5 Before Flight: Christine Kim
1. What's one characteristic trait you possess that has prepared you for this journey?
The list is endless, but I'm going to go with a particular word I've recently heard several people use to describe me throughout this entire experience... TENACIOUS. I've wanted to join the Peace Corps for a while now, and I've been pretty determined about not letting anything deter me from making things happen. It's been a full year since I actually applied, so the whole process has really tested my patience and commitment to serve.
2. What are you hoping to discover about yourself while in Mozambique?
Throughout all of the challenges I anticipate encountering in Mozambique, I hope to learn that no matter how difficult and rough things may seem at that very moment, I know I am able to pick myself up and overcome whatever challenges life throws at me. In other words, I'd like to discover that I am much more resilient and stronger than I ever thought possible. I also hope to discover new interests (both personal and career-related), new skills I wasn't even aware I had, and realize that I can still be happy with less than I had back home.
3. Do you have a mental plan of action for those times you may feel home sick?
Honestly, I have never really felt truly homesick because I've always adapted well to new and foreign environments. However, I understand this is a totally different situation. The only thing I can think of that will help alleviate these feelings is to maintain contact with family and friends. It would be nice to be kept in the loop on how everyone is doing and also receive updates on significant events happening back home. If I am not able to communicate daily with others back home, my plan is to engage in both old and new hobbies that make me happy, continue building new relationships and support systems, and really make an active effort to put myself out there and take each experience as a positive one that will only contribute to my overall, personal growth. I understand whether my entire Peace Corps journey is negative or positive depends upon the amount of effort I put in, and I believe my ability to successfully assimilate to the new culture will combat much of the homesickness I may experience.
4. If you had to create a hashtag to live by while in Mozambique what would it be?
#YOLO! Haha, just kidding. It's a little lengthy, but I'd go with #weallbleedthesamecolor. Many individuals I've recently come into contact with have been quick to make negative judgments about what my experience will be like in Mozambique. The saying, "We all bleed the same color." is just a reminder for me that regardless of differences in upbringing, culture, language, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, you name it, the local people and I are all humans who value and strive for many of the same goals in life. In the end, sometimes the only difference is what we see on the outside. I am excited to go into this journey with an open mind and remember that I haven't even begun to scratch the surface until I truly get to know an individual on a deeper, personal level.
5. Our slogan is, "Everywhere people are people", what do you feel you will have in common with the people of Mozambique?
I touched on this a little in question #4, but I think the similarities amongst me and the Mozambican people will be endless. I see myself sharing the same passion and enthusiasm for life and adventure. I feel that my future host family members, students, and I will all share the same love for family, friends, music, art, all the way to learning from one another and just enjoying the simple things in life, such as the ability to have good, intellectual conversations. I look forward to all of the powerful, lasting relationships that I will build throughout my years of service!!