Charles ThompsonDominican RepublicMarch 1, 2011
:The professional attributes I plan to use include my ability to observe peoplearound me and respond to their needs such that we advance toward our aims asa team, rather than simply conferring responsibility to an individual. While I thinkI can provide leadership, it is my belief that I will be more valuable as acollaborator that empowers and supports leaders in my community. I aspire toleave behind an infrastructure for lasting success in the community I servethrough teaching strategies that inspire users to seek further learning, andthrough equipment that realizes its full potential through community stewardship.
:When considering strategies for working effectively with host country partners, Ithink as a Peace Corps volunteer I will wear many hats. When I read about dutiesin the Assignment Description like helping my community devise strategies tomaintain its computer lab, I begin to envision my role as that of someone whostimulates creative thinking and invites community members to considerproblem-solving from a perspective that involves what they have rather thanwhat they lack.A strategy I consider to be of crucial importance is to take time early on to learnhow my hosts envision my role and to collect information concerning their desiresand aspirations. When the Assignment Description emphasizes the importance of the three-month beginning stage in which I perform my community diagnostic, Iam reminded of the time I spent with an NGO in Guatemala and a similaropportunity I feel I missed early in my tenure to serve my hosts in a way I hadn’tplanned. You can rest assured that I will not to repeat the same mistake.
:Since my time in Guatemala, I have had ample opportunity to reflect onstrategies for adapting to a new culture with respect to my own culturalbackground. During my time there, I was often annoyed by what I considered tobe a lack of maturity in the people I met. It wasn’t until after I spent time back inthe United States that I came to recognize the same “immaturity” in my ownculture. The only difference, it seems, is that attitudes and behaviors I finddistasteful are manifested in different ways. A primary strategy I will use when I1