Friday, May 16, 2014

Why The Peace Corps?

            The Peace Corps is a humanitarian branch of the US government. It was created by Pres. Kennedy in 1961 for the purpose of promoting world peace and friendship. That mission, applied practically, means volunteers use their unique skills, backgrounds and experiences to work with different peoples at a grassroots level. It's volunteer only and a country has to invite the US to bring the Peace Corps programs into their country.  The different programs include English teaching, medical programs, particularly for AIDS prevention, agricultural/fishing, business and information technology.   There's no age limit and the other limits are the ones you put on yourself.

            Since it's inception the Peace Corps has also used commercials to get the word out for recruitement. Here's a link to some of them but my favorite is the one narrated by Matthew McConaughey.  

            Now why did I apply to serve in the Peace Corps? It wasn't a commercial but a series of events that led me to apply. After moving to Nashville I really didn't have a plan on what to do next and was working a job I loathed. I also couldn't find a job I wanted. I was depressed, unsure of myself and unhappy with moving to Nashville. Then three family members all passed away within two months of each other. 

            At the last funeral I realized I had nothing to complain about and that life is short. So I decided to go after my dream jobs and inspirations. 

            I then went to a recruitment meeting at Sewanee, which is gorgeous, and was instantly reassured it was for me. I felt very comfortable there but knew it was the perfect blend of representing my country and being abroad, while learning about a culture different from mine. 

            After an intense application process and very thorough two hour interview in Atlanta I was selected to go to Azerbaijan but their government cancelled the program 36 HOURS before I was suppose to leave. (Thanks Russia.) I'm sure many of you saw my posts about that news!  I was quickly reassigned to Macedonia and will be teaching English as a foreign language.  It's what I did when I lived in Korea and am excited to be doing it again. 

            Next time, I'll talk about Macedonia and why my blog doesn't have the Peace Corps or Macedonia in the title. Until then enjoy your weekend. 

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