You have to have graduated from college. My daughter joined and went to Africa. Where you go is not entirely up to you look around the internet and see what other kids are doing, for example
Belize by Maura Varley
I start each day at 6 a.m. with a warm bucket bath and, while my supply lasts, a cup of Guatamalan coffee. (Contrary to what you may think, good coffee is hard to come by in Belize and is a big treat). I ride my bike across town to either Gwen Lizarraga or Excelsior High School. The city is small, so I get there in only about 15 minutes.
Part of my day is spent counseling students about their lives—giving me something new to think about every day. I may discuss Tyrone's problems with anger and his gang involvement one minute, make a referral to family services, or chat with Mikal about his latest soccer triumph the next. I've discovered that beneath their tough exteriors, many troubled young people of Belize are struggling inside, hiding their sensitivity. I am lucky to be in a position to get to see this side of them. You wouldn't believe what they are up against, although in reality, their situations are no different from underprivileged youth in the United States.
Much of my day is spent discussing new ideas or developing programs with the school counselors, my counterparts. By nature of the job, we also keep each other's spirits up. One of my two counterparts, Carolyn, amazes me at how she can balance a life of two small children, her full-time job, and her university studies. This is a common way of life for many young professionals in Belize because education is valued so much. Belizeans love to talk, so much of my day is spent in conversation with my counterparts, teachers, and school staff. This is a very accepted part of a workday.
At around 4 or 5 p.m., I leave for home. If I must stay late for a parents' meeting, students escort me home on their bikes. I may spend my evenings going for a run, buying fruit from a Salvadoran vendor who greets me in Spanish, stopping for water and Creole bread from the shop around the corner, or getting the latest news from my neighbor who waylays me at my gate to tell me the latest gossip. After cooking and eating my dinner, I may read, write letters, or visit with friends.
Belizean friends and colleagues have taught me about their music and their art, and I enjoy spending time with them and with other Peace Corps Volunteers. The pace of life is slow here and allows for a kind of luxury of personal time as well as socialization. It is hard to go anywhere in Belize City without running into someone you know, stopping to chat. I am not sure if I will ever be able to go back to the fast-paced and often impersonal life in the United States.
When I was given this assignment, some worried that a very young-looking, blond female might not be able to make it at these notoriously rough high schools in the city. I knew I had to give it a try, and I am still here today and feeling that I am a part of these communities.
Of course, life is not perfect. The heat, dust, and rains, even hurricanes, take a physical and emotional toll. I may have to contend with ants, swabbing out my flat after heavy rains, and drying out mildewed clothing. What keeps me going are the little things, such as hearing "maanin miss" and getting a smile of greeting from one of the hundreds of students who attend my high schools.
Answered By: lar45 - 12/24/2008