A Poem on Patience

What I am learning is that

 

At its core, Peace Corps is about patience.

Patience cradles peace in its letters

And peace rocks back and forth to the rhythm of patience.

 

Patience to work toward sustainability and long-term success.

Patience to not see results immediately.

Patience to soak in a slower pace of life.

 

Patience to put your known world on hold.

Patience to embrace a whole new world.

Patience to stay long enough to call it home.

 

Patience to speak a new language by

Patiently listening to tonal nuances,

Patiently learning a new syntactical structure,

Patiently communicating with limited words,

And patiently swallowing those complex questions burning in your throat.

 

Patience to let water flood the heartspace.

Patience to let time nourish the seedling of personal growth.

 

Patience to start everyday anew.

 

Patience smiles at its own mistakes.

Patience does not see clearly, does not know entirely.

Patience accepts that is vulnerable, completely.

 

A Peace Corps volunteer must have the patience to dive deep

Deep into ice cold cultural waters

Deeper than the most stubborn iceberg

Deep into murkiness, the muck and the mire

Deep to the unknown…

Down down down

Until

Finally

After a deep immersion into descriptive observation, non-judgmental interpretation, culturally aware verification and well-informed evaluation,

To emerge

To break through to the surface

Triumphantly holding a rarely understood cultural gem

To inhale fresh air with gratitude, with grace, with gumption

And with this new breath

A new breath full of relief and appreciation for the beautiful challenges in life

Enjoying the moment

Just for a moment

A moment enough to catch her breath

And

Dive deep down again.

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