Category: Inspirational

Too Many Distractions in the U.S.

Life in the U.S. is full of distractions; that’s probably not news to you, but it does come as a shock after living in a rondavel in Lesotho, where my only distractions were the sounds of roosters crowing at 4 a.m., donkeys braying day and night, dogs defending their territories, and Basotho villagers yelling across the corn fields. I used to think the people were angry, but soon learned that shouting is a normal way of communicating in my host country.
It’s only been five weeks since I returned from Lesotho, but somehow it feels like six months. I’m so busy; my calendar is full, as I  fill my days with job searching, appointments, networking, workshops, Rosetta Stone Spanish, brushing up on “free” online courses required for certain positions, meeting family and friends for lunch or dinner, and let’s not forget dating.
I’m not even working a full-time job, but it certainly seems like it.  I’m all over the place, and one luxury I appreciate more than any other, is the freedom to drive myself. I no longer have to rely on the unpredictable, overcrowded, public taxis from my African village. Transportation in Lesotho was a huge stress factor in my life. I never knew when the public taxi would show up on the dirt road. Even in the middle of winter, when frost covered the red soil outside my rondavel, I would keep my front door open just to hear the sound of the old Toyota engine ascending the steep hill leading to my village. With all my gear ready to go for my weekly shower and grocery shopping, I would scurry through my one door, key ready to turn the lock on my burglar bars, while attempting to fling my backpack straps over my shoulders. Out of breath, I would reach the red-clay road only to discover that I’d mistaken the engine sound of the Toyota taxi. Looking down the hill into the distance, I’d scan the area for a white van with a yellow stripe. When my finger tips grew numb, despite being cuddled inside hand-knitted gloves, I headed back to my burglar bars, and started the whole waiting process again.
You see, I am not suffering from “culture shock,” like some of my friends have stated, but rather from too many distractions. I love being busy, meeting people, having interesting conversations with people, and even the friendly quick chat with cashiers at Trader Joe’s. These were lacking in my life in Lesotho, especially as I was unable to speak their language.
There are so many things to do and see in our world in the U.S.  Information overload, too many courses to choose from, classes to attend, whether exercise classes or professional classes, movies, theater, concerts, wonderful shops and malls, exciting foods to buy, excellent customer service, so many choices we take for granted, but not me.
I enjoy my freedom to do what I want to, to drive where I want to go, to watch a recent movie, to meet a friend for a cup of coffee, to eat at a restaurant, to go for a stroll on the beach, and most of all, to be distracted.
I’m grateful for my distractions, because after all, how do we grow? Here we can keep learning and we have the freedom to do whatever we want to improve our skills and to create our own lives. I had enough quiet time in my rondavel that I longed for all the things we take for granted in our comfortable lives in the U.S.
Inspirational, Lesotho, People  |  Tags:

My Recent Dating Story You Won’t Want to Miss

It all started when I parked my car and noticed a skinny man pulling into the space across from mine in an old Buick. I picked up my pace thinking, I hope that’s not him.

We agreed to meet at “Mother’s Kitchen” and I entered through the sliding doors and pretended to look at the chocolates and candy and all the flowers  as it happened to be Valentine’s Day.

I’d just finished a job meeting with the Director of International Student programs at a local university, and felt like I’d accomplished something, so I called Jon to say, “Let’s meet for coffee.”

I could tell it was Jon, my date, heading towards the sliding glass doors of the health food store. He looked to his left, as though not sure if he should enter. I waved from inside, and thought, he looks skinny and tall like his photo. What I hadn’t anticipated, as it did not show on the profile photo of Match.com, were the long protruding, gray, nostril hairs, and the bushy uni-brow. His white shirt, and gray, dress slacks were the same as his profile photo, as though he wore the “dating” uniform, just in case I could not recognize him.

I’m not picky about men, except for height, and being in fairly good shape. I did, however, notice his old-fashioned, white shirt, frayed along the collar, which looked as outdated as his car.

Jon, a “marketing” engineer, something I’d never heard of before, sat down at a table, and proceeded to talk about nothing but himself. When I asked him what does a marketing engineer do?, he said he was no good at it, and that he was semi-retired, and writing a book about dating. No kidding, you’re a nerd, I thought, no way are you a sales and marketing person. I thought I would give him ten minutes to talk about himself, and then perhaps he would get me involved in the conversation. But no.

“Have you even read my profile?” I asked, interrupting him while he told me about his book on dating.

