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Photo of Niger well children via Wikimedia Commons

A Taste of the Peace Corps

This program took place on March 8, 2014. Peace Corp volunteers from many different countries and eras shared their experiences with attendees. Scroll down for photos from this fun event.

"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears. It's a world of hope, and a world of fears. There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware it's a small world after all."

Sorry if you have this Disney ear bug in your head for the rest of the day! This song always comes to mind when I think of the Peace Corps.

Founded in 1961 on the values of global service and peace, the Peace Corps sends Americans around the globe to make sustainable changes that tackle the most pressing needs people are facing -- working in the areas of community health, education, agriculture, economic development, and more.

When they return from their service, Peace Corps volunteers bring with them a new global perspective and lots of knowledge and experience to continue making a positive difference in the world.

Attendees learned about the cultures of Botswana, Niger, Mali, Morocco, Thailand, Venezuela, Togo, El Salvador, and Romania through presentations and activities such as Malian dancing, taking a ride in a bush taxi, playing African games, Botswanian basket weaving, and more!


Amazon Says: So, you want to join the Peace Corps . . .  If you are interested in joining the Peace Corps, you probably have questions that run the gamut from "What is the applicat more...
Amazon Says: So, you want to join the Peace Corps . . .  If you are interested in joining the Peace Corps, you probably have questions that run the gamut from "What is the application process like?" to "Is the Peace Corps effective as a development agency?" In this updated second edition, former Peace Corps volunteer Dillon Banerjee shares candid facts and insights about the experience in a practical question-and-answer format. With input from recently returned volunteers who served across the globe, this thorough guide presents valuable information including: •   What Peace Corps recruiters look for in your application•   Items you should--and shouldn't---pack for your two-year trip•   Useful gadgets and technology that help volunteers stay connected from far away•   Real answers to personal questions about culture shock, safety, dating, homesickness, and more Whether you're thinking of joining or have already been accepted and are preparing to leave, The Insider's Guide to the Peace Corps will help equip you for the unique challenges and rewards of the volunteer experience, regardless of your program area or country assignment. It's essential reading for anyone interested in "the toughest job you'll ever love."  less...
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Amazon Says: If you're like most people interested in joining the Peace Corps, the thought of spending a couple of years immersed in a different country, language, and culture sounds both more...
Amazon Says: If you're like most people interested in joining the Peace Corps, the thought of spending a couple of years immersed in a different country, language, and culture sounds both adventurous and intimidating. As you contemplate the reality of volunteering, your mind races with questions. Which programs are my skills best suited to? How will the culture shock affect me? What will my life overseas be like? Will my work really make a difference? Written by a returned Peace Corps volunteer, SO, YOU WANT TO JOIN THE PEACE CORPS...is a candid, straightforward guide that answers all these questions and many more. Author Dillon Banerjee shares his personal insights—and those of returned volunteers who served all over the world—to help prepare you for the experience of a lifetime. Whether you're thinking of joining, or have already been accepted and are getting ready to leave, this book provides answers you simply can't find elsewhere. less...
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Amazon Says: A complete and revealing history of the Peace Corps—in time for its fiftieth anniversary   On October 14, 1960, at an impromptu speech at the University of Michig more...
Amazon Says: A complete and revealing history of the Peace Corps—in time for its fiftieth anniversary   On October 14, 1960, at an impromptu speech at the University of Michigan, John F. Kennedy presented an idea to a crowd of restless students for an organization that would rally American youth in service. Though the speech lasted barely three minutes, his germ of an idea morphed dramatically into Kennedy’s most enduring legacy — the Peace Corps. From this offhand campaign remark, shaped speedily by President Kennedy’s brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, in 1961, the organization ascended with remarkable excitement and publicity, attracting the attention of thousands of hopeful young Americans.   Not an institutional history, When the World Calls is the first complete and balanced look at the Peace Corps’s first fifty years. Revelatory and candid, Stanley Meisler’s engaging narrative exposes Washington infighting, presidential influence, and the Volunteers’ unique struggles abroad. Meisler deftly unpacks the complicated history with sharp analysis and memorable anecdotes, taking readers on a global trek starting with the historic first contingent of Volunteers to Ghana on August 30, 1961.   The Peace Corps has served as an American emblem for world peace and friendship, yet few realize that it has sometimes tilted its agenda to meet the demands of the White House. Tracing its history through the past nine presidential administrations, Meisler discloses, for instance, how Lyndon Johnson became furious when Volunteers opposed his invasion of the Dominican Republic; he reveals how Richard Nixon literally tried to destroy the Peace Corps, and how Ronald Reagan endeavored to make it an instrument of foreign policy in Central America. But somehow the ethos of the Peace Corps endured, largely due to the perseverance of the 200,000 Volunteers themselves, whose shared commitment to effect positive global change has been a constant in one of our most complex—and valued—institutions. less...
