I've Decided To Live In A Hut: Peace Corps || Vanuatu
Updated: Jul 26, 2018
I have an announcement and it's pretty exciting... Y'all ready? (Ignore the title for a second....)
I have joined the Peace Corps and will be moving to Vanuatu in April 2018.
I know, I know! This is crazy! I'm just as shocked as you guys, but this overwhelming, thrilling opportunity of a lifetime is my next adventure. I will be joining the phenomenal community of Peace Corps Volunteers and exploring the breathtaking country, Vanuatu.
But Morgan, you just moved back to the States and were getting settled!
Oh trust me, I know. For those who don't though, I moved back to the States from Scotland December 9th, 2017 after completing a masters in journalism. I thought Scotland was my forever home, so moving back wasn't "planned" per se but it was a really good decision in the end. It also was a time of mourning for what I thought my life was going to be. The first few (or 6...or more...) months of living in America again were a chex mix of emotions, figuring out what's next, culture shock, and just continuing as a struggling freelancer.
But I picked Colorado for many reasons:
1. Close to family and friends.
2. It's gorgeous.
3. It was a new adventure.
4. Didn't want to move back in with my parents (who lovingly would've let me).
5. All the above I thought would help with the snack bag full of feelings.
During those months I felt lost, confused, and applied to everything and everywhere. I didn't know what was in store for the future but I knew the Peace Corps always intrigued me.
I had the luxury of "why not?"
But I never thought I'd get in.
Not that I didn't feel qualified, I was just stuck in this "woe is me" attitude.
Real quick side note: I'm gunna tell you guys right now, if you're feeling stuck or in said attitude - CUT IT OUT! Easier said than done, man do I know it. Please though, try your hardest to find what makes you, you. For me, it was having friends and family slowly bring me back to my roots and when asked for advice about joining, scoff saying "well duh, this is so you, of course you should do this" without hesitation.
When I received the acceptance letter, I truthfully completely forgot I applied. I was so caught up in society telling me I need a job in my career, I have student loans, I have to move "forward" in my life. I had become, not only settled but, fairly happy. I live close to my brother, I have a really strong group of friends, and nanny for the most amazing, kind, and loving family. Colorado has been so good for me but my heart aches for travel.
This is moving forward.
If someone asked me what three things make up my core, the response will always be travel, wildlife, and education.
The Peace Corps not only provides an opportunity to help a community which asked for volunteers, it allows me to travel AND I will most likely adopt a puppy or a cat or both or all the animals...
So it is moving forward and ticking all the boxes I find important.
Here are some questions I've been getting:
1. When do you leave? April 2018
2. What will you be doing? Basically I will be teaching teachers how to teach! I will also be helping primary school children with their English and reading skills.
3. Will you stay in Colorado until then? Most likely, I am still trying to figure out the best way to save since I won't really be making any money. The current plan is to stay here until the end of March and then fly to my parents in Massachusetts to be with family before I go.
4. Will you be paid? Sort of, we are given a stipend each month for food, rent, etc. Just depends on the country to how much we are given. The PC also provides money to all volunteers to transition back.
5. What about your bills, student loans, savings, and prep before you go? *sigh* This is something I am also worried about but I will be picking up a second job (maybe three) to save as much as I can, along with selling most of my belongings. Also, I will be asking for help and appreciate any support given.
6. What will your living conditions be like? Truthfully, I barely know! How exciting! However from previous PC "cribs" videos, seems it'll be a semi-hut like home with possibly some running water, solar power, and depending on which island I'm on - some cell/internet connection.
7. What will you eat? A lot of volunteers grow their own food or go to local markets. Most likely a lot of veggies, fish, and local fruit.
8. Can we contact you? Of course! I will have an address you can send letters and care packages to. Also to my knowledge, I will have a cell phone as well.
9. How long will you be gone? 3 months of training, 24 months of service, so a total of 27 months aka just over 2 years. There is a possibility of being sent home early due to natural disasters etc but hopefully not!
10. Will you be safe? There is always a risk moving anywhere but I have heard nothing but lovely stories about the people of Vanuatu. I do not foresee any extreme risks but will take the same precautions about this move as I am with any other.
11. Aren't you scared? Hell yes! Of course I am! I'm about to go on a huge adventure with no idea what to expect but it is crazy thrilling. I welcome such a rare opportunity and can't wait to share my experiences.
12. What about your career? I am a media specialist with a BSc in Film and a MSc in Journalism. Y'all best believe I will be making this a creative opportunity!
Overall thoughts and feelings
My feelings change allll the time but at the end of the night I always feel one thing, excitement. I am so thankful and honoured to be accepted into a program which does groundbreaking work throughout the world. I can't help but smile at the thought of what an adventure this will be and so excited to finally share it with all of you.
Oh also. I WILL be going to Hobbitton. x