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Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-27-2006, 11:58 AM   #1
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Has anyone considered . . .

joining the Peace Corps, or something similar, once retired? It seems like a very worthwhile thing to do, for many reasons. The 27 month time commitment is daunting, and is maybe more than I'm willing to do, but I'm going to give it some serious thought.

Does anyone here have experience in the Peace Corps with thoughts they'd like to share?
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-27-2006, 01:07 PM   #2
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

I'd love it, if me and my husband could both go. However, I doubt I have the kind of skills needed. I applied when I was in my 20's with a liberal arts degree and was informed that they couldn't use me. They wanted people with medical or technical degrees. And yet I could have done a lot of good, teaching poor kids to explicate French renaissance poetry. Sigh.
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-27-2006, 01:24 PM   #3
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

Yes, I'm also looking at that option as a bridge to retirement. Check with your local representative. Technical skills don't seem to be a prerequisite, particularly for the more mature applicant with "life" skills. Could be rewarding, with good medicial benefits. Looking at AmeriCorps as well.
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-27-2006, 02:12 PM   #4
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

The Peace Corps would be a wonderful option. I served twice in the early 70s (India and Afghanistan)and it was one of the best experiences of my life. In 1971 as I was trekking in Nepal I met a 62 year old volunteer who was having the time of his life. I made a commitment to return as an "elder" volunteer once I retired; and I am more actively thinking about it now. One great benefit, in my mind, is that all expenses are paid for two years -- leaving my retirement savings to grow without deduction for an added two years. You can do good, have an extraordinary experience, grow as an individual, have all medical covered...the list goes on. I woudl encourage you to seriously consider the Peace Corps.
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-28-2006, 01:27 AM   #5
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

There was an interesting thread on this on Raddr's board. I don't visit there often, so I don't recall if it was recent. I was looking at Kramer's threads on personal research he recently did on cost of living in Mexico and it was probably in there. (Once again, I don't have the link at hand as I am on a borrowed machine. Good hunting.)

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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-28-2006, 07:35 AM   #6
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

There are a ton of volunteer opportunities that don't require a 27 month commitment.

There are also some "pay" vacations that are really volunteer work. Check out the Earthwatch Institute http://www.earthwatch.org/site/pp.as...PFJnH&b=386443

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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-28-2006, 09:30 AM   #7
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

DH and I have talked about TESL. DH has taught English in Korea, I've taught it here in the states and have spent some time the last two years teaching kids in Mexico.

We think it's a great way to travel. And as long as we make enough money to live on the local economy, we would not be tapping into our retirement fund.
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-28-2006, 04:20 PM   #8
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

I told my DW she should join the Peace Corp, I won't miss her too much! Anywhoo...my cousin was in the PC in Sierra Leone, Africa just prior to the civil war and he had a totally different outlook on life when he returned to the states. Some stories he relayed, tribal spats over a dead cow (more specifically, who got to eat it) having a big snake eat his pet dog then the villagers hunting and killing and eating the snake (8' long), driving a motorcycle to Freetown, hacking a chunk of meat off a hanging carcass, flinging it over his shoulder and driving a few hours back. Getting wasted on some type of homemade 'shine. He really enjoyed our care packages when they had M&M's, cookies, etc.
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-28-2006, 05:33 PM   #9
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry
I told my DW she should join the Peace Corp, I won't miss her too much!* Anywhoo...my cousin was in the PC in Sierra Leone, Africa just prior to the civil war and he had a totally different outlook on life when he returned to the states.* Some stories he relayed, tribal spats over a dead cow (more specifically, who got to eat it) having a big snake eat his pet dog then the villagers hunting and killing and eating the snake (8' long), driving a motorcycle to Freetown, hacking a chunk of meat off a hanging carcass, flinging it over his shoulder and driving a few hours back.* Getting wasted on some type of homemade 'shine.* He really enjoyed our care packages when they had M&M's, cookies, etc.*
What Larry said. When I worked in SA, I would run into Cuerpo de Paz volunteers in some terrible little village with nothing much to eat but arepa (corn cakes) beans and bananas, no suitable company, lots of intestinal parasites. Looked pretty bad to me.

Plus travel was dangerous and risky in various ways. Still is in too many places. Might be OK for a couple or adventurous single man. Appeared pretty hard for young single women, which is mostly who I met.

Ha

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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-28-2006, 10:58 PM   #10
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

We did have a recent thread over at raddr's board that covers both Peace Corps and teaching English overseas here:

http://raddr-pages.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2684

In particular, there is a link within the thread that connects to a blog that drew something like 50 comments about servingin the Peace Corps, pro and con, very good, many from folks that served in the Peace Corps.

