I am Julianna, and I am in the English Education sector. To this day I don’t understand why I was placed in English Education, since English is my second language. I actually grew up in Colombia and my whole entire family is from there. Spanish is my first language. Maybe it is because of my background in journalism or the fact that for some reason most of my jobs during high school and college involved children. I’m always surprised that I never EVER considered, working with youth or at the thought of “education” as a career path made me roll my eyes with imagined impatience.
There are many times, when I strongly dislike this program, not because of its goals, but because working with adults, in school and within Peace Corps, has been the hardest part of my service. When is it that we become so square minded? (just so I can prevent it). However, I am thankful that I was placed in this one, because I have realized how passionate I am about working in education for and with youth. It doesn’t meant I want to be a teacher my whole life, but now it is clear that I want to follow a path in education in international development. All my students have wonderful minds, and if you teach them to love and appreciate, they will do just that!
1. How did you end up here? In this moment, in this time, in this place?
I have always loved learning languages and about others’ cultures. Maybe this is due to my upbringing, since I moved quite a bit. In fact, although I identify myself more as Colombian, the truth is that if I am in Colombia I am too Americanized, and if I am in the US, I am too Latin or Colombian. Regardless, I have always wanted to work in international development, and I believe my upbringing is of great advantage, since I don’t see one best way of doing things based on my cultural or national background, but on understanding that there is a method that works better in the country where I may be and so I work with it. In short, my dream of traveling and working with different cultures around the world is what brought me here.
2. What’s your favorite thing about Moldova?
My favorite thing about Moldova is that there is always room to seat one more person at the table. You never really have to feel guilty about walking in on a family having dinner because surely, your plate will been set on the table by the time you take off your shoes at the door. They make you feel like they were expecting you anyway. It’s beautiful
3. What’s your least favorite thing about Moldova?
The music and that sometimes, bureaucratic things seem so unofficial. Maybe it is the belief or the fact that I come from a technology-dependent world that if it is not in the system then handwritten is likely to go in the trash or be forgotten.
4. A story or lesson from your service?
Be clear and straightforward from the beginning. They always express clear thoughts in this culture. Unless they use bad words and show clear intentions of offending you, they are just communicating what they need, so be as practical with the way you take in their words as they are with the use of their words.
5. What do you miss most about “home” wherever that may be?
My family, almond butter and the beach
6. Knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again?
There is always something you can do differently, but I don’t think I would do it all over again. I have no regrets.
7. Quote or song or picture that sums up your service?
Don’t take anything personal. “va fi bine” “va trece” “lasa”
Vama – Perfect Fără Tine