me The Sprawl

They heard me singing and they told me to stop

Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock

These days my life, I feel it has no purpose

But late at night the feelings swim to the surface
Posts tagged Peace Corps.

welpidunno submitted: Peace Corps question! Your FAQ is amazing, by the way. My older sister is considering applying for Peace Corps, but she has a complete deadly fear of snakes. I know most places you could be stationed would have snakes, though not all places. Do you have an idea of how accommodating Peace Corps would be to a severe phobia of the kind? Should she not even bother applying, or go the difficult way and be hardset on certain countries that have fewer snakes?


I think if your sister is determined to be in the Peace Corps, she needs to definitely be aware of the fact that her phobia will narrow her placement to only certain countries. I’m not sure how accommodating Peace Corps is to phobias, though I do know they try their best to accomodate for health/physical issues. 

If she is serious about volunteering, she should be honest with recruiters. Although, I will be honest with you, they may see her phobia as a sign that she may not be completely suited for this kind of work.

It is always more difficult to be placed when you are picky about your placement, there is no way around that. However, there are several countries where I imagine snakes would not be as common (such as Eastern Europe, etc.) Then again, there are snakes even here in North America.

I wish your sister luck and I hope that things work out the best for her. 

Tagged: peace corps, .
1 09.30.12


“I’m very proud of our Peace Corps Volunteers because they are standing up for the idea that every young woman can make a difference in her own life and in her community. And it is a great pleasure for me always, as I travel around the world, to meet Peace Corps Volunteers, who represent the great values and ideals of our nation.”

- Secretary of State Hilary Clinton during her visit to a Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) in Malawi run by Peace Corps Volunteers.  

Camp GLOW is (in my opinion) one of the best things being done worldwide by Peace Corps volunteers. So yay for Peace Corps, and yay for Hilary Clinton supporting this awesome initiative!

Tagged: peace corps, . • 74 08.06.12


“Despite having a relatively large population of deaf in Ghana, there is still very little awareness about deaf culture and extremely high levels of stigmatization. The deaf experience isolation and discrimination in their communities and even their own families.”

Peace Corps Volunteer Lauren Corke

Ghana represent!

Tagged: peace corps, ghana, . • 59 07.30.12

rovert submitted: I wanted to thank you for all the information you have about the Peace Corps, especially the interview section under the PC FAQ's. It was tremendously helpful! I had my interview yesterday, and I on my way to becoming an English teacher.


Thank you so much!

I’m really glad to hear you’re on your way to becoming a volunteer. That is incredibly wonderful! Good luck with everything!

Tagged: peace corps, .
2 07.24.12

Hello readers!

I would love for you to take the time to check out this new organization that I have been volunteering with.

InvestAfrica was founded because while entrepreneurs sometimes receive start-up capital through micro-credit, these businesses often struggle to find funding to allow them to expand, grow and create jobs. Invest Africa is a micro-investment or micro-venture capital platform dedicated to helping micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Africa. Each investor on our website can invest as little as $25 with a specific entrepreneur. The value of the investment and a percentage of the business’ profit is returned to the investor by the end of the investment term.

InvestAfrica solves a lot of the problems associated with traditional micro-finance in that when you invest in businesses you receive a percentage of that business’ profit. Since the amount they pay is based on their performance (rather than a set interest rate as with microfinance institutions) they are able to save more, to repay in a more flexible way, to implement new activities, take risks and convert their ideas into successful businesses. 

To ensure that the projects are legitimate, we have field partners – credible local non-profit organizations and microfinance institutions – who process the fund transfers, assist and monitor the projects, and send us updates on the evolution of the projects as well as report any issues to us.

I personally got involved because one of the projects we are involved with is located in the Eastern Region of Ghana, close to where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. For this project, our goal is to raise $3,000 for a low-income farming community seeking to construct a plant in which to process their crops and turn them into valuable products for market. The plant will reduce crop waste, create jobs and business opportunities, and improve livelihoods for farmers and their families. To read more about this project in Ghana please visit: 

Please feel free to reblog this! Thanks everyone!

sexceptionul submitted: This is another question, but as I was going through your FAQ I came across medication, and I also came across the diet. You said that Ghana, specifically, had a diet that sort of lacked protein. Would you say that bringing protein supplement pills could possibly be an alternative to getting the recommended amount of protein?

