The content of this webpage, and everything associated with this webpage, is independent of the Peace Corps and the United States Government, though I think they should read it too. This blog solely reflects the experiences and observations of Jake DeBerry.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Things that won't go on the resume...

Now that my time is winding down I am putting together my resume. As I was writing according to the requirements of today's resume – I sat there wondering how I could summarize the two years I've had here, the work I've done, and how I've changed. I came to the realization there just isn't any way to encapsulate it, especially in a resume where I can only devote about 6 to 7 bullets for my time here. So – here is a less formal, more fun resume of my life over these past two years…and who knows what will happen over the next couple months and on my trip home…

Jacob Edward DeBerry – Peace Corps – Volunteer – Small Business Development
- Fortified my immune system by introducing it to lots of different bacteria and through much strength and conditioning (I.E. explosive diarrhea).

- Relinquished all ideas of normal business practices and attitudes and instead focused on getting grown adults to not all talk at the same time during meetings, to show up on time or just to show up, to come sober, have an agenda set before the meeting, and that if you want to have an association where all the profits go back to everyone instead of a boss you will have to work and sell stuff before you get that money.

- Tried to instill ambition and a go-get-em attitude to people with a lot of talent but who have grown up getting things for free because of constant outside aid, beginning from the 1970 earthquake and now from the mines and NGO's galore.

- Performed as the sole and last business volunteer (at least for awhile) in this region – all other business volunteers are in different departments, mainly along the coast where the people are more willing to work.

- Was stood up for lots of meetings…or had to wait countless hours for meetings to begin or for people to show up…

- Combated loneliness and isolation for 2 years while in a town of 1,000 people close to 10,000 feet in altitude in the Peruvian Andes through reading, playing guitar, writing blogs, hiking, meditation, among others.

- Sacrificed seeing my niece and nephews growing up for two years. Missed my Dad's 50th birthday. Missed a number of weddings of friends and family. Missed my sister's graduation. Missed out on the festivities when Barack was elected (though we partied here). Missed out on a lot of stuff – though I gained a lot.

- Lived for two years without a television, microwave, oven, fridge, freezer, and any other appliance you can think of (though I had a toaster from 1972, it was awesome). Most of those two years I was also without running water during the day.

- When there was water, washed and showered with water that came from glaciers…it's really cold.

- Learned how to live poor and eat cheaply (spending less than $5/day).

- Adapted to constant personal-space invasion, a very machismo environment, constant attention from everyone and little kids and old people staring at me without discretion, dogs only living on the street and barking at all hours, repetitive conversations, unsanitary food but beautiful in its organic-ness, native music blaring usually in the early morning or late at night, drinking with only one glass that is passed around for the group (regardless of the size of the group), 5 months of rain every-single-day, and much, much more.

- Expanded my musical knowledge, tastes, and personal ability

- Implemented a great American greeting, the high-five

- Taught people that eating fruit at night won't make you sick, neither will drinking cold things, it's okay for men to cook and help in the house and women can help with the family money, that homosexuality isn't something caught like the cold and statistics show 1 out of 10 people are gay, that white women are not sluts because they might seem like that on tv, whistling and yelling at girls while with your group of friends won't get you as far as going up and talking to them, vegetables are good, sexual education for the youth is good and only preaching abstinence doesn't work, people who don't believe in god can still be nice and caring people, and lots of other stuff

- Corrected stereotypes about Americans such as: we do not carry around machine guns, other than Dick Cheney and a few others, Americans are friendly, peaceful people, that while America is a rich country 80% of that money is with less than 10% of the population and we have a lot of poor people that can't feed themselves or get health care and that our primary and secondary education, health care, and environmental awareness is actually some of the lowest out of rich countries…but we spend more on the military than the next 30 countries combined.

- 3 years out of the 6 years out of college have been spent outside of the US living in incredible places.

- Participated in traditional Andean fiestas.

- Grew a big hippy beard.

- Dropped below 160 lbs unhappily, losing about 15 to 20lbs - though I'm around 165 now.

- Went to a cat-eating party and ate more guinea pigs than I could count.

- Drank copious amounts of warm beer, bad wine, cheap rum, corn beer, and canaso (the moonshine here).

- Read over 50 books (literature and nonfiction)

- Began practicing meditation.

- Visited the Amazon rainforest and swam in the Amazon River, went to the largest city in the world that can't be reached by road, visited a shaman, held a sloth, a few monkeys, a kaiman, and other cool stuff. Saw a falcon killing a monkey. All kinds of other really cool stuff.

- Climbed above 19,000 feet and camped on a glacier at 18,000 feet.

- Skinny-dipped in 5 glacial lakes above 12,000 feet (and still counting).

- Visited one of the 7 world wonders and the highest navigable lake in the world.

- Learned Spanish and some of an indigenous language.

- Expanded my patience exponentially – something my mother has always harped on…"Jacob Edward! you need more patience!" love you mom :)

- Increased my capacity for compassion and love.

- Got a tattoo.

- May have set a Peace Corps record for number of friends that visited the country while I have been here.

- Made life-long friends and met all kinds of amazing people along the way.

- Expanded my perspectives and increased my awareness of that which is outside of my way of life.

- Had an intimate and meaningful relationship for over a year.

- Freaked out all the squares.

- Lots of other stuff I shouldn't document publicly on here…my grandma might be reading…

- Dearly missed my friends and family and despite all the frustration, bad times, and loneliness over the two years, I lived, loved, and laughed the entire time.

Much love,
Jake

1 Comments:

Blogger coderifous said...

At the very least, you should put a link to this blog on your resumé! Amazing stuff Jake - I love reading. I'm always excited when my RSS feed shows that there's a new "Jake in Peru" post.

Thanks for living the life the rest of us only dream of. I'm proud, and I'm just your friend. I can only imagine how proud your parents must be.

Return safely!

June 22, 2009 at 3:48 PM

 

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