Another project that I am excited about is one that my fellow volunteer, Kellan, initially came up with: the creation of an SVG Peace Corps website. St. Vincent is on the cusp of a technological revolution and it is imperative that Peace Corps moves with this change. Using spoken word and handwritten letters is no longer an effective way of mass communication, and it is necessary to communicate on a larger scale. Volunteer profiles, community programs, upcoming events, blogs, links to other SVG NGO's and organizations will all be hosted on the website. This will allow Vincentians a better opportunity to become more involved with the Peace Corps as well as their own community.

The only hold up right now is funding for the domain. It costs $US15.00 per month. We need foreign donations for the first six months, and then local funding will take over from there. If you are interested in donating (even for just one month), please e-mail me. Your donations will be much appreciated.

So for the next nine months I will be pretty busy creating, assisting and finalizing. I have a good feeling about these next nine months. I am ready to finish up my service with a bang.

I want to warn anyone who sees the Peace Corps as an alternative to the draft that life may well be easier at Fort Dix or at apost in Germany than it will be with us. --Sgt. Shriver