My service was originally scheduled to end in July but I have extended for a month so I can be a part of Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World). It is a weeklong, all girls summer camp created by Peace Corps Volunteers that strives to not only empower young women but also provide them with the specific skills to make their voices heard.
There is an unfortunate commonality in many cultures to view the world through the lens of inequality. Females around the world are often confined to a life centered around caring for a household - cooking, cleaning, and raising children. They do not have equal access to opportunities to explore, test boundaries, discover, excel, and lead. The camp aims to inspire young girls to think beyond the expected, to help them understand that no dream is too big to chase, and to realize that anything is within their reach.
I am taking pictures of each resident for a project for the center. It is very difficult to get good pictures of 30 individuals in one day. But I did manage to capture a couple great shots right off the bat. I cannot help but melt at the vulnerability of the residents when they truly show me their face lit up with happiness.
This was discovered in parallel with learning that being alone is not the same thing as loneliness.
When I was serving in Tanzania the aloneness was tenfold and not optional and it physically hurt sometimes. But the survival skill I learned was how to use this solitude to recharge and guide me towards balance.
So this time around I drink up the time by myself like a glass of cold water in the hot sun. It’s no longer something I avoid, but embrace fully.