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Peace Corps Volunteers must be open to ideas and cultures different from their own and may need to modify their behavior appropriately. There are quite a number of events embarked upon as a volunteer that clearly illustrate this in recent times. I would give an example of one of such significant events that illustrates my ability to adapt in an unfamiliar environment. Indeed, such events have added value to my life, created larger schema with which life issues can be better approached and handled accordingly.

Around the second week of June, precisely the 10th day, I had the opportunity to join a volunteer service to a nearby city that has just recovered from series of violent acts; the aim of the service was to educate people about the need for peaceful co-existence and enlightenment on how negotiation can be effective in dispute resolution. It was more than a large-crowd seminar as members had to move to educate people one-on-one. It lasted a period of three weeks.

Relief aids were also provided to those in need of such. During the event, I discovered that my temperature needs be tailored to the culture and norms I met in this target area and the expectation of the target audience. I also understood that I needed to adjust quickly to their way of life so that I can effectively minister to their needs. As a result, I developed a scheme with three main parts: Watch. Select. Act. These proved very useful during throughout the mission.

Within a short, I watched the nature of events in the locality; listened attentively to several conversations around town. I observed all their daily activities and also asked questions from natives about things I didn’t understand. I took time to find about food, clothing, and also their pressing needs. This afforded me an opportunity to understand their status quo with a bird’s eye view. I even took notes of some things along the way.

Thereafter, as quickly as I could I selected the compatible things I could enjoy in this location; and new things I need to learn. This reduced irresponsive reactivity to events as they come because I had a substantial understanding of things. Then, I took appropriate actions in line with the purpose of the mission. It was indeed challenging but I learnt to adapt effectively to new environment and sudden change with minimal disgust and resentment.

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