I know that people will be asking me about what my Peace Corps service was about. I won’t have the time or even be able to fully explain to them what happened to me in my 2 years. But I will be able to offer this take away:
Peace Corps service to me is about development through building relationships. The relationships that I built with the people there is what is going to play a huge factor in their development. They are always going to remember that they built a rainwater catchment system with Moises. They are going to remember who introduced a composting latrine to them. They are going to remember how I showed them a bucket of sh*t to prove to them that composting latrines don’t smell.
But aside from work, they are going to remember that Moises wanted to hang out with them. They are going to remember that for 2 years Moises was excited about going to their fincas, going fishing, learning about canastas, and liked to make jokes. I became a son, a primo, a cuñado, a friend, an uncle. I know that we both value this relationship, and that we have enriched each other’s lives by knowing each other.
Composting latrines are going to be built and used in Alto Playón, we have more work to do to realize that. Families are going to build themselves better rainwater catchment systems. What will get them there? Not money, not projects, not grants – but the relationships that we have created.
I leave my site not only proud of the work that I have done along with my community, but proud of all the work that my fellow Volunteers in Panamá have done and are continuing to do. The Peace Corps is the toughest job you will ever love.
Therefore, I humbly end this blog.