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Amazon Says: Since 9/II, the American appetite for information on Afghanistan has surged. The bulk of this information has come from the media, Afghan Scholars or from the Afghans themselv more...
Amazon Says: Since 9/II, the American appetite for information on Afghanistan has surged. The bulk of this information has come from the media, Afghan Scholars or from the Afghans themselves. For the first time, the story of Afghanistan prior to, and during, the communist coup of 1979 is told from the perspective of an American working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan. The story begins with Peace Corps recruitment and training in the United States, then follows a group of young men and women to Afghanistan where they must learn to adapt to exotic food, mysterious customs and primitive hygiene. Then, as they begin to assimilate and feel confortable in their harsh suroundings, a military coup leads to the arrest of the author, who is accused of being an American spy and beaten in an effort to make him reveal secrets he doesn't have. Eventually, the author is extricated from prison as a new communist regime solidifies its hold on Afghanistan after centuries of Islamic dominance. Thus the chain of events leading to 9/II is set in motion. Only a handful of foreigners lived in Afghanistan when destabilization began in the late seventies and, of this handful, none has attempted to document the counry's transition from its centuries-old status-quo to a factory for global insurgency. No other book about Afghanistan offers such a humane, sometimes humorous, and significant insight into a culture on the verge of single-handedly launching a new age of terrorism. less...
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Amazon Says: In this laugh-out-loud funny memoir, a pampered city girl falls head over little black heels in love with a Peace Corps poster boy and follows him —literally–to the end more...
Amazon Says: In this laugh-out-loud funny memoir, a pampered city girl falls head over little black heels in love with a Peace Corps poster boy and follows him —literally–to the ends of the earth. Eve Brown always thought she would join the Peace Corps someday, although she secretly worried about life without sushi, frothy coffee drinks and air conditioning.  But with college diploma in hand, it was time to put up or shut up. So with some ambivalence she arrives at the Peace Corps office–sporting her best safari chic attire –to casually look into the steps one might take if one were to become a global humanitarian, a la Angelina Jolie.  But when Eve meets John, her dashing young Peace Corps recruiter, all her ambivalence flies out the window. She absolutely must join the Peace Corps - and win John's heart in the process. Off to Ecuador she goes and - after a year in the jungle - back to the States she runs, vowing to stay within easy reach of a decaf cappuccino for the rest of her days.  But life had other plans.  Just as she's getting reacquainted with the joys of toilet paper, John gets a job with CARE and Eve must decide if she’s up for life in another third world outpost. Before you can say, "pass the malaria prophylaxis," the couple heads off to Uganda, and the fun really begins--if one can call having rats in your toilet fun. Fortunately, in Eve’s case one certainly can, because to her, every experience is an adventure to be embraced and these pages come alive with all of the alternatively poignant and uproarious details.  With wit and candor, First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria chronicles Eve’s misadventures as an aspiring do-gooder. From intestinal parasites to getting caught in a civil war, culture clashes to unexpected friendships, here is an honest and laugh-out-loud funny look at the search for love and purpose—from a woman who finds both in the last place she expected. AUTHOR BIO EVE BROWN-WAITE was a finalist for Iowa Review, Glimmer Train, and New Millennium Writings Awards for stories she wrote about her time abroad. She lives with her husband and two children in Massachusetts. less...
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Andes Rising by James Munves
Amazon Says: A new American novel-about an ornothologist, a physicist, and a rabbi-that takes us deep into the heart of the Colombian Andes. In Andes Rising the reader is confronted with a more...
Amazon Says: A new American novel-about an ornothologist, a physicist, and a rabbi-that takes us deep into the heart of the Colombian Andes. In Andes Rising the reader is confronted with a mystery. What happened to Thomas Cooper? A scientist who had worked on the Manhattan Project and attended the disarmament conference following World War II, he had quit his job, left his family, and gone off to Colombia, South America, on an ornothological project undertaken by the Peace Corps. His family and friends have lost all trace of him. Finally his mother persuades her rabbi to go down to Colombia and find out if Thomas is dead or alive. What the rabbi eventually finds is Thomas's journal filled with notes about his bird studies, ruminations about life (to which the rabbi sometimes responds), and pages from the work of Chapman, the early 20th-century ornothologist who collected specimens for the Museum of Natural History. Flashing through all is a rare tanager with turquoise markings. The director of the project wants Thomas to bring in specimens of this bird. "If what is being prepared is another extermination," Thomas writes, "I am not going to abet it by pushing another bird to extinction." But is he slowly going mad? Does he die in the avalanche, or is he somewhere among the birds of the Andes? less...
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