What IS next? That was, and still is, the question I am asked when someone knows I just graduated from college. What’s next? This is followed by a slew of stress-inducing questions like “Do you have job? What do you want to do with your life? Where will you be living?”, and so on.
In the midst of my second semester of senior year, life got hectic but exciting. While celebrating the end of four amazing years at The College of Wooster, I also had to look for my what-do-I-do-next answer. I was tossing around several different ideas and remembered how thrilled my former youth minister at my church in Upper Arlington was about the volunteering program called Young Adult Volunteers (YAV). She raved about her personal experiences as a YAV, as well as encouraged me to apply. So, I did! I interviewed with several sites that were all wildly interesting, doing important work all over the country and the world. Alas, YAV offered me a position in Peru! Enamored and anxious, I accepted my offer within just a few days.
So, What really is next? A year in Peru. After a week with all of the volunteers going to all of the sites nationally and internationally, I will be flying into Lima, Peru to begin my year with a month- long orientation and intensive Spanish language training. From there, I will be moving to my homestay in Ayacucho. In Ayacucho (the red pinpoint on the map), I will be volunteering at an organization called Paz y Esperanza. The project I will accompany is called “Prevention of Domestic Violence,” which has three areas of focus and mission: small business start-ups for women; women’s leadership; and, development of self-esteem and skills among women. This is a heavy topic and prevalent globally, which makes it an imperative issue to discuss. I feel that through my blog, I will be able to share a glimpse into these pressing matters in Ayacucho, which I want to be able to open up in discussion as a global and local matter. I cannot wait to share my adventures and experiences this coming month and year.