Yes, definitely. A lot of volunteers had supplement pills like that, also protein powders they mixed into drinks. The doctors on staff are definitely helpful when it comes to things like that: suggesting alternative ways to keep a proper diet. I know for me, I felt like I was very low on iron- was tired, unfocused, etc. I went for some tests and they gave me some iron pills.

Tagged: peace corps, .

sexceptionul submitted: I have two questions. Neither of them are really related in any way. I'm a senior in high school, so I still have a while to go and decide. 1) How was learning the language? Was it difficult? If I learned a specific language (say, like, Malagasy) would they send me to Madagascar if they could, simply because I knew the language? I read that's the case with a lot of Spanish speaking volunteers. 2) I am a vegetarian (as of right now, anyway). Will that interfere greatly with my chances of going?


Learning the language was not that difficult for me, though I’ve learned a few languages before so the process of learning a language was not new to me. I think it definitely depends on what language you have to learn, some are easier to learn than others. I would definitely not suggest that you learn a specific language in order to get sent to a country. For one thing, there is no guarantee which country you will be sent to based on your language skills. Sometimes French speaking volunteers are sent to non-French speaking countries. A lot of it depends on deployment dates and type of volunteer positions available. Additionally, in the Peace Corps you normally learn the language most widely spoken in your community. THIS MAY NOT BE THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE. For example, in Ghana there are over 60 languages spoken throughout the country. If you really want to learn Malagasy to learn it, then fine, but otherwise I’d say it’s a waste of time. Spanish volunteers are a special case because Peace Corps prefers them to be fluent. Again, local dialects will be learned once arrival but having fluency in Spanish is very important to those volunteer positions.

Being a vegetarian will not harm your chances. I knew many volunteers in my program. During interviews they will likely ask you about your eating habits (among many other things) and mostly they just want to make sure that you are aware that there will definitely be a change in your diet, wherever you end up placed. Some countries are more suitable for vegetarians and some are not. Also some cultures are very insensitive to vegetarians and may take offense to vegetarians while some may not. Again, it all depends.

Tagged: peace corps, .


Next time anyone asks me for advice/knowledge about joining Peace Corps, this clip is all he/she is getting. 


Tagged: peace corps, .
thesharpiemarkerapproach • 7 05.21.12


Life is calling. How far will you go?

Tagged: peace corps, .
peacecorps • 51 05.10.12


Some of the more beautiful aspects of my life in Tanzania.


Tagged: peace corps, tanzania, .
amaninaupendo • 106 05.06.12

iamnotgrammaticallycorrect-deac submitted: Hi! So (as you know) I just got placed, and I'm aware my location is probably incredibly different from where you were placed, but I'm just curious. What were your major safety and security concerns while you were volunteering? My mom is completely freaking out (which is understandable) but I would like some actual perspective. How often did you feel unsafe? How often would you say you were actually unsafe? Like I said, I'm sure Ghana and Guinea are incredibly different, but anything would help!

Yay! I am excited for you!

Safety concerns for me were pretty minimal. I did have a few incidents but my community was pretty good at taking care of me, and I reported it to our safety director and he took care of me as well.

Concerns were mostly about men. As a single white female I gained a lot of unwanted male attention. They would come to my house and bother me and Ghanaian men are very touchy. Obviously not all isolated incidents are something that Peace Corps is going to help with, but it’s something to be aware of when on your own. As far as repeated incidents, that’s when I got Peace Corps involved. Also common sense is always key, when in an uncomfortable situation, try to remove yourself from it. For me, I would go to another volunteer’s site and make sure that I was taken care of. I only had to do this twice (a guy kept coming to my house), and after Peace Corps was involved I felt secure for the remainder of my service. Because this is typical of the culture of Ghana, Peace Corps really had to step in to help with the situation. My counterpart was also helpful.

Other than these few incidents, I felt very safe in Ghana. It is a very welcoming country and everyone there is very nice. 