“Yes,” he said, and continued talking about how he wrote five, “you’s” in his first paragraph, and managed to eliminate two of them, as there were just too many “you’s,” but he had to keep the other three, as the paragraph wouldn’t make sense without them. He then switched to how he can obsess over the wrong word choice for three days, until his sister, who lives with him, helps him decide. “And she’s in the writing industry, “ he continues.

“You know I’ve been coaching authors on how to publish and promote their books for many years. Do you have a publisher?” I ask.

“Oh, my sister is an expert,” he continues, “she’s an author,” lettuce falling out of his mouth while munching on his rabbit salad without dressing, and his tofu side-dish. No wonder he weighs about 150 pounds at 6’5”

“How many books has she sold?”

“She sold 4 or 5, and you just wait, I’m going to be the next millionaire when I sell my book. You’ll be happy you met me.”

That was the moment when I got off my chair, and said, “You are arrogant and self-centered, and no wonder you’ve never been married. I’m leaving.”

I’m so proud of my gutsy self. I stood up, told him what I thought, and said, “Here’s money for my tea.” He was so into himself, he continued bragging about his dating book and then it clicked that I was leaving. He didn’t know whether to stand and bow, or stay seated and choke on his tofu. So he raised himself off the chair, and said, “I’ll pay for your tea.”

Inspirational, People  |  

Recycling Trash to Toys

A boy made this car from my toothpaste box

 

Twice a week, I burn my trash in a small pit outside my rondavel.

Tremendous guilt sets in the minute I strike the match, realizing that I’m contributing towards global warming. Each time, I’m surprised to see how easy it is to burn plastic bags and Styrofoam packaging trays. The fact that this is a big, “No-No” in many parts of the western world, with strict recycling laws, adds to my sense of wrongdoing.

The problem is, I have more trash than the Basotho because I buy mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower, imported from South Africa, and packaged in Styrofoam trays. These vegetables are not part of the Basotho diet in my rural village.

When I first posted photos of my “Lack of Privacy” in my village, and how everyone is interested in what I’m burning, my author friend, Ian Mathie, mentioned letting my students figure out what the children can make from my “trash.”

I procrastinated for several reasons:

  • I wanted to collect enough items of the same kind, for example, 16 Styrofoam trays or milk cartons, so everyone would be working on that same item. It would take me forever to eat 16 trays of mushrooms.
  • I didn’t want to use my own data to pull up step by step ideas from the Internet, and my Principal, didn’t want to offer to pay. “There’s no money,” she would say.
  • I didn’t have enough ideas to make something without the right supplies for that project.

Then, last week, I’d collected a huge plastic bag full of many recyclable items, and carried it to my Grade 5 students.

When I opened the bag, and displayed all the objects on the table, the kids went crazy. They wanted those empty yoghurt cartons, empty toothpaste boxes, and fought over them, as though I’d offered them brand new toys.

My 5th grade students have picked out the trash items they wanted.

My 5th grade students have picked out the trash items they wanted.

I told them to take the items home, and to bring them back the next day, with their “creations.”

Honestly, I felt relieved to get rid of my waste, and not have to burn it, but did not expect them to make anything from it.

The following morning, the children were so excited to show me their creations, and I was blown away. I did not realize the kids could be so creative with recycling trash to toys.

I had underestimated my 5th grade Basotho students ability to come up with something, but when you can’t afford toys, it’s amazing what you can make from “trash.”

 

Inspirational, Peace Corps, volunteering  |  Tags: ,

Children Debate Major Cultural Differences-Gutsy Living

Team A proposing that "Yes" teachers are to blame for the poor performance of students.

Team A proposing that “Yes” teachers are to be blamed for the poor performance of students.

As a Peace Corps volunteer teacher in Lesotho, I’m discovering major cultural differences, even in the classroom. What may seem, “normal” in a school in Lesotho, would be cause for jail, in the U.S.

I’m helping grade 7 prepare a debate on, “Are teachers to be blamed for the poor performance of students?”

While brainstorming points on the affirmative side, one girl, Lineo, who is smart and ambitious, brought up the following points which no longer shock me, as I’ve heard them before.

DEBATE - grade7-Lineo

“Teachers fall in love with their students. This can lead to the poor performance of learners as learners would concentrate more on their affairs with teachers, than on their school work. Apart from that, it would not be easy for teachers to correct their learners when they are in love.”

