Ashley Osler- '19 Krista Colleague

December 5, 2019

 

COLLEAGUE YEAR: 2019

PLACEMENT: Peace Corps

LOCATION: Panama

 

Ashley Osler says being a Krista Colleague makes her service something much bigger than just herself.  The Water and Sanitation Hygiene volunteer for the Peace Corps assists an indigenous community in the mountainous Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé region of Panama to complete a water system. “As an engineer, my opportunities to combine technical projects with service and faith are very limited,” she says. “These three aspects are huge parts of my identity that the Krista Foundation is helping me to reflect on and maintain.”

 

At the Krista Foundation Annual Conference, Ashley confronted her preconceived notions of indigenous Panamanians as well as what her service might look like. She drew helpful tools from discussing the article “Staying for Tea” during a service ethics workshop she took with other new Colleagues. “My day-to-day work involves hiking around to various community members’ houses and having coffee with them,” she says.  “‘Staying for Tea’” has been very relevant as I’m navigating my new life in a culture so different from my own.”

 

The self-confessed “adrenaline junkie” enjoys the rigorous 90-minute hike into and out of her remote community but finds herself working even harder to communicate in three languages. “Being part of the Krista Colleague program has allowed me to really recognize how challenging this experience is and has encouraged me to be so much kinder to myself.”

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