Sometimes, in the unremitting drone of a hardnosed city and the monotonous progression of various offices, meetings, and workshops, I am prone to forget the power and overwhelming beauty of this place, the thrill of the adventure I am undertaking. Sitting here now – surrounded by gelada baboons feeding on mountain grasses at 3800 meters elevation and overlooking rugged crags soaring high into a flawless blue sky, plunging into seemingly unfathomable depths below, and stretching into the hazy distance as far as can be seen – is a compelling reminder.
As a post-IST/pre-site-return refresher, seven of us arranged a five-day trek through the
This trip has been more than just a fun diversion and a change of scenery. In this vacation from official Peace Corps duties, we have encountered many of the elements that attracted us to this program in the first place: the lure of exotic places, the thrill of fresh experiences, the prospect of expanding our views of the global community, the joy of forming rich human connections, the chance to meet and overcome great challenges and grow stronger and wiser in the process. These were the reasons that caused us to choose Peace Corps over other similar volunteering or public health and community development opportunities. And as we return to our sites and proceed with our efforts to strengthen and improve our respective communities, we are sustained and encouraged by the reminder of how richly we ourselves are benefited from our service.