Some male teachers will fail female students who refuse sex or who report them. I have not had anyone at my school report this, but this seems to be common in high schools as well as with professors in college. The problem is that once the girls fails, they lose their tuition fees in college and are forced to quit. One woman told me about this at the college level and is helping college girls win a lawsuit.

There was a scandal recently when a teacher killed one of his students in high school, after she told her parents she was pregnant. He wanted to  “hide” the evidence.

Lineo also wrote about alcohol.

“Use of alcohol by teacher. When drunk, a teacher would not use the appropriate language or examples to learners. In addition a teacher would not prepare his/her work well.”

Lineo brought up a third point regarding  teachers checking their cell phones during class, and not paying attention to their students.

In my school, none of the children have cell phones; their parents cannot afford them, however, all the teachers have one. I agree with Lineo, they are addicted to their phones, and although they don’t use them to Google lessons or to show children photos relevant to what they are teaching, they are constantly checking their phones.

Some of the other points the students brought up:

  • The teachers are not interested. They are bored.
  • Teachers test their students on topics they have not taught
  • Teachers arrive late at school, or do not bother to show up
  • Teachers hit the children with sticks. (I’ve seen this happen.)
  • Teachers don’t speak English to the children, even tough the curriculum is in English
  • The teacher is not qualified, or does not teach well
  • The teachers are often in conflict with one another

We did a mock debate, and I was teaching the kids how to project their voices, and become more confident in expressing themselves. I can see light bulbs going off in Lineo’s head. I cannot believe her mother died a few days ago, and yet she doesn’t seem to show any sorrow. How come? Was she not close to her?

There are so many things I’m learning about the Basotho culture, and many that I cannot understand.

 

My First Experience Teaching in a Small Village in Lesotho

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My first experience volunteering in a small village school

After two weeks of training in our village, with 36 other Peace Corps volunteers, we were finally given the opportunity to see what it’s really like to teach in a small village school.

We all boarded combis (taxis that can hold up to 15 people, all squished together,) and as fate would have it, ours was the oldest taxi, and it broke down on a hill towards Teyateyaneng or (TY for short) our camptown.

We had already paid the cab driver our 7 Maluti, and one of our volunteers wanted a refund.

“I don’t think you’ll get a refund. This is Africa, not the U.S.,” I said.

Stupidly, my backpack weighed about 25 pounds, and I didn’t realize we would have a big hike up the hill, as well as to my HVV (host’s volunteer village — a one-hour walk in the rural foothills and valleys surrounding our camptown: TY.)

Our host volunteers took us to a nice resort hotel the Blue Mountain Inn, in TY. If you visit me, this is a nice place to stay.

We had free Wifi and electricity, so we took advantage of this, and ordered a cold beer and lunch. I was so happy to eat a fresh salad with feta cheese; first one in 2 weeks. I love Basotho papa and morojo, and their fresh beets and pumpkin, but I craved a salad with balsamic vinegar and oil.

Hanna and I were met by Hillary, our host volunteer, and she took us to her house after lunch, and a quick tour of the supermarket in TY. I was so happy to see butter and cheddar cheese.

The three of us climbed into a 4+1 (taxi) to Hillary’s road, and little did I know, that we had a 5 km hike up and down hills, before we reached her well-built, cement-brick rectangular house, with a thatched roof.

Her ‘N’tate (host Father) is such a hard-working man, who retired from gold-mining in South Africa, and managed to save enough money to build a beautiful house. He does not have electricity, but raises chickens, and grows numerous crops. His wife bakes delicious fresh loaves, and sells the eggs to local villagers.

 

 

Hillary’s place was big enough for all 3 of us, and I slept on the floor. We had delicious home-made tortillas, pizza, and even watched a movie on her laptop.

The school we visited is a 30-minute hike from her house, and the children were so warm and friendly, calling us “Madam.”

The 7th grade children had exams, so the school schedule was modified. We taught outside, and the children are used to carrying their benches on their heads back and forth to class every day.

So far, I feel more confident that I shall be able to teach these beautiful, smiling children. I just need to learn my Sesotho, and that’s a challenge for me.

More to come when I have Internet access again.

ANY QUESTIONS FOR ME?

 

 

 

Inspirational, Travel & Adventure, volunteering  |  

My new life: What it’s like to live in Lesotho?

Sonia,Patricia,Heather water filters

With my new PCV friends getting our water filters

My new life: What it’s like to live in Lesotho?

