Optimism in Action

Feb. 26, 2024

by Idorico Sebastiao

Living in the heart of Albania as a Peace Corps Volunteer has been a lesson in joy amidst simplicity. Beyond the lack of some comforts, I was accustomed to in the US, the warmth and cheerfulness of my community shine through, even in the mid-40s (6-8 Celsius). Let me share three snapshots that encapsulate the spirit of optimism in action:
Dejvi's Farewell Hug: As I bid farewell to my town for a short break, Dejvi, one of my VII-B students, expressed genuine sadness. In his broken English, he hugged me tightly and admitted, "I'm going to cry, man!" A poignant reminder that connections transcend cultural and language barriers.

Erdis, the Volleyball Dynamo: Amidst adolescence and volleyball prowess, Erdis has evolved into an emotionally resilient player. Responding positively to feedback, he exemplifies growth and adaptability. His journey gives me hope for the resilience of the younger generation.

Op in action
Optimism in Action

Besa, the Optimistic English Teacher: During a moment with Besa, we laughed about the chilly weather. A realization struck: our community's warmth might stem from anticipating brighter days. Little did we know, we were embodying the very optimism I'm writing about.

In addition to the community's resilience, I find optimism in my own journey. Since 2018, I've embraced a nomadic lifestyle, navigating different countries every two years. As I prepare to bid adieu to Albania in late 2024, I foresee that saying goodbye to the remarkable students of VII-B will pull my heartstrings hard. They've become my guides in embracing hope, desire, and the pursuit of a brighter future.

In these students, I see optimism in action, teaching me the profound power of hope and the beauty of belonging. As I transition from a wandering soul to a grounded mascot, I carry their lessons with me, forever grateful for the community that taught me the true essence of optimism.

#OptimismInAction #PeaceCorpsLife #CommunitySpirit #PeaceCorspAlbaniaandMontenegro

Sebastian in Host Community