I leave in exactly one week for Nicaragua. My mom keeps asking me, “Are you sure you want to do this?” At first, I became a little anxious when she said that but now I am more confident the more she asks me. I know this is where I am supposed to be. Since you will be following my journey, I decided to answer some major FAQs before I start.
I am staged (sent to Nicaragua) March 3, 2015! I will serve until May 26, 2017. .
Why did I join the Peace Corps?
I joined the Peace Corps for a lot of reasons. The first is I have always wanted to help people. I initially I intended to become a doctor, then I realized it would take too long to touch lives. So I got a business degree and joined the Peace Corps.
What do I hope to gain from this experience?
First, I fully expect God to show up in my life and show out. I am ready to strengthen my relationship with Him and get a better understanding of true trust in the Lord. Second, I want a heart change. I know I am going to have a greater appreciation for the things I am sure we, as Americans, take for granted. Third, I want the blinders of childhood and shelter to fall off. I look forward to the refinement true struggle brings. I don’t want to be without indoor plumbing but I know I can live without it. I want to see how much more important love, friendship and community is. The living examples I plan to see will be worth more than any 9 to 5 job could give me.
What are my fears?
I honestly fear the coming truth of consistency. What do I mean by that? Well 27 months is a long time, and many people have promised to write and keep in contact. The truth will be in the pudding though. I want everyone to stay true to me and I hope I don’t lose friends along the way. But, some people aren’t meant to stay in your life forever. Still, it’s always hard to say goodbye. Right?
How long will I be gone?
Do I believe the peace corps is something everyone should do?
Absolutely not. Although, I do believe everyone should travel! I realize that it’s not for everyone to trek it in the wild and that’s ok. Everyone’s purpose is different but there is always something to be gained in seeing new worlds.
How do I feel about being away from my family and friends?
I feel two ways about it. On one hand, I am an army brat and have been traveling all my life. On the other hand, I have always live with family or friends of my family, never outright strangers. Still, I am comforted knowing I am still the same person. I’m sure it won’t take long for me to make friends, new connections and feel at home wherever I rest my head.
Is it paid (although I find this question a little crass, I will answer it.)
Yes, a little over $8,000 (pre-tax) you can find this and more on the main Peace Corp site under benefits)
What will I be doing?
I will be a Business Educator and Advisor. Using my Entrepreneurship degree, from High Point University, I will be working hands on in the community to establish new and manage existing businesses! I will be working with business owners as well as in multiple schools, teaching entrepreneurship to students. My students will be from 7th – 12th graders.
How long was the process?
From start to acceptance letter it was about 13 months. I first opened applied September 2013. I received my official invitation letter December 2014.
Do I have vacation days?
Yes, 54 days to go where I like.
How will I communicate over there?
I can recieve mail, although the mail service takes up to 4 weeks to get completely from the US to me. I am told postage is about $.46-.49 cents so make sure you have the proper amount of stamps if you plan to send something. The address is below. I can recieve email, though I will not know for certain how often I will be able to check it until I get my housing placement. Feel free to contact me through the contact tab, it goes straight to my inbox. I also can make phones although service is more spotty and less reliable to farther out I am from the city. I will probably be getting a new phone and new number. I will also become proficient in the use of calling cards. (Yay!)
PCT Janae Werdlow
Cuerpo de Paz
Apartado Postal 3256
It is recommended that you send packages in padded envelopes NOT BOXES, as they are more likely to be opened, stolen from and/or taxed. (PS This address is not my location so don’t fear for my safety.)
What’s the weather like there?
The warm season lasts from March 23 to May 14 with an average daily high temperature above 94°F. The hottest day of the year is April 24, with an average high of 95°F and low of 76°F. The cold season lasts from September 19 to December 15 with an average daily high temperature below 89°F. The coldest day of the year is January 15, with an average low of 70°F and high of 90°F. Juuuusssttt the way I like it! No snow, no fall, just barely any spring because September through December is Rainy Season!
What will I miss most in America?
I will miss family (of course), Chipotle, Pearl (my ipad and it’s exceptional library of Ebooks), my bed and indoor plumbing (fingers crossed I have some!)
Do I think I’ll have a hard time acclimating?
Actually, no. My peace corps recruiter, who volunteered in Nicaragua years ago, told me I look just like them. I also speak the language. Although I’m not fluent yet, I am way above beginner level. I’ll fit right in.
Do I wish someone had gone with me?
Sometimes I wish that. My ex-boyfriend loved to travel. However, having been single for about a year now, I can see my growth has been greater alone. I know God will move more in my life with less distraction.
What do I think some challenges will be?
First and foremost, I must admit this reason is a little vain but I like being able to wear my definition of cute clothes, contacts, hair and makeup. That won’t be the case in Nicaragua, but I’m thankful. I need to learn to be content wherewith I am. = Secondly, not being able to go home when I want. In the event I miss my family so bad I want to come home, I won’t be able to see everyone in one shot. I have a few days of visitation and I want to use most of it traveling to other continents and countries. It’s cheaper traveling abroad while abroad. Lastly, convenience.. TV (I will miss you Scandal!), wifi, phone service, mail, when I want. It is all out of my control and much slower than I am used to. Again, this is just God answering my prayers… I asked for more patience awhile back.
Expect to hear from me in a week! Feel free to let me know any other questions you may have. God bless!