The Peace Corps is a US government organization with 3 goals:
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. *
I joined the Peace Corps in 2017 and was assigned to Madagascar, the 4th largest island nation in the world. I taught English, because that’s where most of my professional experience lies, and that’s what the government ministries wanted.
I lived for two years in a small house made from ravinala or traveler’s tree (see below). I got my water from a well nearby; I used an outhouse; I relied on solar lights and candles for electricity after dark. But those things that most Americans are accustomed to didn’t define my service; the people, the work, and the experiences did.
I learned a lot about teaching and caring for children. I learned a lot about cooking, and communing, and how to be still. I also learned a lot about the reach of some countries into others’, and stereotypes, and misconceptions . I learned the Malagasy language (Antakarana, Northern dialect), I learned the fomba (culture), and the fady (taboos).
In March 2020 Peace Corps Madagascar was evacuated due to the spread of COVID-19. I was halfway through my third year. I miss it every day, and I hope, when things calm down, I will be able to return.
Below you will find links to some of my posts from my time in Peace Corps. If you have specific questions, or are interested in joining the Peace Corps, feel free to reach out to me directly in the Contact page.
Pre-Service Training #1: Welcome to Mantasoa!
On the Eve of Swearing-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer
On Coexistence and Feeling Pain
Cultural Adjustment: The Six Month Slump
Goal Setting and Why I Love It