Paul.

Romantic relationships are undisputedly one of the more popular reasons people terminate their service early. A trip down past memory lane shall we?

  •  a high school sweet heart(2011)
  • uni boyfriend for a couple of years(2014??)
  • $married(now estranged) to the paper/career$(2013-2016)

I have been focused on my studies and work since I was about 14 years old, love felt nice but things never lined up with it and truth be told I’m a very private person, not to be confused with shy. My traditionally Hispanic older sister loved to tell me that I live in a fantasy world, at 22 without a man or kids in the future. I was invested into my studies and work experience, but I always had money to pay the bills so I must be doing something right. In our staging event in Miami, where all volunteers fly in from around the US to meet before departure, I remember our host instructing us to look around the room for some of the best friends we would ever make were sitting around us, maybe even our future spouse. I laughed aloud and distinctly remember thinking this guy is crazy.

A few days after arriving to Barranquilla, I came down with a serious case of strep throat. I was feeling godawful and nervous that staff would think I was so weak for not even making it a week without coming down with something. Despite my 101° F fever, cold sweats and inability to speak I demanded to be part of the training for I did not want to miss a thing! We had spent a few days getting to know each other (My Cohort #CII9 ) and I innocently thought one of my fellow volunteers was charming and sweet. If I was going to ask anyone to lend me a sweater why not have it be the kind of cute guy in the group who is willing to help, right? He lent me the jacket and was always checking up on me after that. I have always felt very strongly against dating in the work place so after a few days I gave him the jacket back and we became good friends.

Before I knew it Paul and I were spending a lot of time together during our initial training. I am a painfully private person, I felt ridiculously comfortable opening up to him especially with all the chaos going on during PST for me. I admired him so much, he was very accomplished with a Masters and a resume that included the likes of NASA and USDA. Something even more intriguing he was so genuine and level headed. Paul would give me the best advice and support and made me feel like the biggest things weren’t that big of a deal during a time that I was very on edge. One day we snuck away on an adventure, the specifics of which I could tell you but then I would have to kill you, and we spoke about what we wanted to accomplish during our service, how we got here, where we came from and where we wanted to go.

Now the part of my relationship with Paul that I adore the most is that we are two VERY different people who compliment each other out in rather a classic calm chaos balance. He surpasses whatever vision I had of a “dream man” and not by the standards I had set personally, but by the active choices he makes every day and have been lucky enough for him to have shared with me. For the sake of personal preference to keep most of my romantic relationship private, you’ll rarely catch me blogging about Paul. But he does mean a lot to me and I don’t mind loosing a little opportunity cost of work to catch up with him and see what he’s up to. Undeniably, he continues to be a huge support for me during service and has been one of the best blessing I have come across during my service.

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