Year 2. They say it’s a lot easier and goes by a lot faster than year 1. Since my year 2 is just starting, I’ll have to take their word for it. Not that I don’t believe them because I do. I was fortunate enough to be able to go home for Christmas this year. It was amazing to be home and kind of re-live my old life. Take hot showers, sleep in my old bed, hang out at my regular spots, etc. But as my trip ended, and I was getting ready to go home I thought back to how I felt the last time I was leaving for Samoa. The last time was the first time I was going there and the word ‘nervous’ doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. I remember having a range of emotions at any given moment that could, and most likely were, all over the emotional scale. But this time, this time I wasn’t nervous and wasn’t on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I knew what I was coming back to. I knew what to expect, and what people were going to be in my Samoan life. That’s why I believe year 2 will be better than year 1. Last year I had to learn the language, and the fa’asamoa (Samoan way). I walked on egg shells every day and with everyone. But now I know the language and I know the fa’asamoa. I’m more confident with day to day interactions and experiences as well as more confident in general. I know how to say no to people in a polite and respectful manner, and I know how to get my point across without being rude or stepping on any toes.
There are a lot of things that I have learned from my first year in the Peace Corps, mistakes that I have made, and expectations that just plain weren’t practical. One of the biggest mistakes I made last year was setting expectations for something that I knew little to nothing about. Last year I had expectations of doing several projects in a certain amount of time (usually a short amount of time). It took a serious crash into a brick wall to realize that this was not the way to go about it all. For this year, my plan is to make no plans, and have no expectations. With this, I won’t have all the pressure and no brick walls to run into.
I am excited for my year 2 of teaching. I will have all the same kids. I know their abilities and I know them as individuals. I am excited to bond with them more, and I’m excited to revise my lessons in a way that I know will work best for each of my kids. I know I said before that I’m not making and plans or having any expectations for year 2, but I do have a goal for this year… my goal is to just accept things for what they are and how they come. Whether it’s bad or good I’m just going to accept it.