Thursday, April 19, 2007

An expat among the Peace Corps?

It dawns upon me, as I spend copious amounts of time reading Peace Corp welcome packs while I wait for my invitation, that I'm going to feel a certain amount of distance from my fellow volunteers. While most (if not all) of them are adjusting to living outside the United States, in particular, I'm going to be adjusting to living outside the United Kingdom (having more or less made my peace with being an American expat in the UK).

Will I have to dredge up two-year-old memories of the US? And who will I talk to when I miss thing about the UK, especially if no one else has ever lived there? Will it be isolating? Will it be an advantage?

I'm reminded of the State Department publication I read on third culture kids, the children of people living abroad who have developed a hybrid identity based on their country of origin and the countries in which they have lived. It was called 'According to my Passport, I'm Going Home.' I'm not one of these third culture kids (mostly, because I acknowledge that at 23 I'm no longer a kid), but I completely recognize the sentiment. I can't pretend that the United States is 'home' at this point in my life (and I hope no one takes offence at that statement) and I wonder if it will be difficult for me to interact with people for whom it emphatically is?


Anonymous said... Reply to comment

hey Joyce, checking today to see if you have your assignment - having a retirement party for dortha at 4...good food, too!

Home, is where you are. Leaving for vacation at Jekyll Island south of Savannah for a week with Marsh...looking forward to some R and well - love you Sue