“have you ever thought of doing the peace corps?”

NAMIBIA

NAMIBIA (Photo credit: Rui Ornelas)

How, you may ask, do you tell someone that you’re moving to Africa for the Peace Corps?

Well, let me tell you – there’s no nonchalant way to do it. Whether it’s your family, your coworkers or even your eye doctor, there’s no casual way to slip it in. So sometimes you just have to come right out and say it, no matter the anticipated reactions.

One of the best conversations I’ve had thus far was with one of my coworkers. We have an open floor plan, so we have desks in little pods but no cubicles (praise Jesus), and my teammate is looking up something on his computer in a brief moment while we’re both not answering phones, and goes, “Hey, Ali, have you ever thought of doing the Peace Corps?” Now, I haven’t told pretty much anyone at work because I’m seasonal anyway and I know I’ll just be done at the end of my contract this summer and then jet off to Namibia, so this question was out of the blue. I kind of thought he was kidding, but this seemed like a simple enough opening to share my news, so I answered: “Yeah, actually, I leave in July for the Peace Corps.” Silence. I was still working on some customer’s account on my computer, so I tore my eyes away and looked at him to see him staring at me. Unblinking. Eyebrows furrowed. He was so confused. After a long, uncomfortable pause, he just goes, “Wait, really?” And then I told him more details and it turned into a jolly little sharefest, but that conversation literally captures the majority of conversations I’ve had when I’ve told people I might be going or now that I am. Because moving to Namibia isn’t a normal thing. And taking a moment to realize that I’m serious causes awkward conversations because moving across the world isn’t typical. It’s not an everyday sort of occurrence.

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the great southwest

Last spring break I took a 2000+ mile road trip with some really fun people. In honor of that being almost a year ago, here’s some fantastic photos from along the way:

western colorado

western colorado

moab, utah

moab, utah

arches nat'l park

arches national park

arches

arches national park

utah

nevada

VEGAS

vegas

hoover dam

hoover dam

grand canyon

grand canyon

grand canyon

grand canyon

four corners

four corners

santa fe

santa fe

salt and light: photo by scott shek

salt and light: photo by scott shek

saying no and nablablabla

A week ago, I received an invitation from the Peace Corps to teach English in Namibia.

Say whaaaaa?

The first sentence of this post are possibly some of the last words I ever anticipated writing. Back when I started applying in February in the midst of a lot of refinement, I did it on a whim thinking it was an exercise in trusting God more. And then I kept making it through to the next stage, and the next stage. Yes, the possibility tended to hover in the back of my mind, but I never actually expected to get to this point… So now I have to decide to go or to stay: yes or no. Two simple, single syllables that change the trajectory of my life. Not a big deal or anything. Continue reading

i am a (oxy)moron

for me, epiphanies happen at really odd moments.

It could be safe to say that they tend to happen when I am somewhat out of my element and feeling really awkward and out of place. Like at an airport when searching for an escalator that goes upwards while only finding ones that go down and toting a bag with a strap that keeps getting awkwardly stuck underneath my armpit while running late during my very short layover. Because for some reason that tends to happen to me far too often. But in general, I seem to realize really intense, consequential things at fairly inconsequential times.

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