I remember the first time I met Lindsay, I thought she was a healthie. She has the quiet, calm demeanor of a health volunteer. Her heart is made of gold. My interview with her confirmed just how strong she truly is. Ladies and Gents, meet Lindsay.
Sector: SBD 65
From: Truckee, CA
Fun Fact: My cousins are related to Marshall Lynch who plays for the Seattle Seahawks.
Why did you join the PC?
I graduated college in May 2014 and I knew I wasn’t ready to throw myself into the typical 9 to 5 job and Peace Corps was an appealing alternative to me. It was an opportunity for me to help others, but also to develop personally. I have traveled a lot growing up with my family, but everywhere we went was for short periods of time and I have always wanted to feel more like a part of a country/culture rather than a passerby. I really wanted the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture to learn new perspectives and a new way of life. I also wanted to challenge myself by stepping out of the comfort zone I was living in the States and push myself to do things that scare me.
What experiences led you to PC?
I have done a lot of traveling abroad with my family since I was a little girl and I think these experiences made me really learn to appreciate different cultures and perspectives. Additionally, it gave me the drive to learn what it would be like to live in a culture outside of my own instead of just being a passerby.
Recently, you experienced a loss. What made you decide to come back?
I think there are two main factors that made me decide to come back. One was the fact that I have no idea what I would do if I stayed in the states. I would have to start from scratch; look for a job and figure out where to live and that all seemed more daunting that coming back to Nicaragua. The second is because of how proud my dad was of me for joining the Peace Corps. During his memorial service, so many of his friends came up to me to tell me how he would always talk about me being in Nicaragua and how proud he was. I know he would still be proud of me even if I didn’t finish my service, but part of me wants to be here for him.
Was Peace Corps supportive in the process of going to the states and coming back?
Absolutely. I got a call from my family at 2 am from my family that my dad was in the hospital and that I should come home so I immediately called Miguelito, who to my surprise picked up the first time I called. As soon as I got off the phone I started packing my bags and got on the first bus out of Yali and they booked the earliest flight possible for me that I could physically make it to. I didn’t even have time to really process that I was leaving the country and going home, everything happened so fast thanks to their support.
I, unfortunately, didn’t make it home in time before my dad passed, but my family and I were still grateful for how quickly they were able to get me home.
Coming back was much simpler. I had to change the dates for the flights they originally booked for me, but there was no problem in doing that.
What do you hope to accomplish in these two years?
That’s a tough question. I think I am still trying to brainstorm projects that I can work on here and figure out what I want to personally get out of this experience so I don’t have a specific answer. More generally speaking though I think I would like to develop some valuable professional skills and get a really thorough understanding of the people and their culture. I still find myself wondering why people do or say certain things and I also find myself making generalizations, which in my opinion is due to a lack of a deeper understanding.
What’s a book you’ve read that has helped you in who you are at this very moment?
Not really sure there is one. I think I’ve taken bits and pieces of various books and philosophies that have helped me become who I am today. A lot of that can be attributed to my mom who introduced me to a lot of philosophies from people such as Thich Nhat Hahn, Byron Katie, and Adyashanti.
Have you been outside of the states before? Where else have you been? Which place was your favorite?
I think my first trip out of the states was when I was 2 years old when my parents took me to Indonesia, but the traveling didn’t stop there. Since then I have also been to India, Vietnam, Thailand, Italy, Spain, France, England, Tanzania, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
The truth is that I think it’s impossible to choose a favorite. Each country was so unique and offered such different experiences. Even the experiences that I am having now are influencing my memories of each place and how I feel about them. If I had to choose a favorite 2 years ago it would probably be different than the place I would choose now. But for those of you who hate not getting a direct answer and would say, “just choose one if you had to,” I would probably say Tanzania because it was such a new experience and different culture for me.
Have you ever gone somewhere that you didn’t like?
Nevada- not my cup of tea. Apparently there are some cool state parks to visit, but I have yet to see them.
If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would you want to have seen?
This is probably a cliché response, but witnessing landing on the moon. Being able to have a little taste of life literally outside of our world and to have a slightly more tangible experience in space would be such an amazing experience.
What’s one thing we haven’t talked about in this interview you’d like to share?
For me, I really appreciate being able to share a little about my dad whenever people ask so I just want to mention how proud I am of him and the person he was for those who know me but never got to meet him. He always stuck up for the underdog and had space in his heart for everyone. He would go way out of his way just to say hello to someone and recognize their presence. He also was extremely intelligent. He could calculate complicated math problems all in his head and had an incredible memory. He always knew the names of even the most obscure historical figures and important historical dates.
I think he was always a little concerned about being a good dad, but with the love and support that he gave to the family he far exceeded that. Sometimes I finding myself crying because I miss him, but other times I find myself crying because of how grateful I am and how he has helped show me how beautiful this life can be.