Personally, I am not keen on the Peace Corps idea but I am currently researching teaching English overseas, including interviewing people who have done this, and I will update the thread above when I have completed that research (which will be soon).

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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-29-2006, 12:42 AM   #11
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

Kramer,

I have a few links that may be of interest in re teaching English, in Chile in particular. It may be a while before I can post them here (still borrowing a machine), but watch this board.

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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-29-2006, 03:01 AM   #12
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

Quote:
I have a few links that may be of interest in re teaching English, in Chile in particular. It may be a while before I can post them here (still borrowing a machine), but watch this board.
Thanks, Ed. I sure will.

I have been researching possibilities and have exchanged a bunch of email with a friend of a friend in his late 40s who has been in asia for 10 years, mostly in Korea. Another friend of a friend taught in China and another somewhere else, so I will be talking with them, too.

Since I speak passable Spanish, Chile is definitely a possibility for me, so I will look forward to your links !!

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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-29-2006, 11:27 PM   #13
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

Kramer,

Chile is also a NAFTA country. It is as easy to take a job in Chile as it is in Canada. Provided there is a job to get, and there seems to be a demand for native English--American English--speakers. And--I bet--an American engineer would find it very easy to get a job teaching ESL to Chilean technologists, engineers and businessmen.

Something I have been thinking about for when I have p*ssed one too many people off and can't get work in the engineering business anymore.

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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 08-30-2006, 12:08 AM   #14
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

OK, unburied my laptop.

Here are a few links to teaching ESL in Chile.

http://www.teachingchile.com/

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/pub...in_chile.shtml

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/pub...sh_chile.shtml

http://www.escapeartist.com/efam/67/..._In_Chile.html
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 09-01-2006, 04:44 PM   #15
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

My friend, a woman of 68, just returned from a 6 week ESL gig in China. She taught for a month for a small salary then traveled for two weeks. She had a fabulous time. She has a certificate but no other experience except tutoring. She found the gig on www.ESLcafe.com.

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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 09-01-2006, 05:19 PM   #16
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .


Actually, I'm starting out by joining a volunteer group later this month. I've spent time visiting UN refugee camps in East Africa and will likely soon do more of that. It is so rewarding. I'm doing it in a self-designed way, with a great supportive community.
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 09-01-2006, 05:23 PM   #17
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

Kate, is it a TEFL volunteer organization? And how did you get involved with the UN mission?
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 09-02-2006, 10:33 AM   #18
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

Kate, I admire you!

Billy and I have done our 'Peace Corps' work in a self designated way also. We saw a need and filled it. We tried going the route of filling out forms and waiting to be called in, but meanwhile other opportunities simply presented themselves and we answered that immediate call instead.

One thing led to another - Billy ended up constructing 2 tennis courts for the City of Chapala,(Mexico), 2 volley ball courts in that same City park, as well as a futbol field for the young kids. All volunteer, he raised the money himself.

We have never been ones for bureaucracy, it is too slow for our tastes. 8)

If it's volunteering that a person wants to do, there are countless ways to do it.. If one wants to 'have (financial) a bridge' to retirement, then perhaps joining an organization is the way to go.

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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 09-03-2006, 10:09 AM   #19
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

OK ... similar thought. I've also considered contributing time and brain power to our so-called war on terror. I think we may currently be in the 21st century equivalent of the 1930's ... a prelude to a much larger war with radical Islamists / fascists (yeah, I know some hate the term ... I think it has become apt). I pray not, but the trend doesn't look good.

I wonder if there are opportunities to help on that front as an older person. Perhaps if in no other way, to assist an organization such as www.woundedwarriorproject.org? Other areas?
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .
Old 09-03-2006, 11:33 AM   #20
 
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Re: Has anyone considered . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles
OK ... similar thought. I've also considered contributing time and brain power to our so-called war on terror. I think we may currently be in the 21st century equivalent of the 1930's ... a prelude to a much larger war with radical Islamists / fascists (yeah, I know some hate the term ... I think it has become apt). I pray not, but the trend doesn't look good.

I wonder if there are opportunities to help on that front as an older person. Perhaps if in no other way, to assist an organization such as www.woundedwarriorproject.org? Other areas?
I think the Peace Corp. does just that.

I think the radical Islamics probably hate us more after our so called 'War on terror' than before. You may think it's possible to kill them all, but I don't. If we would have spent 300 Billion on the Peace Corp, instead of going to War on Iraq, we would have done far more to douse the flames of radicals, than killing their families and friends.
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