This week is Peace Corps Week...
Have you thought about Peace Corps lately?
It's more than just the history of President Kennedy starting the program back in 1961 with this purpose:
"To promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower."
Over 200,000 American's have served in the Peace Corps since then, including my brother and my daughter (currently serving in Ghana).
The Peace Corps is history, but it's very much now too. There are currently over 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers serving in 139 countries throughout the world.
It's an adventure, but it's also a tremendous sacrifice.... leaving home, job, friends, and family for more than two years. Making a new home in a place that may not have electricity, running water, internet access (the average age of a PCV, Peace Corps Volunteer, is 28... this is a big deal!), and where you may not have access to a variety of foods or even enough food.
For my daughter it's sleeping under a mosquito net every night, and taking anti-malarial medication every day (and dealing with the side effects of this medication) with the awareness that, just months into K's service, another PCV in her area died from malaria. It's heat and dust and tiny beautiful brown children at her feet, and frustration, and opportunity, and being part of a world she otherwise could never have been a part of.
You can read through our daughter's PC blog here and get a little glimpse of her life in Africa.
A few more African PVC blogs are here, here and here.
Our daughter K, and a little friend...
Congratulations Peace Corps on your 53rd Anniversary Saturday. I'm off today to mail a package to my PCV, it seems like a good way to celebrate. :)