Carmen Dibaya

Carmen Dibaya

Carmen Dibaya, Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, Kedougou Region

What opportunities have you had to learn?

Being a Peace Corps Volunteer, I have gotten to learn about the language, culture, and health structure and its different partners.  I also have a better understanding of the Millennium Development Goals and how it’s applied here.  I would love to learn more about and focus my work on maternal health, and after joining the Peace Corps, I’ve been interested in health development as well.  I aspire to work for a public health NGO in Sub-saharan Africa after service.

What do you enjoy most in life?

I enjoy traveling and reading.  I enjoy music.  Right now my favorite type is mellow.  Music has been so helpful during Peace Corps.  It’s a sort of therapy – it’s great for mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being.  Certain songs can capture your feelings perfectly.  I also enjoy fostering relationships with people.  I have had great conversations with my host family and other Peace Corps Volunteers.  This is so important because other volunteers understand what you’re going through.  One important lesson I learned is to not close myself off to meeting new people.  This is so different from the attitude we have in the U.S. where were told not to talk to strangers.  Now, I’m always open to the possibility of learning.  Simple conversations could have a large impact on your day or on your perspective.

To me, what it means to live is to learn, to grow, to change and to give back. I think sometimes we get caught up in trying to have things a certain way – you know ‘I have to do this in this time span.’ Being in the Peace Corps has taught me that sometimes it’s good not to have control over everything. You have to let go and just go with the flow. In that, you also can see things that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.  I feel like when you’re so caught up with your schedule you can be blinded by what’s going on you don’t see what’s in your periphery.  So for me, to live is just to be, in the moment. As cliché as it sounds, but that’s the truth. Enjoying the ups and downs, the struggles of getting transported, all of that. That’s living. Taking whatever you can take from these experiences.

Leave a Reply