What? Todd, why? No seriously, what the hell are you thinking?!?!
It's funny how things can change in a short period of time. Up until June I had not even considered the idea of extending for a third year, but an opportunity presented itself to me and it seemed too good to pass up. There are a lot of perks that go along with this third year that I will outline below, plus I realized I am still pretty young and I may not get the opportunity to live in a foreign country basically expense-free again so what's the harm in putting off the real world for another year?
Job: Peace Corps Volunteer
Actual Job: Working with the NGO Planeta Océano (pretty much full-time) on projects related to marine research, marine education, and marine ecotourism development
Location: Lima, Lima, Peru (the big city!)
Perk 1: I get to live in an apartment in Lima with 2 of my best friends from PC so I will actually have a social life and feel like an adult again.
Perk 2: Working with educated professionals in my field on projects I am passionate about and will benefit my future career.
Perk 3: More money! As a third year I will accrue almost double per month in my readjustment allowance that I'll get when I finish my service next year.
Perk 4: More time to explore Peru. I absolutely love this country and haven't had enough time/money to see all of it so I am hoping this 3rd year will give me a chance to see even more of it.
Perk 5: More time for friends/family to come visit! Come on. If I can give 3 years of my life to live/work here then you guys can give a week or so of yours to come see me!
Perk 6: I get a paid trip home for 30 days before I start my third year. So if you guys want to see me then try to make yourselves in GA for the month of December.
I'm sure there are a lot more that I will discover along the way but these are the main ones that helped to sway my decision. It's funny how when our time here starts to approach the end, only then do people consider extending. From my training group of 57 we have 14 PCVs extending for a third year. From my group of 14 environmental volunteers, we have 6 extending! I think that says a lot about the organization, the country, and us as individuals.
Well that's all I've got for now. I only have about a month and a half left in Paracas and I have a few things to finish up as well as making arrangements for my move to Lima.
Until next time,