Recently when asked what countries did I get to in Peace Corps and I mentioned a few, Samoa, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Guyana, the questioner laughed and remarked, "Nothing exotic, huh?"
One of my favorite wall hangings is the certificate of appreciation I received from Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez when I left in June, 2004. On the right side of the certificate traditionally those exiting get a generic Peace Corps stamp, plus a stamp for each country that RPCV may have served. Mine include:
- Belize (2061 served there)
- Dominican Republic (4792 served there)
- Seychelles (49 served there)
So I'm always tickled when people ask me if Peace Corps is still around. Some think if was a way for people to avoid the draft in the Vietnam war years and faded shortly after the war came to an end.
Oh, not so! Not in the least. Peace Corps is alive and thriving, and it's former Volunteers are active all over the United States, still spreading the world about how you can change your worldview forever.
It's never too late for somebody to take the leap. There's no upper age limit for Volunteers. When I served in the D.R. we had what then was the oldest PCV, a retired bantamweight boxer named Joe. Joe, at 84, worked as recreation director at a senior center in Bani. He strolled to the town square every evening to sit with two PCVs in the twenties, licking ice cream cones, and watching the pretty senioritas walk by.
|With my Seychelles sis, Colette, 2017|
Last night I attended a gathering of the Orange County Peace Corps Association where we met the new Los Angeles/Ventura/Santa Barbara recruiter, Dr. Sakeena Ali. She updated us on the latest Peace Corps needs. Take a peek...maybe one of these assignments is in your future.
Health, HIV/AIDS: Health Education Volunteers needed in Malawi and Mozambique
English teachers (BA in English): Mongolia, Sri Lanka
Community Economic development: Paraguay, Colombia, Panama
Math/Science/Engineering: Educators, high school and university, African nations
Agriculture: Cameroon, Togo
Go to www.PeaceCorps.gov to see education and/or work experience requirements for each of these opened positions. What have you got to lose? The world is waiting! Be the difference in this world. Give Peace a chance.
(If you are a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, please update your Peace Corps portal at the Peace Corps website. Just click on the right side menu and you'll see the button come up. If you were previously registered with Google, your registration is no longer valid and you have to request a new invitation code to be verified as a bonafide RPCV to be readmitted.)
The Peace Corps‘ Mission. To promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals :
To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.(www.peacecorps.gov)