So, this past year I realized that I needed a plan. I was about to graduate, it was time to figure out my life. But, mostly, I still wanted to explore. I had spent the previous year in Paris, learning all about France, the French, and many other cultures from my friends in the Foyer. While living in Paris, I realized that while I loved my time there and the people I met, I am very American. This is not a good or bad thing, it just is. I am the sort of person that loves traveling, learning about new cultures, and is open to living in another country for a period of time. But, when it comes time to settle down and grow up, I want to live in America. I would love to grow old in Connecticut (and by grow old I don’t mean be elderly, I mean start in my 30s or 40s and live there until I could actually be called old, which doesn’t happen for a while despite what people may think).
So, what this means in my round-about way of writing, is that I was looking for a way to see more of America. I had learned an awful lot about Europe, and yet I can’t tell you anything about Americans beyond the East coast beside stereotypes. I decided that I wanted to spend a year volunteering before starting my dream of working in an art museum. A good friend told me about Americorps, so I got online and took a look. While there are many great service opportunities across the US (Teach for America, City Year, etc), most of them involve teaching or tutoring and almost all keep you in the same place doing the same thing for a year or more. Americorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is unique in that you are assigned a geographic region of the US and you change what you’re doing and the location throughout the 10 months of service, and, bonus, you’re paid, minimum of minimum wage, but paid all the same.
So, I applied for NCCC. And waited, a while, and got put on a wait list, and waited some more. While I waited, I looked and applied for other opportunities, one of which was a new disaster relief division of NCCC partnered with FEMA.
And I got in, to FEMA Corps. HOORAYYYYYY
No sarcasm, I am completely and utterly thrilled to be part of FEMA Corps. 😀
So, what this means is that starting August 28th, and lasting 10 months, I will be part of Americorps NCCC in the North Central Region of the US. This region is based in Vinton, Iowa, but after my training I will be part of a team that could be working in any of the following states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.
I just got my Welcome Packet, I joined the facebook group, this is really happening. 😀
So, hopefully I’ll be able to use this blog the same way I used it during my year in Paris. I won’t be bringing a computer with me, so I won’t be able to post as often, but I will make an effort to stay updated.
Who knows, my next post might just be about how I have to fit 10 months of my life into a duffle bag. 😉