After a whirlwind week in Portland, my year of service as an Americorps VISTA has begun!
Training was better than expected. There were quite a few Volunteers and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone. There were so many different personality types, and in a remarkably short period of time it felt like I’d known a lot of them for years. We had that same trench buddy mentality in the Peace Corps, but I hadn’t expected it to be so strong here as well, but glad to be wrong.
The majority of volunteers were cis and trans women, and it was a diverse group. As someone who thinks some of the best development programs are lead by women and minorities, I was excited by this and expect some great projects to be generated by this crowd.
We had a lot of great discussions, and although I was afraid of hogging the mic a bit since I was so excited, I learned a lot as well. The Spokane group I returned with is fantastic and I can’t wait to see what everyone does, helping however I can.
It was over all too fast, and then we were back in Spokane. Today we met with our supervisors, did some further orientations, and met several community members working on aligned projects.
Right now I’m feeling more excited than anything. Part of me is confused that I’m not scared by all the work that is going to need done, but it really feels like everything I’ve done has built to this. I think I’m in a position right now to really make a difference, learn a lot, and project my life in a better difference through quality service work. They say Peace Corps’ is the “toughest job you’ll ever love” but I think what lies ahead may be a worthy competitor!