My name is Vanna. I began my Peace Corps service in the beautiful country of Vanuatu in April 2017. I will be working to improve the literacy rate in my assigned school as well as working on community projects until July 2019.
I knew I wanted to do Peace Corps in high school. When I got my undergrad I was in an international relationship and was unable to pursue it then, instead I began my career with the State of North Carolina as a law enforcement officer. I knew early on that this was not my calling but I did not feel a strong push in any specific direction. I had gotten comfortable with the stability of having a state job and began putting up with the routine that was becoming my life. After I finished my Masters I began looking for another chapter of life. I was tired of being one of the many people around the lunch table talking about how much I hated my job and I wanted to get out. Some people had been talking about how much they hated it for YEARS. No one seemed to get out. Everyone had excuses at why they still sat there. Myself included. It was scary but I had to change life as I knew it, no matter how “stable” it appeared to be.
I was presented with the idea of going into Peace Corps as a couple. I was very excited. Throughout life, I would stop by the display table at job fairs, or look online and as much as I knew it was something I wanted to do I never felt the timing was right. This time it felt right.
The above picture is a post-it that I drew while going through the application process. The secretary at my job had a great picture of the beach and we would talk in private about how one day that post-it was going to be my life. I was going to get out of the agency and circumstances where I was not being appreciated or my gifts utilized. She saw a similar (REAL) picture of me while doing my Peace Corps training on Pele Island. She put it up for all the office to see and looks at it every day. I took a chance. I made a move very few people understood or respected. Even though the whole couple in Vanuatu thing did not pan out like the love story it was projected to be, my drive to be here is very much solid and oriented to help these beautiful people the best way I am able.
To all those people who feel like its too late or life is too comfortable. IT IS NOT. Do what you dream! It won’t be easy, but those are the moments you grow and genuinely find out what you are made of. There is something very refreshing about looking at life and feeling able to take on the unknown. At the end of the day, on your death bed, the only person who decides what was worth it will be you…
This is my attempt to stay true to the above statement. Hold me accountable and thanks for being interested in my journey.
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Disclaimer: The contents of this blog do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.
Here are some clothes I purchased while in Vanuatu at the second-hand shops. This is a Nike athletic top with a wrap skirt. In my school this is acceptable to wear. Some places have stricter rules on tank tops though. Again, this is acceptable at my school but other schools may be more conservative with … Continue reading Thrift Store Finds: Clothes I bought in Vanuatu
I feel like everyone that goes into Peace Corps has a fear at some point of being forgotten by the people at home. As we go off to other parts of the world, the “normal” life continues without us. It’s not like it happens on purpose. We are bad about doing it in our everyday … Continue reading The Fear of being Forgotten: A Testimony of Love
This page will display projects that I am currently working on.
Currently I am in the middle of finding funding for a new (and very badly needed) preschool, as well as, helping out struggling students in English, and training our new librarian!
There is a current need for phonetics education, Bislama resources, and support for the new preschool.
I am currently working with teachers designing programs that will introduce English words to students starting at the beginning of primary school.
I have began a Christ-centered Yoga class for women. We are currently piloting with teachers and boarding students. The aim is to include women from the surrounding communities and to offer other classss to youth and males who may also benefit.
My school is preparing to fundraise for, and build, a preschool for the teachers and surrounding communities. Please keep this process in your prayers, without it many teachers will have to transfer to different communities where their children can receive early childhood education.
If anyone has expertise in these areas please contact me.