I get asked some similar questions and would like to share the answers here.
What do you do?
I am basically an English teacher trainer in Colombia. I help English teachers in Colombia improve their teaching methodology and strategies to teach English in classrooms that may have limited resources or lack of classroom management. In addition, I teach my own English classes to the tour guides of a village called, Don Diego.
I have two institutions in two villages:
I.E.D. (Institución Educativa Departamental) Julio Jose Ceballos Ospino in Buritaca
and… I.E.D. Nueva Colombia in Perico Aguao. (look at my smart, girl bosses of the future)
Finally, the tour guides of Don Diego.
Where do you live?
I live in a village that has two names, Paz del Caribe (official name) and Guandolo (the more commonly referred to name).
I am located 1.5 hours away from one of the main cities of Colombia, Santa Marta. (towards the left-hand side of the map below)
My village is right after Buritaca (towards the right-hand side).
My village, Guandolo, Perico Aguao, and Don Diego are so small, they’re not even labeled on the map! Talk about rural living.
What is the Peace Corps?
I provided a sweet and short summary of the Peace Corps here!
Why did you choose to do this?
I have a pretty eloquently written response to this question here, but simply put, I value public service and learning through life. An opportunity with the Peace Corps is how I can fulfill these two interests.
What will you do after your service?
I watched a movie called, Bella, and in the beginning of the movie, the main character says a quote that goes like, “Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.”
I am a type A person who plans everything (from grocery lists, shortest routes to get to points A, B, & C, to-do lists, and more) but I learned that I don’t have control of my life nor can I shape it the way I want it to be.
With that said, I am going to enjoy the journey. Near the end of my service will be when I will have a better idea of the next move!
How do your parents feel about this opportunity?
They are very supportive and proud. They value helping others and their daughter to do so. I am fortunate that I have my number #1 fans who have my back in all my endeavors.
Are you excited?
Truthfully, I am more nervous than excited. It is a strange feeling I cannot seem to describe, but thinking about living for two years under a host family’s roof, learning to fit in and improve Spanish, questioning how I will be treated by Colombians as a Korean-American, wondering how I will overcome struggles and the heat, all is a big question mark for me. I have that OMG feeling in your stomach where you remember you forgot to do something very important. However, I am pretty sure once I land in Colombia and meet my peers and Colombian counterparts, I will experience the feeling when you realize that you actually did not forget that something at all.
Isn’t Colombia dangerous?
Colombians dislike their country being categorized as the country with cocaine and extreme problems with drugs. These issues were a part of Colombian history, but they are not what the country represents.
What is CII-8?
Our group is called, CII-8 which stands for…
C = Colombia
II = Group II. Colombia had a hiatus from 1981-2010. So, group I was comprised of the volunteers who served from 1961-1981. Group II is comprised of the volunteers who served from 2010-present-day.
8 = The 8th group of volunteers who are serving under Group II.