I am so proud of my college friend, Mariana. She is currently a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar but has been home for the past few weeks to visit family and friends. Though we met as college students and resident advisors, we did not hang out very much. However, when she told me she was applying to the Peace Corps program two years ago, I was very supportive. As much as I would have liked to travel to a foreign land for a two-year commitment, I did not have a passport until this year! After graduation, I served with the "domestic Peace Corps" aka AmeriCorps, for ten months.
Mariana was kind enough to set aside time for us to catch up. Though she is many moons away, we have stayed in contact via Gmail and Facebook. I also send her care packages too. She has yet to receive the last care package I sent, which I might add was jam packed with Halloween candy. I hope it is waiting for her upon her arrival.
We met on Monday in D.C. and the weather was surprisingly warm as we walked near Farragut Square. We settled on a Starbucks not far from the Farragut West metro station. Our conversation was choke-full of inspiration, admiration and positivity. I am really happy to hear that Mariana does not feel alone while serving in a country so far from her family. It appears as though she has a great network of support. I got to learn more about her passion for journalism, international development and her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer. It seems as though she understands that having the right attitude and being persistent are the best qualities to have when tackling very difficult issues like nutrition for pregnant mothers. I am truly impressed and blessed to know her.
This post is dedicated to my friend, Mariana. Safe travels back to Madagascar!