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Old 03-14-2002, 02:21 PM   #1
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Joining the Peace Corps...

If you've been following some of my posts these days, you might have noticed that I am exploring options of what to do with myself in the future and finding myself increasingly unsatisfied with the status quo life that I used to want. One idea that I have been kicking around in my head for the last year has been joining the Peace Corps. Today, I decided to go ahead and go through the application process and if accepted, join the organization and work with them for the requisite two years.

So my question is this: have any of you had experience with the Peace Corps or have advice/information that would be helpful to me? Did you serve with them for a while or have good friends that did, etc? Any advice you have to give, I would greatly appreciate.
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Old 03-14-2002, 05:22 PM   #2
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Well, I know a lot of people who are going into the peace corps this summer. They're pretty excited actually. From what they tell me, they make a lot more of a difference than we know. Lemme get back to on this one though...I'll get some more info.

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Old 03-15-2002, 08:11 PM   #3
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A coworker's daughter was in the Peace Corps in Guinea (I'm pretty sure). She lived in a little village there and taught. She really enjoyed it. There were hard times; she had some sort of parasite living under the skin of her legs (I am not making that up), and her hut was robbed once. She was sure that if she'd been home at the time, she would have been raped and/or killed. She's young, about your age sula, so her mother was intensely worried about her and as intensely proud of her at the same time. The daughter found it to be the most rewarding experience of her life so far, and it has shaped her future in ways she'd never dreamed of before she went to Guinea. She was able to influence the women living there in subtle and positive ways. She experienced refugees from neighboring countries fleeing to near her village, and she had other Peace Corps friends killed in a car accident. She became a deeper person and much more aware of the position Americans hold worldwide, good and bad.

There you go. Third hand information, but something.

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Old 03-18-2002, 06:21 PM   #4
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Arrright sula, here's what I found out. You need a lot of shots. Painful ones. Sometimes you feel like you're helping to quell the problems of the world, but sometimes it makes you think that it's all hopeless and you're trying to melt the polar ice caps with a match. A lot of people get robbed on their stays too. Yea, that was the jist of it....

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Old 03-18-2002, 06:29 PM   #5
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lol, Lilly. Yeah, I kinda figured on the shots thing. Having lived in a 3rd world country for most of my life and all. Actually, I probably have already had most of them.

As for being robbed, I guess I will have to leave my U2 CDs at home and just bring things that can be lost. Probably not a bad way to live anyways, eh?
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Old 03-18-2002, 10:52 PM   #6
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You know what you can bring with you? All that you can't leave behind! (insert ba dum bum cha! here) Literally though. Ooooo my, I'm hilarious.....no, I'm not....whatever....


Are you still thinking about it though sula?

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Old 03-19-2002, 12:10 PM   #7
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I'm so proud of your decision, and support anything you do.

Chris
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Old 03-20-2002, 03:06 AM   #8
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I'm selfish and dont want you to leave the country. Can't you do something noble and giving but that keeps you around??? I will be so worried for you! I am happy and sad. Is your decision final?
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Old 03-20-2002, 11:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2LA:
I'm selfish and dont want you to leave the country. Can't you do something noble and giving but that keeps you around???
Confession: This was the way I was thinking, too.

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Old 03-20-2002, 11:49 PM   #10
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Funny you should mention leaving your U2 Cds behind. Your original intention immediately had me think of my dearly departed Uncle Brian who left the family to travel to Africa in the late 60s for Catholic Relief Services, but was a tremendous inspiration and influence on my life and my love of music. When he first went to Africa he left his music collection with his brother, my Dad. That's where I had access as a four year old to all the Beatles and Bob Dylan I could listen to on my little portable turntable. His decision to leave the US and go to Africa meant helping so many in so many little ways. It meant one more kid learned how to read, or plant seeds to feed the family...

Your decision comes from being very grounded in who you are and what your beliefs are...you are strong!!!!!!!! You will influence and inspire others with your actions and decisions!!!!!! You are brave!!!

Thanks for letting me remember my Uncle Brian.

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Old 03-21-2002, 03:08 AM   #11
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I admire you so much for doing this Sula. I'd love to do something like this, but I don't think I have the guts, as of now. Total respect girl! Good luck with your decision!
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Old 03-21-2002, 10:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2LA:
I'm selfish and dont want you to leave the country. Can't you do something noble and giving but that keeps you around??? I will be so worried for you! I am happy and sad. Is your decision final?
lol, Camillo. You are too sweet. Honestly, everyone, your kind comments and concern really touches me. But this really is something that I'm serious about. I was able to go to a Peace Corps informational meeting last night and in addition to getting more info, I was able to chat with an alumni and recruitment person and ask a lot of questions. The more I learn, the more I am certain that this is something I want to do. It looks terribly challenging and will most likely entail a lot of blood, sweat and tears, not to mention culture shock and loneliness, but I almost feel like I've been preparing for that my whole life (most of you that know me will know that I spent 13 years in a cross-cultural environment and went to boarding school etc. for most of my growing up years.) For the first time in a long time, I find myself feeling that I might be able to be useful and there might be something that little me could do to help.

So anyways, as it stands now, I am still working on finishing my application. Once I've completed it and sent it in, I will go for an interview and if that goes well and they think I will be a good candidate, they will send my paperwork on to Washington to see if my skills/personality will fit somewhere they have a need. I'm stating my availability as beginning in summer of 2003 (since I'm planning to be in Europe from Aug. to April starting this fall), so it's good that I've started the paperwork now, I guess. Depending on a lot of factors (my interview, my medical clearance, etc.) I may or may not be accepted. But I hope I am.

Now my next big hurdle....telling my parents! They're very used to my independence and tendency to make decisions and tell them later, but I'm sure this will come as a slight shock. However, as I think back...they both told their own parents that they were planning to move to Indonesia to live in a jungle at about the same age I am right now, so perhaps they will understand after all.

-sula
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Old 03-21-2002, 10:10 PM   #13
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I want to join the Peace Corp someday.

I hope it works out for you, Sula, I'm sure it will be a great experience.

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Old 03-22-2002, 01:36 PM   #14
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Sula I feel that your parents will be very proud of you and your decision. I know that I am.
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Old 03-23-2002, 02:42 AM   #15
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Don't go to Europe, visit Malaysia instead and we can eat all the rambutans and durians we want.

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