PC and the country work together to find places that volunteers can live and best fit where their skills are needed. After 3 months of training, volunteers are sent to their communities. Most of the time, volunteers are the only Americans that are living in that community. Some volunteers live far away from others, others live close by, and etc. While volunteers may be knowledgable about their skill sets in life, it can be a difficult job to translate what they know into a different culture and often times as well as in a different language! (Not saying this is true for ALL volunteers - this is just speaking off my experience and talk with others).
Ultimately, volunteers work with their communities in meeting the needs. PC provides trainings and information of what you and PC feel is needed, but it is up to the volunteer to figure out how that is best to be done in their community. Volunteers are the ones that live and work amongst their communities. It is up to the volunteers to create a niche for themselves and then pass it on to other community members so it can continue even after their service. Volunteers need to be self-starters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Yes, being the only American living in a community can be hard. Living both near or far away from another volunteer have their challenges as well. Different cultural norms, food, sickness, and etc. as well as the things I have mentioned previously are things that a volunteer faces every day they wake up in the morning in their country of service. Why do people subject themselves to this? Why continue service when there are other, possibly better, ways their skills could be utilized?
I cannot speak for anyone else, but myself. Even so, it is a daily changing process as I dwell on my service so far in PC. Whenever a person has a change in their life, after that change - a new normal is developed. No matter where one lives, things are going to be hard at times. At the end of the day, there is one question that needs to be asked. If something is too hard, what can you change that you are in control of and are ok with changing? You should NEVER change the core of who you are. There are aspects that can be changed, like internal reactions to circumstances, thought processes, and etc.
If the answer to that question is nothing in your power, the next question needed to be asked is if there are other options that ARE in someone's power that you can ask...and then proceed as such. The bottom line is this - are you *consistently* thinking where you are is not worth it anymore? Evaluate your connections to people. The impact an individual has on others is more often than not seen, especially in development work. Reflection and evaluation are important in life. Only you can decide if the good overtakes the challenges.
*Definition of "consistent" -adjective (of a person, behavior, or process) unchanging in achievement or effect over a period of time.
Life is calling - how far will you go?