Same kind of different

“I found out everybody’s different —

the same kind of different as me.”

-Denver Moore

Part of the reason I joined Peace Corps was to experience sacrifice.  To live without certain luxuries, to remove myself from the rampant American consumerist culture, and to try to survive on the bare necessities instead of becoming distracted by stuff we’re conditioned to want.

I had been given a lot growing up in America.  Opportunities were always available to me, a possibility made real by my parents’ decision to raise their children in a country that could offer what their homeland could not.  But the connection to the bayan, our motherland, the Philippines, was always there.  Even though it’s not where I grew up, visiting there meant going home.

Seeing where my parents and grandparents had been children, my eyes were opened to the harsh but very real hardships that exist in this world.  Perhaps that’s why I was drawn to do this; if my parents could find their path in an environment like that, then so could I.  The funny thing is, in sacrificing the comforts of America that my parents wanted me to have, I’ve been given the gift of living in a place not unlike the one they gave up in order to give me everything they did.

The irony of it is a pleasant echo in the vibrations of my borrowed land in St. Vincent.  My temporary home here is one I share with a people blessed with a country endowed in natural beauty and who have in common a spirit of kinship and resilience.  Here I’m learning that no matter where we come from, we’re not so different from each other after all.

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. grace lapidario
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 03:25:34

    Camille,
    I learn so much from you when I read your blog. Thank you!
    XO,
    Grace

    Reply

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