My life is so different here in Lesotho as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

I have so much to share with you; I don’t know where to start.

Instead of writing a super-long blog post, I’ve decided to share the basics about my new life as a Peace Corps volunteer in training. I’m sure you want to see photos of where I live, my new host family, and my rural surroundings. I’m now living with donkeys, dogs (a ton of them,) roosters, chickens, sheep, and numerous cats, especially kittens.

Whenever I have access to an Internet connection, and electricity, I shall post my daily life in more detail. (Not sure exactly when, but I hope you’re interested.)

I can’t believe that this time two weekends ago, I sat in a fancy restaurant in San Clemente, California, enjoying Cioppino, with shrimp, fish, muscles and scallops in a delicious tomato broth, with warm sourdough bread and butter and a glass of Chardonnay.

Now I’m eating papa, (a maize powder cooked in boiling water) with morojo (chopped greens cooked in oil) with stewed pumpkin and carrot slaw. I eat a ton of carbs, and very little protein, compared to what I ate in California.

I’ve been adopted by my host mother or (‘m’e) Mathuso, and she is very caring and sweet. She shows me how to hand wash my clothes outside in a bucket of cold water which was transported up the hill by donkey.

PCV, Michelle, showing us how to take a bath

PCV, Michelle, showing us how to take a bath

Bath and buckets

view of countryside

view of countryside

Doing laundry

‘M’e gets upset when I don’t arrange my multipurpose bedroom/kitchen/bathroom (basically my pee bucket, and plastic bath tub,) the way women do it in Lesotho. I find it strange that my host “mother” is four years younger than me, and she makes me feel like a child who has no clue what she’s doing, despite having been a mother/cook/cleaning lady myself for 37 years.

My new house

I now have a nine-year old sister, Ausi (sister) Boitumelo, a brother, Abuti (brother) Tebeho. They help me pronounce new vocabulary words in Sesotho; another challenge as I have three months to learn this foreign African language, before I get shipped off to my future village, where I shall teach English in a primary school for two years.

My new brother and sister. Ausi Boitumelo,Abuti Teboho

My new brother and sister.

 

I’m learning to adapt as fast as I can, but it is stressful to have Sesotho language classes every day, and to be bombarded with friendly Basotho people from the village stopping you on the dirt road to ask you questions about your Sesotho name, (mine is ‘m’e Palusa which means flower) where you’re you’re from etc. They speak so fast, and I’m finding the pressure is on to learn the language quickly.

We also have Peace Corps classes from 7:30 a.m., until 5p.m., daily, and then homework and studying in the dark room with no electricity. Taking a bucket bath, and daily chores take forever, so I feel more stressed now than I did in Orange County.

I have a paraffin lamp to study when it gets dark around 6:30 p.m., and thankfully my headlamp so I can find my pee bucket at night. We are not allowed outside to use the latrine, due to the guard dogs who get into vicious fights almost every night.

dancing 'mes

More to come later.

By the way, if you’d like to connect with me, apart from e-mails, please sign up for what’s app. This is a FREE APP, and we can chat and send messages. I shall e-mail you my Lesotho phone # if you’d like to communicate with me on What’s app. E-mail me at:

Sonia@soniamarsh.com

Sala hantle, (stay well.)

 

 

Expat Life, Inspirational, My Gutsy Story, People  |  

I Leave for Africa with the Peace Corps on October 4th

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Teaching Kindergarten at Ban Bo Phut elementary school, Koh Samui

It’s all confirmed; I leave for Africa with the Peace Corps on October 4th. I called to make sure all my paperwork was in order, as I hadn’t received a confirmation in writing, and I have to sell my car and pay for a storage unit.

My recent Bamboo Project volunteering, was the best thing I did to prepare for the next stage of my life: Teaching primary education in Lesotho, Southern Africa, on October 6th, for  a 27-month period.

Thailand taught me the importance of accepting that things are done differently, to be flexible, and to understand the local “Thai” way of teaching and doing things.
In the beginning I struggled with the way we had to teach. It was so different from what I learned (t) in British English, at my TESOL course in Greenwich in May. Most of the teaching at our school was based on repetition and copying from the board.  I felt like the children did not understand what we were talking about, and asking a question was impossible.  The kids would repeat what I said (out of habit) but apart from one or two in the class, most kids could not answer my questions.
The Bamboo Project was about more than teaching. I had to live in a communal (student-style) accommodation, where we shared one toilet and two showers among seven people. It brought back fond memories of college dorm days.
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Our living room

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Living room and kitchen with tiny fridge crammed with our drinks and food

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The downstairs shower became my own. Cold water and a handle that popped off every time I turned it.

