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September 20, 2013 by Brittany

Peace Corps life is filled with so many ups and downs.  Sometimes the day is filled with ups and downs.  Emotional roller coaster, sort of developing bi- polar disorder, going crazy, whatever you call it- there are definitely times when you just get so down. Upset, sad, frustrated, angry, dissatisfied.  I’ve had my fair share of these moments here.  But each and every time I’m reminded of gratitude.  Recently, our Peer Support Network sent out their monthly newsletter with the advice to write down three things that you are grateful for every day as a way to refocus on the things you do have, the things that are going well.  And while the past couple of weeks I’ve been dealing with some personal stuff, I’ve been reminded of this idea.  I don’t remember every night, sometimes I forget.  But most days, I sit down at night and do a little reflection.  Maybe three to four things.  Not necessarily monumental things.  Things like “doing yoga, having perfect attendance at my health promoters meeting, and baking cookies.”  It got me thinking of all the things I’m grateful for in the past two years, so I made a little list. There’s no particular order, some are small and some big.

Things I’m Grateful For in the Past Two Years:

1) The ability to practice and learn a new language

2) Other volunteers

3) Hot showers

4) American treats

5) Deep conversations

6) Not getting robbed (knock on wood)

7) Vacations

8) Every single person who ever came to one of my meetings

9) My amazing and consistent socios

10) Family and friends from home who took the time to keep in touch

11) Visitors from home

12) Endless supply of tv shows, movies, and books from other volunteers

13) Girls’ nights

13) Internet

14) Finding engaged, motivated youth to work with

15) Each and every challenge


Gratitude doesn’t necessarily wipe out the sadness, the anger, the frustration completely in these moments…but it does remind me that there’s much more than that. That at the end of the day, certain things/ people are still good in your life.  Focus on the gratitude and you’d be amazed at how the downs become much much easier to handle.


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About Me

Hi! I’m Brittany and I served in Peru from 2011- 2013. I’m from Maryland, and went to school at American University in DC. This blog attempts to capture the crazy beautiful, difficult life that is Peace Corps and readjustment to life back in the States.


The opinions expressed in this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the policies or viewpoints of the Peace Corps, United States government, or any other entities mentioned herein.

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