Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~Martin Luther King Jr.
On this day, where we honor a man who brought so much change to the USA I begin to reflect on my experience in the Peace Corps. Having arrived in Ecuador five days ago, I have already learned so much. Knowing Spanish has definitely helped but there are so many words that are different that I feel like a beginner, from cacho which means trash can to sorbeje which means straw, more often than not, the words in Spanish are different to those used here in Ecuador.
I moved in with my host family in Tumbaco, my mom Jenny and 12 year old brother Anthony. We have traveled throughout the town, all on buses, often extremely crowded which one forget when observing the beautiful landscape. The Centro de Cuerpo de Paz (Peace Corps Training Center) is only a 15-20 minute walk which I make with about five other PCV’s (Peace Corps Volunteers). Breakfast and dinner is with our host families but lunch is on our own. So guess what? I went out and got some peanut butter and jelly.
As Martin Luther King says, we must not become silent but instead speak up and furthermore act. Part of my joining the Peace Corps was because I know that there are countries that are seeking help, not just from the USA but from all over the world. In becoming a PCV I aspire to form long lasting relationships. I have already begun to do so with the 29 other PCV’s, the staff, my host family and neighbors. These relationships will allow for dialogue in which I can describe what my life has been like. They in turn also share their life experiences. Ecuadorian are very open, always smiling, laughing and telling stories about their personal experiences. Though these conversations might seem simple, this is where it all starts, listening to one another, what each believes and values allows for a possible better understanding. Understanding is what we wish amongst each other because with that comes respect and kindness. So I am not being silent, I am speaking, sharing, questioning, and discovering the diversity within the world, because this is what makes us whole. To me, understanding and knowing about one another’s life is important, so I will not be silent.