I loved my new routine of getting up at 5:30 a.m., making Nescafe, and then checking e-mails and blogging. I realized that everyone else stayed in bed until 15 minutes before we were supposed to be at the pick-up stop for school. I have no idea how young people can roll out of bed and be ready in 10 minutes.

Jeep Bamboo

Ready for our Jeep Pick-up at 7:30 a.m.

I also enjoyed the nightlife with the volunteers at the ARK,a beachfront night club. You’ll see some amazing stuff from 1:50 seconds into the video.

Amazing fireworks from 1:50 onwards.

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Having dinner at Zanzibar cafe after teaching.

Now I start teaching in an Orange County, California, primary school, and look forward to learning some new skills, before I leave for Lesotho, with the Peace Corps.

 

Less Stuff = Freedom + Happiness

empty-room-with-bed

Click on photo to go to website

I’m a “happy” person so why did I buy a book called, Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, by  Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D?

Because it explains why I want to go back to Africa, and work with people who have far less than me. Here’s why:

“While levels of material prosperity are on the rise, so are levels of depression. Even though our generation–in most Western countries as well as in an increasing number of places in the East–is wealthier than previous generations, we are not happier for it.” —Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I have become happier with less “stuff,” and why I’m attracted to living a simple life.

I don’t have a home, or furniture, except for two armchairs, a Chinese chest, and a tropical painting that inspires me to stay “gutsy.” Nothing within my control can prevent me from following my passion to ‘be free’ and experience new adventures.

Volunteering in a Mayan Village in Belize in 2009, and seeing these beautiful children, full of smiles, made me realize that happiness does not come from having stuff. Look at the small girl on the left; her parents can’t afford a pair of shoes.

Belize kids

The children I met while volunteering in a Mayan village in Red Bank, Belize, 2009.

Here’s what makes me happy.

Click on Photo- credit from malidoma.com

Click on Photo- credit from malidoma.com

Am I being selfish in wanting to work with children in Africa? Perhaps. I realize that there are going to be many challenges adapting to a new life in Lesotho, in southern Africa, but just to feel the love and enthusiasm of the children, is enough to fuel my own energy.

I became fascinated with photo-journalist Alissa Everett, and what she has done to bring us closer to the positive side of what we don’t see in African countries, such as the DRC-(Democratic Republic of Congo.) She is truly “gutsy” and not only has she served in the Peace Corps, which is what I shall be doing starting in October, 2015, (Read more here) but she shares her stories during my interview with her.

This is her recent wedding photo with a message, I truly love.

Alissa Everett's wedding photo credit

Alissa Everett’s wedding photo credit

I realize we are all different, however, it saddens me to see people who have everything in life to be happy, and yet they’re unhappy.

Why Boomers Rock-They Will Revamp the Economy

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If you were born between 1946-1964, you belong to the baby boomers that rock club:

“The wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to that time.” (Wikipedia.)

Unlike our parent’s generation, today’s baby boomers are looking forward to starting something meaningful to them, something they are passionate about, and reinventing themselves.

Sitting indoors and watching TV (which in my opinion is dumbing us down daily) or crocheting or playing golf, are not so much the aspirations of today’s baby boomers. No, we are searching for something meaningful, a second career, travel and adventure. (Well, there are some exceptions, but I’m talking about the boomers that rock.)

Belize, Ambergris Caye

Belize, Ambergris Caye, near our house.

For generations, the dream retirement was one spent in warmer climates, on the beach relaxing. Things have changed, and according to Chris Farrell, author of Unretirement: How Baby Boomers Are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community and the Good Life.

“As people are living longer and in better health, they’re working longer, too. And opportunities for the 55 and up group are going way beyond the stereotypical part-time gig at the local supermarket, he says.

Chris Farrell, says that what scares people most about getting older isn’t aging — it’s retirement. Why is that?

  • Many baby boomers haven’t saved enough money for retirement
  • Many private sector workers don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at work
  • It’s expensive to educate your kids

Today’s boomers are asking:

  • What does retirement mean? What does my last third of life mean?
  • People are essentially more open to the idea that working later in life doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Farrell believes that we need a sabbatical to think about what to do next.

