What is Peace Corps?

Peace Corps? Wait, are you joining the military?

Not exactly the military but you’re on the right track!

Peace Corps is a voluntary program dedicated to improving our world relations between countries, such as Senegal, Cambodia, Ukraine, and Uganda, by supporting them in health, education, and economic development. Support is not limited to these sectors, but these are the most well-known.

We are volunteers that serve a term of 27 months. Three months of training followed by two years of dedicated service in our country. We don’t get to choose exactly where to go, but the Peace Corps will try the best to accommodate your wants.

We don’t get paid too much, but we get some pretty cool benefits post-service. Government support in finding a job and financial aid for graduate school are some of the better known benefits.

If you don’t get paid much, how will you survive??

Relax 🙂

We’re paid a monthly living allowance for us to spend during our service. It’s not much, but it’s enough for us to get by in the community. It’s not a luxurious lifestyle by any means, but it’s enough that we are still able to save some amount of money while we are there, saving is a loose value in this case.

So what do you actually do?

Everything. Everything.

Jokes aside, I will be serving primarily as a Business Development Advisor.

I’ll be working closely with the local peoples in order to empower in stimulate personal and business growth for the overall benefit of their particular village. Specifically in agriculture, I’m thinking I’ll be working with farmers, business people, and the various amount of blue-collared workers in order to help them improve their economic status overall.

I’m not saving the world. I’m only there to help make things a bit easier.

Volunteers aren’t the miracle workers, it’s the collective effort of EVERYONE in the community that creates generations of wealth and growth. We’re only the sprinkles on top to get things started.

I want to be clear on the fact that one person does not make a world of difference in this kind of scope, it’s communal. I can’t take that responsibility to reform a nation, that’s too wild right now haha.

More words. Please.

While I am primarily a business volunteer, my scope is work is not limited to just business. Depending on my site, I might be working with HIV/AIDS prevention volunteers. I might end up teaching a few classes on a topic I don’t have much experience with. I might be leading projects that I never would have conceived I would be a part of. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: I really don’t know what I’m going to be doing just quite yet.

Not specific and very non-detailed, I know 🙂

I wish I could tell you more but that’s as far I know.

So do you get any other kind of compensation?

The breath of life.

Well, there are more benefits than monetary or opportunistic compensation in this case. Travelling the world and meeting new people is quite possibly the biggest benefit out of all. We do get some compensation post-service that includes money to readjust back in to American society, but as far as the big benefits go, that’s all I can name off the top of my head.

To be fair, I did not expect any of these benefits when I first signed up. I figure anything like that was more of a cherry on top rather than a motivating factor. I’m much more interested in the fact that I can go around the world and offer up my skills to help others out. People are asking ME for help? Boy, that’s crazy. And then they SELECTED me? Boy, that’s even crazier.

I’m excited.
And nervous.
And anxious.
And every other goddamn emotion out there.

I am grateful for this opportunity to work with the Peace Corps and am looking forward to these next 27 months.

*Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Media Library, Uganda

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