I got my staging information in an email this week – I leave for Peace Corps stuff a month from today. What. The. Heck. This can’t be real… can it?
A question I’ve heard from a variety of people has been “Why the Peace Corps? And as a Christian, why that instead of missions?” So I wanted to write a post explaining why for those that are curious and to also put to words things that have been jumbling around in my head like miscellaneous loose change for months now.
So the other evening, I got on the bus, awkwardly shuffled down the aisle, and sat next to a stranger. We made awkward eye contact, I reached for the elusive headphones tucked somewhere deep in my purse, and this stranger said an accented hello. I contemplated for a moment whether or not I would respond before the words “How was your day?” slipped out of my mouth. We spent thirty minutes in the back of a tired bus making its millionth trip from Denver to Boulder just chatting about his home country and the uniqueness of culture. And it made me remember something really specific about myself: I love cultures. I love challenging notions of what is perceived as right or appropriate or normal and how those things are seen differently depending where you are from. I love languages and hearing about daily life in other parts of the world.
This stranger was from Tunisia, quietly sitting and observing the daily life I’m so used to. He thought first in Arabic, then French, and then finally spoke in fluid accented English. He told me stories about growing up, about seeing parts of the States for the first time, about how surprising the size of the cars are here. Continue reading →
As a secular scholar, a (former) heathen, and having been employed at a church only a few short months ago, I am currently getting dunked face-first into a land that I had previously not really tiptoed into. Let’s just start by saying that I live in Boulder, Colorado, which is fondly referred to as “Nine square miles surrounded by reality.” The dynamic of my hometown is totally strung between the tension of the 30-thousand-something students wandering around CU’s campus and the rest of Boulder, many of whom are the most health conscious, open-minded, and socially responsible people you will ever come across.
You would think that with the level of education floating around here, there would be a pretty high percentage of atheists, but instead it seems that the numbers tend much more in favor of agnostics or towards people who practice more Eastern religious traditions or philosophies. And a huge number of those people will tell you that they grew up in Christian Church, but that they figured it out once they left. Which leads me to my point. Continue reading →