“People don’t want to walk away from their skills or knowledge. But they don’t necessarily want to work a 40 to 50 hour workweek either.” Washington Post.

So that explains why the Rotary Clubs and Peace Corps are experiencing a larger percentage of boomers showing interest than ever before. Rotary’s philosophy is to “find your passion” and, once a member has developed a project, Rotary provides volunteers and financial support.

In 2012, a new program was formed called Peace Corps Response; a program that may be more appealing to older adults because it requires a shorter time commitment, three months to a year instead of the traditional 27-month commitment. In 2014, more than a third of people who applied for Peace Corps Response positions were 50 and older.

The New York Times  has an article on, “Rotary and Peace Corps Find Relevance With Retirees.”

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Kate Burrus with students she taught in St. Thomas Parish, Jamaica. She and her husband, John Granger, recently finished their second assignment with the Peace Corps. Credit John Granger

“Rotary was the original social network, way before Facebook,” said John Hewko, general secretary of Rotary International.

“We have Rotarians in their 70s and 80s traveling to Nigeria to work on polio and traveling to Bolivia to work on a water project,” Mr. Hewko said. “For our retiree members, it’s incredibly important to stay engaged with people, to be out and about, and to be giving back.”

Like Rotary, the Peace Corps is also working to enlist older American volunteers. The corps, established in 1961 by an executive order signed by President John F. Kennedy, is still predominantly a younger person’s game, but 7 percent of its volunteers are 50 or older.

“I would like to see that closer to 15 percent,” said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, the Peace Corps’ director. 

So the trend I see happening is that of connecting with other like-minded boomers, who want to do something creative, adventurous and meaningful.

Take for example, Margaret Manning, who together with her team is developing Boomerly.

“I have been building the Sixty and Me community, which now reaches over 100,000 baby boomers every month. During this time, my mission was to inspire our members to live better lives.” Margaret Manning with Boomerly.

Boomerly is a new way for baby boomers to meet like-minded people, build friendships and make meaningful connections. It’s not a social network or a dating site. It’s an easy-to-use messaging service that makes it easy to find and talk with people just like you.

By the way, writing a commercial book, and promoting it, is another trait of baby boomers that rock, and I know many in my circle of friends. You know who you are.

So do you consider yourself a boomer that rocks? If so why? Please leave your comment below.

Inspirational, motivational, People, Travel & Adventure  |  

Why I’m Celebrating Peace Corps Week

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As many of you know, I have a strong desire to serve in the Peace Corps. Things did not go as smoothly as I had hoped, but I am keeping my fingers crossed this time.

My interview finally took pace on February 27th, and lasted almost two hours. I answered all the questions to the best of my ability, and although I had prepared ahead of time, practicing with my RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) friends, I found it quite intense.

I was mentally drained after my two-hour phone interview, and longed for a Yes/No answer. It did end on a positive note and I was told to continue learning more about the country of Lesotho, in South Africa.

Who says Twitter and social media is a waste of time?

After tweeting about #Lesotho, I made a connection with a woman who runs an NGO (Non-governmental organization) for children in Lesotho. She’s from Europe and kindly offered to answer any questions I may have about life in that beautiful “Mountain Kingdom.”

As this is Peace Corps week, I decided to share  information about the organization, and in particular, some of the videos showcasing the influential people who work as counterparts with the Peace Corps volunteers in many parts of the world. Please take a look at the specific countries that may be of interest to you.

I was especially moved by some of the teachers in Morocco, and Thailand, and how they have impacted the lives of their students.

 

Peace Corps Week 2015: March 1-7

Peace Corps Week 2015: March 1-7

“Peace Corps Week commemorates President Kennedy’s establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. During this annual event, the Peace Corps community celebrates all the ways that Peace Corps makes a difference at home and abroad and renews its commitment to service.

This year, Peace Corps invites current and returned Peace Corps Volunteers to get involved in Peace Corps Week 2015 by participating in our Video Challenge and/or participating in Peace Corps Festivals across the United States. These activities, designed to support Peace Corps’ Third Goal of sharing other cultures with Americans, kick off on January 1 and continue through the end of Peace Corps Week on March 7. Follow the links below to learn how you can participate in one or both of these exciting efforts.”

 

How will YOU celebrate Peace Corps Week?

 

http://www.peacecorps.gov/resources/returned/thirdgoal/pcweek/

 

26+ videos from PC volunteers around the world.

 

Inspirational, My Gutsy Story, People  |