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.
This was my mother, beautiful, giving, funny and strong. Her spirit and heart is what got me here to the South Pacific and I am forever grateful.
It is much like life; the sheltered have much comfort but those who dare to put themselves in the elements enjoy this world and enjoy each other. They have the much better ride.
This page will display projects that I am currently working on.
Currently I am in the middle of the integration and assessment period here in Vanuatu.
There is a current need for phonetics education.
I am currently working with teachers designing programs that will introduce English words to students starting at the beginning of primary school.
Assessments will be done to look at how to best organize our library and create an effective reading program (similar to Accelerated Reader at home).
If anyone has expertise in these areas please contact me.