Friday, August 14, 2009
To the kind people of Romania, the Peace Corps' entire administrative staff, our superb language instructors, and my gazda family here in Targoviste,
Today is a day for all of us to look toward the future. A day for reflection on what we have accomplished. And as we stand on the threshold of a promising time, we take notice of our supporters, the Romanian people, who have welcomed us warmly into their country.
Peace Corps Romania is a unique and wonderful opportunity for both our people and yours. Still, for some of us, this day holds a special meaning, one that has shaped our decisions and motivated our desires since we can remember.
In 1961, when John F. Kennedy proposed the inception of this organization, we were children, not yet aware of the impact that our participation could have. The years went by and we learned about ourselves, became adults, had our disappointments and celebrated our successes. We lost and sacrificed and changed and earned and all the while we were gaining wisdom, experience, compassion, and understanding of what it meant to be alive in this era. Some of us became parents, even grandparents, and further we could know the unique joy of this hope for the future.
We lived the "Age of Aquarius", the birth of color television, the first man on the moon, the chaos of the 60's, the assassinations of our most prominent leaders, the Vietnam War, the technological revolution, supersonic air travel, "fast food nation", a booming economy, the dream of an education, and the ability to travel widely and often.
Now we admit that our journeys have not ended. We take all that we have learned and known and travel onward to begin our volunteer service in Romania. We are proud of our heritage, we are humbled by the privilege of the daunting tasks before us. We leave behind beloved friends and families; we accept our fate and answer our calling many years in the making.
We thank you for all that you have given to us already and also for all that we will share with you during the next two years of our lives. We have prepared for this moment in earnest and we are part of the last of the Kennedy generation of Peace Corps volunteers who will go abroad to be of service to others in a foreign nation.
We are fortunate to be here now on the brink of the 50th anniversary of the US Peace Corps and we will always be grateful to have been born in such an auspicious time. We look ahead to our days in Romania and when our service ends, we will say once again, "The Best is Yet to Come!"
US Peace Corps