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Peace Corps in ER?
Old 10-10-2007, 09:29 PM   #1
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Peace Corps in ER?

I wonder if anyone else is thinking about joining the Peace Corps? I have the impulse, always worked in the "helping" professions, and have a terrific desire to live in a foreign country. I never had a chance to do it during college, no study abroad for me, alas, then came marriage and two more kids and no time or money to take off a year overseas. Seems like now is a good time to indulge my idealism while it's still intact!

Negatives -- you have to sign up for over 2.5 years, I'd probably have to sell my townhome unless I found the perfect renter, and what oh what to do with my beautiful dog? *sigh*

Anyone else thinking about the PC?
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:32 PM   #2
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I think there was a thread here recently on this subject.

Oh, no thank you.
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
I wonder if anyone else is thinking about joining the Peace Corps? I have the impulse, always worked in the "helping" professions, and have a terrific desire to live in a foreign country. I never had a chance to do it during college, no study abroad for me, alas, then came marriage and two more kids and no time or money to take off a year overseas. Seems like now is a good time to indulge my idealism while it's still intact!

Negatives -- you have to sign up for over 2.5 years, I'd probably have to sell my townhome unless I found the perfect renter, and what oh what to do with my beautiful dog? *sigh*

Anyone else thinking about the PC?

No not at all.

There are plenty of opportunities to work with poor and troubled kids here in the states.

You can go overseas and travel on your own terms.
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:47 PM   #4
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I read the other thread on the PC, and I wonder why people think that volunteers believe they are going to "save the world." Maybe young people have that illusion. I also wonder why some think that the impulse is to work with the poor. Maybe some volunteers want to have a poverty experience. But for me the impulse is to have a transformative immersion experience in a culture totally different. It's as much a desire to learn a different way of being in the world, as it is a desire to do volunteer work.

I did read that the PC doesn't send "seniors" to the really germy spots where you live in a grass hut with bats and mice. And they do "offer" you the available assignments. You're not obligated.

I understand why those who have ER'd after many years of w-o-r-k would feel like relaxing and would not even think about the PC. But my situation is different. I always liked my work and wanted to continue but no one wanted to hire a 57 year old in my field(s).

Yes, I could travel on my own but I have no inclination to collect vacations like charms on my bracelet. I want to live somewhere and get to know the place and the people.
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:52 PM   #5
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I have also thought about doing this. It would be a way "to give something back", and see a different part of the world. The 2.5 years is the killer. I think that is unrealistic.
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:07 PM   #6
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After doing a little googling I learned this about the new boomer recruitment:

"But in the initial phase of the new effort, most older volunteers will be placed in nine test countries: the African nations of Cameroon, Lesotho and South Africa, along with Ukraine, Romania, Thailand, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Panama."
Local News | Peace Corps ventures out to attract some older volunteers | Seattle Times Newspaper

It's true that you could have a similar experience through WorldTeach or a shorter experience through Cross Cultural Solutions (which costs lots though).
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:20 AM   #7
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You don't need to join the PC to volunteer overseas. There are plenty of opportunities to do such things with other organizations where you can choose length of time and place. Though you won't be getting paid and usually have to cover the travel cost yourself, though usually room and board is free. Here is one such place to look, but there are many others.

Volunteer Work - Volunteer Abroad Programs - International Volunteering Opportunities
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:56 AM   #8
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Maybe some volunteers want to have a poverty experience. But for me the impulse is to have a transformative immersion experience in a culture totally different.
sorry, but i fail to see much difference between what seems to be critique in the first sentence yet justification of your own motivation in the second sentence.

this might not even have been to what you refer (though obviously--if not simply in paranoia--i suspect it is) but when i wrote in a past post on pc that "for me, one of the wonderful things about being independently middle class is that i can now experience (without so much fear) living in third-world poverty", i was not implying poverty to be a disney ride for my own entertainment.

perhaps i was not clear or did not enough elaborate, but what i meant was that i am curious to experience poverty to see how i react and adapt to such conditions. i don't think i can save the world--i'm not convinced it requires saving--nor do i see myself as clay to be transformed, but i do like to observe myself and early retirement offers opportunities i didn't have or wouldn't have otherwise taken to see what steel makes me. (obviously tempered, as i wouldn't have considered poverty as a lifestyle when i was poorer.)

if i can help someone else along the way, that's just a bonus. if the experience changes me, that might be a minus; it might just make me sad. the change that i might produce or that the experience might produce in me is not what motivates me. i would rather just take pictures and not even leave footprints. but then i would just be watching tv and that tells me only about as much of myself as does a ride at disney.

i agree completely with the 2.5-years problem. i imagine that pc must invest a great deal of time, effort & cash into training and i wouldn't want to waste or take advantage of that.

i like the other posters' ideas of volunteering both here and overseas either on your own or through organizations which do not require long-term commitments and i have been investigating such opportunities. would love to read posts by anyone who has undertaken such adventure.
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:53 AM   #9
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Maybe the rules have changed since I was in (30 yrs ago), but you can leave anytime you want. It's not like you're going to get a dishonorable discharge or anything. Actually, it was pretty rare for anyone to stay for the whole stint. Although there were a few who were on their second tour.
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