Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Inspiration

We are a lucky group of trainees. On Tuesday we had the great pleasure of being visited by the brand spanking new International Director of the Peace Corps. He's been on the job just a few short weeks and his first stop abroad was right here in the DR.

Director Aaron Williams is himself a former Peace Corps Dominican Republic Volunteer. He served in the late sixties and early seventies alongside Senator Chris Dodd. Other former PCDR Volunteers have gone on to any number of impressive professions, including astronaut. It will certainly be interesting to see where the 50 trainees I currently spend my days with end up in the years and decades to come. Past volunteers have set the bar pretty high by making it to Capitol Hill and Outer Space.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect after being told that the International Director was to visit with us. My natural assumption was that some old, albeit important, man was going to come and share his slightly dated and/or mundane ideas with a group full of twentysomethings. What we got was anything but that. Director Williams, fresh off his appointment by President Obama, was young, engaging and, most of all, inspiring. He took our questions, ate lunch with us and took the time really listen to us and not simply talk at us.

To hear his story as to why he joined the Peace Corps decades ago and how it changed his life for the better very much reinforced the reasons I am here. He has been right here in our shoes as a PCDR trainee and future volunteer. His visit as a real treat and a dose of inspiration to take with us into our service.

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