The Beginning

Last August I called my mom from my apartment in Somerville, MA and told her I had news.  “I’m joining the Peace Corps.  I submitted my application today.”

She let out a sound that made me think of a medium-sized animal whose foot had just been stepped on.

“Don’t sound like that!  I need you to be happy for me,” I told her.

“I’m sorry, I just needed to let that out,” she said.  Then she went on to tell me how she knew all about the Peace Corps.  “You’re sent on assignment to a developing nation for two years, you get a stipend while you’re there for living expenses, and when you get back you get a financial reward for your service.  I read about the Peace Corps in a pamphlet a while ago.  After I read it, I thought to myself, ‘Camille would love to do something like this… I’m not going to tell her about it.'”

She knew I would find it on my own.

Shortly after my interview in LA on August 27th, 2009 my Peace Corps recruiter called to let me know she would be nominating me for a placement in the Caribbean region with a departure date in August 2010.

And so began the year of medical and legal clearances, paperwork, reimbursement forms, and playing the waiting game with the Peace Corps offices in DC.

I received my official invitation to serve on June 23, 2010.  Inside this beautiful blue packet was the next two years of my life.  The letter inside told me I would be assigned to Eastern Caribbean: St. Vincent & the Grenadines for Peace Corps service.  Immediately, I Googled St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Wow, it’s tiny.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Wow, it’s beautiful…

Grenadines

I don’t know how I got so lucky to have been given this opportunity to live on a magnificent island paradise for two years, but I feel incredibly grateful.  In six days I’ll be on a plane to Miami to meet the 30 or so fellow Invitees heading to the Eastern Caribbean.  From there we leave for St. Lucia where we will spend a week in orientation. Then I head off to St. Vincent for seven weeks of training and two years of service.

Who knows what the next two years of my life will bring, but I know it will be changed forever.  There’s this feeling that this is the beginning of the rest of my life and there’s no stopping it now.

Thank you for supporting me in my journey. I have created this space in gratitude to everyone who has encouraged and inspired me to carry out this dream. It is here that I hope to share my adventures with you and the lessons I learn along the way.

In peace,

Camille Aragon

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jenn
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 02:49:51

    I told grandma you’re going to join and she wasn’t sure exactly what it is until I said the word “volunteer”. Then she understood right away that it’s something you would do :). You’re very lucky to have the choice to explore what you really love to do. It’s going to be a heck of a ride that I’m sure you will learn from and enjoy! Always take care and I look forward to your blogs. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Alexei
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 03:46:29

    Hey, I want to start World Mentor Eastern Caribbean next year to hang out there with you! I am so happy you are going .. v v positive energy. Bon voyage Camille LA! Hello Camille Caribbean 😀

    Reply

  3. Janice
    Aug 20, 2010 @ 01:49:48

    I’m soo excited for you Camille!! These next two years will indeed change your life! Can’t wait to hear all about the amazing things you accomplish and the lives you impact and positively affect out there. They are so lucky to have you ❤ Namaste.

    Reply

  4. Andrea
    Aug 21, 2010 @ 18:29:56

    I’m glad I was able to see you and give you a big squeeze today. I look forward to your blog, like you can’t imagine. I know you will be doing great things. I wish I continued to have your enthusiasm for “trying to heal the world” ….you go girl! Get it done!
    much love and light your way

    Reply

  5. Kimm
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 23:40:42

    Hello Camille, My name is Kim, I am Heathers mother. I just finished reading your blogs. I loved the slide show and the bus/van story. I can’t wait to see that beautiful Island and all the sites with my own eyes. You sound very happy to be there. I would like to thank you for giving Heather a hug when she needed one more than anything. I have also thanked Reiko. I hope that you don’t mind if I read and comment on your site from time to time. Looking forward to meeting you next year. God Bless You. Heathers Mom, Kim.

    Reply

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