A 10-Point Bucket List: Countdown

Family farm on long field visitI have 1.5 weeks until I learn were my site is going to be. Here’s my oh-gosh-training-is-almost-over bucket list.

  1. Polish my “elevator pitch” for the following questions…because people are liable to ask them shortly after or when I meet them.
    1. Are you married? Do you have a boyfriend?
    2. Why are you in Paraguay?
    3. What is the Peace Corps?
    4. Why are you doing the Peace Corps?
    5. Are you Catholic?
  2. Identify what makes a place feel like home and think about how I might apply that to my future site. Sometime ago, I realized that I’m only as happy as I am with my home. It may seem like a minor thing for some people, but for me things tumbledown if I don’t set up a good camp.
  3. Be ready for the little things so they don’t get to me. If my site visits taught me one thing, it’s that my service is going to be filled with countless, endless, little annoyances. These will range from the same dang polka blasting from my neighbor’s house just as the roosters stop crowing to families dumping kids on me for baby sitting.
  4. Make some personal ground rules and boundaries. What kinds of things am I willing to tolerate and what kinds of things am I not willing to tolerate?
  5. Develop some strategies for child and classroom management. Children are everywhere and they are a huge part of many volunteers’ lives. I need to prepare for them to be a large part of my experience as well.
  6. Dig in my heels and do the legwork. So much depends on good, trusting relationships. Take the time to make them. In the words of my father, “Measure twice, cut once.”
  7. Dedicate myself to learning language. Do what it takes to learn how to communicate about the daily basics—Guarani or Spanish.
  8. Look beyond the bounds of my community to round out my workload, if needed. Peace Corps runs camps, committees, and other programs to achieve the Peace Corps goals. Get involved.
  9. Take it a day at a time but don’t forget the big picture. Pieces make up the whole, but if I can’t see the whole the pieces have no meaning.
  10. Think positive thoughts. I can do this.