Peace Corps Week

In honor of Peace Corps week, I wanted to share a bit about my thoughts on volunteering. I was originally going to lobby on the Hill, but since I’ll be jumping on a plane to Congo this evening that isn’t possible.

I’ve already shared a bit about my experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, and the toughest job you’ll ever love. Though arguably I think my current job may take the cake on that one, it does remind me often of lessons learned in Peace Corps.

I’ve sorted through to find various posts I’ve done in the past, so you can click on the links to check out more about Peace Corps.

Planting a mango tree at the school in honor of the headmaster who fell sick and died. He was also one of the beekeepers in the cooperative we started.

When asked about Peace Corps, my overall take continues to be that it is what you make of it, similar to life itself. Those who complain about this or that, are often not really living the experience, and it shows. Or they thought of Peace Corps as an option and then decided not to do it for x, y, or z.

I personally found it to be one of the most enriching and challenging experiences of my life.

You learn to handle life’s adversity, whether it be scorpion infestations or other hazards that abound.

Watching trees grow was also a highlight – this one planted the year before!

There are also fun times, first experiences watching DVDs, the intrigue of being a twin in Ghana, or the joys of bucket baths (I put these in the positive category that others may not).

My grandmother questioned what Peace Corps would do for my career. Now a decade later it is quite clear that it has been the foundation to my career. And my grandmothers live vicariously through my adventures.

Peace Corps is certainly not for everyone, but it has made a world of difference.

Being enstooled as Queen Mother, Mama Dorfor Nenyo I

If you are a volunteer or return volunteer, please leave me a comment on when and where you served!

For those of you who thought of serving as a volunteer thirty years ago, why not do it now? Retire and volunteer.

Safe travels,

Miel

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