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Author Topic: Serving in another country during the holidays  (Read 2516 times)

Offline Ken

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Serving in another country during the holidays
« on: December 19, 2014, 10:33:44 AM »
A question for people who have already served or are serving in the Peace Corps:   

I am wondering what it is like to be thousands of miles from friends and family during the holidays.  Seems like it would kind of be depressing?

What is it like... and how do you deal with it?

Offline PeaceCorps1

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Re: Serving in another country during the holidays
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 11:00:20 PM »
A question for people who have already served or are serving in the Peace Corps:   

I am wondering what it is like to be thousands of miles from friends and family during the holidays.  Seems like it would kind of be depressing?

What is it like... and how do you deal with it?

I can stand being away from home if I were in a warm country. The gray, cold makes it depressing more than missing my family. However, I WILL go home for the holidays for 2 weeks. I planned for this financially and I need no badge that says I stuck it here over the holidays....
"If it were not for the reporters, I'd tell you the truth"', President Chester A. Arthur

Offline koji

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Re: Serving in another country during the holidays
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2014, 08:09:26 AM »
For me it was no problem. Both years, I took a vacation to Istanbul over christmas and new years. Other volunteers in my group celebrated at site, but I am rather 'bah humbug' about holidays, so being able to get away was excellent. Being in Istanbul, it was difficult to get depressed!

Offline Jeff

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Re: Serving in another country during the holidays
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 06:32:22 AM »
Keep in mind that while you are away from your family, you are not away from your friends.  You may be away from your US friends, but you will have a whole load of new friends that you WILL be with, both other PCVs and host country nationals.

In Peace Corps, you often become closer to those you serve with much quicker than you would back here...many of my fellow PCVs knew things about me and my personality that people back home didn't.
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline shawn

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Re: Serving in another country during the holidays
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 06:39:46 AM »
Hey, you know, i spent 22 years of holidays in Minnesota. I'll take 2 or 3 in Sub-Sahara Africa...
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
NPCA Serving Volunteer Advisory Council

Offline PeaceCorps1

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Re: Serving in another country during the holidays
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 03:30:48 PM »
Keep in mind that while you are away from your family, you are not away from your friends.  You may be away from your US friends, but you will have a whole load of new friends that you WILL be with, both other PCVs and host country nationals.

In Peace Corps, you often become closer to those you serve with much quicker than you would back here...many of my fellow PCVs knew things about me and my personality that people back home didn't.

Not all of us made good friends with other volunteers. Some of our closest PCV friends may be in other provinces/villages that are not close. Christmas is not always a day off in other countries. So, you may be alone for the holidays while serving.

I am not a groupie kind of person and I do not the commercial Christmas, so I was okay being alone at Christmas.
"If it were not for the reporters, I'd tell you the truth"', President Chester A. Arthur

LittleJo

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Re: Serving in another country during the holidays
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2014, 03:36:46 PM »
In my first year of service I flew home but the next I stayed in my town and had an American-style Christmas dinner
for my Ukrainian friends and it was a joy for me and for them! They don't celebrate Christmas when or like we do and it was very cool to experience the holiday from this perspective!