Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Peace Corps

Village in Benin

I attended a Peace Corps recruitment gathering here in Tucson - really inspired me, although it also gave me much to think on before I submit my application. I would say that about 1/4 of the people at the meeting were over 50. First, let me say what I'm inwardly asking I am, about to take a grueling ESL teachers course before I leave for D.C. in August, and I'm beginning the almost as grueling application process for the P.C.

Am I out of my mind? Probably. You've heard of the "Mid-Life Crisis"? What would one call this?

I've been able to educate myself somewhat by a few fantastic blogs - one, is a network for PC blogs throughout the world, and is excellent if you want to read the thoughts, struggles, and meanderings of volunteers. I've enjoyed reading many of them, although I have yet to find a blog by a volunteer over 30, which bothers me. Where are the grandmothers who look like Jane Goodall I saw tromping through the tundra in the recruitment video show? I await their (hopefully encouraging) words of insight.......

Here's another excellent source of information - a blog for the writings of present and past PC volunteers (Peace Corps Writers).

I confess, I have some real regrets that I did not take advantage of the opportunity to join the Peace Corps when I was younger. What I am concerned about is not so much whether they can use me, or whether I would find the experience rewarding, but whether it's something too strenuous for me. Living in an isolated village in Benin is out of the question. However, living in Roumania and teaching at the University (as some PC are), or having a small apartment in Morocco with electric and hopefully running water......would probably seem luxurious enough to me.

PC in Roumania

I'll be exploring this further. It seems very strange, to be opening this possibility, this door, after a lifetime in the arts, mysticism, mythology. And it is also a kind of circle, as I remember being a teenager in Kabul (where my father worked for U.S. A.I.D.) My first job, at the age of 16, was sorting mail for Peace Corps volunteers at their office in Kabul.

Am I nuts? At an age when so many people I meet are taking up golfing (and boring me to death with their stories about grandchildren and endless physical ailments)........I want to teach English in Mold0va? Work with children in Zambia?

1 comment:

Yvette said...

not nuts!
brave new considered girl