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2 years, 3 months
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Jade J.

“Throughout this past year I have built relationships with my students and grown to love them. Seeing them return that love and enthusiasm to learn has been the most enjoyable aspect of serving my community.”

Jade J headshot

1. What got you interested in the Peace Corps?

Peace Corps offered me an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience, and challenge myself in new ways while serving in communities and learning about a culture I would not have had access to otherwise.

2. What projects are you working on?

I am an English teacher at the middle school in my community working with 7th, 8th and 9th grade students. I also help teachers improve their skills in teaching English. Finally, I work with a community organization offering English courses to both adults and children in our community.

Jade and her counterpart teach English to 7th, 8th and 9th graders in Timor-Leste.
Jade and her counterpart teach English to 7th, 8th and 9th graders in Timor-Leste.

3. What strategies have you used to integrate into your community?

I like to ask people questions about the culture and practice my language skills in conversation, even if it is painful in the beginning. I push myself out of my comfort zone to make the first move in starting conversations.

I explore the market frequently, and always offer a smile and greeting to others. I always greet my students when seeing them in the market or the street and try to engage them.

I spend quality time with my host family and we do activities together. I teach them how to play some American games and they explain to me what's happening in the Indonesian TV shows we watch together.

4. What is a highlight of your time in service so far?

I’m incredibly grateful for my Volunteer cohort; we are all so supportive of each other. Being able to share this experience with them has been and continues to be the highlight of my service.

5. What have you enjoyed most about the community where you are serving?

I love teaching. Throughout this past year I have built relationships with my students and grown to love them. Seeing them return that love and enthusiasm to learn has been the most enjoyable aspect of serving my community.

6. What are some of the most important things you’ve learned from your community?

One of the most important things I’ve learned from my community is the importance of cultivating relationships with people: neighbors, coworkers, even the people who sell me tomatoes in the market.

7. How do you spend time when you are not working on a project?

In my free time, I enjoy reading, self-reflection through journaling, coloring, sitting outside, and chatting and watching TV with my host siblings.

8. What are you looking forward to in your remaining time as a Volunteer?

In my last year I look forward to having fun and enjoying my last year of service both in the classroom as well as outside of it.

9. Once you finish your service, what will you do differently when you return to the U.S.?

I don’t know what I will do differently, but being a Volunteer in Timor-Leste has challenged and changed me, and I’m excited to take these changes and experiences back to the U.S.