By Angela Peacock
Brian Roy has never seen the west.
A mechanical engineering graduate student at North Carolina State University, he was making a 2,200 mile trip from Raleigh, N.C. to Phoenix in a rental truck to deliver furniture and clothes to a friend who moved to Arizona.
Roy recently returned to America from a mission with the United State Peace Corps. He said this trip is the first time he has seen first hand how vast and open the areas of the western U.S. are compared to those back east.
“There’s not much out here, but New Mexico still has my interest. My fiancee Beth Fisher and I plan on coming out to this area and visiting some of the historical sites on our honeymoon in May,” Roy said.
Roy said living on an 11 square mile island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean teaching math and science during his time with the Peace Corps taught him some important lessons. He hopes other Americans learn what he has from his time in the corps.
“The people there lived a very simple lifestyle with no running water and no electricity, and a lot of people think of that as poverty but those people were truly happy,” he said.
Since running water and electricity are often overlooked as normalities in the U.S., Roy said he hopes someday more people become volunteers in other countries and then realize how fortunate they are to be Americans.
“Looking from the outside I was able to see that Americans are a little too focused on ourselves,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely proud to be an American. I just would like to see more Americans learn about the different cultures there are in this world.”
Just Passin’ Through is a weekly column profiling the interesting people staying only briefly in the community.