So, hey y’all. Coming from Raleigh, North Carolina, it’s me, Joe. As a Global Citizen Year fellow, I’m really excited and can’t wait to get out in the field in Ecuador. I’m taking a bridge year in order to flesh out my understanding of the world, and sort of fill in the gaps left in my education. I want to get some practical experience before college, master Spanish, and most importantly, really learn about another culture. I want to challenge my assumptions and push the boundaries of my world, and in doing so, become more engaged and aware of the world as a whole, not just the little slice of life I’ve seen from Raleigh.
To sort of set the tone for my upcoming year, I want to talk a bit about how my expectations have already changed, just as a function of being here in GCY training. I came in wanting to just blindly help people, to make a difference and put the skills I have to use. It’s kind of silly to be looking back so soon and recognizing how naïve an intention like that is. To help someone, you have to know them, know their problems, their situation, the potential solutions. You can’t just drop yourself into the middle of another person’s world and start changing things: you have to be a part of the community, and have the proper perspective, before even beginning to talk about a problem like a lack of food, water, or literacy.
My goal now is to just try and understand the people I’ll be living with. To get a feel for what their lives are like by being a part of the lives of people I would never have met otherwise. And I want to share that with all of you guys. So keep reading, this is just the prologue of what I think will be a pretty amazing adventure.