Volunteer Stories

Young and Motivated: Rwandan Women in Tech

Posted: 6/1/2015
Interview by Jenny Alton LylaFujiwara, completed two years of Peace Corps service in Rwanda in December 2013. As an Information and Communications Technology Educator, she worked with local ... read more

Village Nepali: Permission to Stop Conjugating

Posted: 5/1/2015
The nicest surprise I got while using Nepali in the real world came from my didi (“big sister”). She was pretty much illiterate, married at 14, left school in the third grade and yet she was the one who helped me the most with my language skills ... read more

I Am Not Bruce Lee

Posted: 5/1/2015
By Jenny Alton What language did you learn during training? We learned Arabic, though we were taught with a new system in training, basically making us illiterate but fluent. We did not learn how ... read more

Being Comfortable Being Misunderstood

Posted: 5/1/2015
Getting lost in translation was almost a daily occurrence. If someone had a lot of patience they understood what I was trying to say with my improper grammar, mispronunciations and literal translation of American idioms. ... read more

Scholar to Volunteer – Project Management in Theory and Practice

Posted: 4/5/2015
By Marlow Schindler Melissa Ng (Belize RPCV, 2011- 2013) was a Business and Organizational Development volunteer assigned to the Toledo Cacao Growers Association in Belize. She worked with her c ... read more

Training China’s Future Tour Guide/Model/Environmentalists

Posted: 4/1/2015
By Marlow Schindler Peace Corps Fellows and Peace Corps Masters International (PCMI) are two very different programs. The Fellows Program is for returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) interested in ... read more

Fill the World with Hope

Posted: 3/1/2015
In Ghana, West Africa, Alice Impraim first learned about Peace Corps as a teenager in a biology class taught by a Volunteer at her high school. But it wasn't until many years later, that she made the journey to Namibia as a Peace Corps Volunteer herself. ... read more

Coming Home

Posted: 1/14/2015
By Marlow Schindler Just as there is no single Peace Corps experience, there is no single homecoming experience.  Every Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) experienced different challenges and ... read more

When in a Blizzard

Posted: 12/1/2014
By Sharon Heiny To Amanda Carson, a Community Youth Development Volunteer, April in Mongolia seemed like a safe time to pack up her snow boots and head to a friend’s for a pig roast. After all, ... read more

The Kindness of Strangers

Posted: 12/1/2014
by Karen Drachler In the developing world, in this case specifically Tanzania, there aren’t road signs. Or maybe there are some, but no one pays them much attention. Directions are always based ... read more

On getting from Point A to Point B in Mali

Posted: 8/1/2014
by Heather White Mali (2003-2005) One of the greatest coping strategies I developed while living in Mali was learning to lower my expectations of what I could accomplish. More specifically, I l ... read more

Getting from Point A to Point B in Ukraine

Posted: 8/1/2014
By Julia Lee I don’t have a smartphone. I didn’t have one when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer and if I had, things probably would have turned out differently. It all started in September 2011 when ... read more

Making Lemonade Out of a Terrorist Attack

Posted: 7/1/2014
By John Hoban In rural Niger, villages go completely still and quiet in the afternoon. Locals come indoors for a nap and hide from the relentless midday sun and heat. But in the small village of S ... read more

A Day Without Rice is a Bad Day

Posted: 7/1/2014
By Marlow Schindler The verb “to eat a meal” in Malagasy translates literally as “to eat rice.” Homegrown rice is the staple food of people in Madagascar, served at every meal.  Rice is so highly ... read more

Evan and Ivan

Posted: 7/1/2014
>by Athalia Markowitz In 2011, as Peace Corps celebrated its 50th anniversary with festivities in host countries across the globe, Evan Frazer was in the second year of his service as a Youth D ... read more

Of Loss and Laughter, But Never a Loss of Laughter: A Tribute to Don Sergio

Posted: 6/1/2014
By John Hoban “¡Tú eres camote!” An argument broke out between a tall and slender gringo and wily mustachioed local at a small rural market in Costa Rica. And now the argument was escalating. Cal ... read more

The Quiet Side: Western Ukraine

Posted: 5/13/2014
By Will Spargur In April we interviewed returned volunteers who had served in the tumultuous eastern part of Ukraine.  And while the east continues to draw headlines the picture is incomplete witho ... read more

They Think You Have No Family

Posted: 6/1/2014
By Marlow Schindler As a Community Health Volunteer Britany Schneider found herself at the intersection of health and agriculture.  Although her community had a legitimate need, the local health ... read more

Evacuated Volunteers: Ukraine

Posted: 4/15/2014
On February 24, 2014 Peace Corps officially announced that it had evacuated 200 volunteers from Ukraine. NorCal interviewed volunteers who among those evacuated. ... read more

The Many Identities of Eastern Ukraine

Posted: 4/15/2014
Eastern Ukraine has captured worldwide attention.  To give context to these events we interviewed three recently returned Volunteers who served in the Eastern Ukraine: Jing Li, Julia Lee and, Kyle Borley ... read more

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