I guess other safety concerns would be about transportation and things like that, but that’s pretty common in third world countries. I would definitely suggest looking to current/former Guinea volunteers to see how safe they felt in country. I know there’s a facebook group for Guinea volunteers. 

Hope this helped!

Tagged: peace corps, .
3 05.06.12

The most difficult challenge is leaving - Peace Corps Print Public Service Announcement 

Nailed it.


The most difficult challenge is leaving - Peace Corps Print Public Service Announcement 

Nailed it.

Tagged: peace corps, . • 131 05.03.12

I can’t believe I forgot how happy my friend Sam makes me. Thanks Skype and Sam, for making my night.



For too long the Peace Corps has promoted a myth through its recruiters and marketing materials that falsely presents a favorable image of an agency that in actuality is in desperate need of reform. The true experience for those serving in the nearly 70 Peace Corps countries around the globe…

The writer of this makes a valid point. There are a lot of issues with the Peace Corps, I will not deny it.


From 2005-2007 I was a Volunteer in Eastern Europe and fell victim to the incompetence of in-country management of a failing Peace Corps program. I was sent to a site where my skills were poorly matched with a municipal government office and I spent most of my time doing nothing. After bringing up my concerns to program managers in an attempt to improve the situation I was summarily sent home. What happened to me is not uncommon.

Volunteers are routinely sent to places where their expertise is not matched to the needs of the sites requesting help. Some are even told by country directors to forget about doing anything more than just hang out for two years and have a cultural exchange. This is hardly the image of Americans engaging in rigorous international development work that Peace Corps promotes to the public.

These two paragraphs bother me for SO MANY reasons. First, the author says they served for two years yet was “summarily sent home”. What? I’m assuming they meant sent home to their house. Where they sat and did nothing?

I can’t imagine a country director telling a volunteer to just “hang out” and sit around and do nothing. I basically refuse to believe this is possible. And if this is actually something that has happened or is happening, then it should most definitely be stopped. 

And finally, yes, there was a lot of down time in the Peace Corps. Yes, a lot of the skill sets may be out of your reach. But come on! Have a little ingenuity! If you can’t find a solution to the problem one way, find another. I wouldn’t say to give up entirely, I would say to find another problem that your skill sets DO address.

If anything I would say that this volunteer is one of the problems of the Peace Corps that we should also address. There are volunteers who do go abroad and give up. This kind of attitude will get you no where, and I speak from experience.

My assignment with the Peace Corps was a complete disaster. But that didn’t stop me from trying to do something where I saw need. I didn’t just give up. I worked with the community and I found areas to improve. I used skill sets that I had to organize after school programs and run a camp. I created a new kind of health workshop for people living with HIV/AIDS. Just because my farming group was completely disbanded did not stop me from doing what I signed up for in the first place.

If Peace Corps was advertised as being disorganized you can sure as hell bet that no one would want to sign up. The more I reflect on the mismanagement of the Peace Corps, the more I am in awe of the program itself. The basic fact that this grassroots program EXISTS amazes me, especially with the economy as it is right now. That we send able bodied people abroad to work with foreigners. I mean, just the diplomacy of it. 

Yes, Peace Corps has a long way to go, and it is a wonder that at 50 years old they are still having structural and organizational problems. But SO many other international programs deal with the same issues. You can’t deny that. Peace Corps is evolving with the times and they are aware of their issues, and you can see the changes they’ve been making.

The fact that this “Not As Advertised” was written by a former volunteer upset me. Those interested in the Peace Corps should be told the truth about service, I agree. But I sincerely hope they did not read the above post and think twice about volunteering because this volunteer basically gave up on their service.

notasadvertised • 3 04.26.12


This past weekend, myself and 9 other PCVs from the Eastern Region of Ghana hosted GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Camp. As part of Peace Corps’ Gender & Youth Development (GYD) Initiative, GLOW Camp is intended to teach and empower young girls in a variety of topics, such as leadership, motivation, health & hygiene, and relationships. I created this video for the girls as part of the ICT session during the camp, which highlights many of the activities that occurred. Enjoy!

This makes me so beyond happy to find. I organized and ran the first GLOW camp in the Eastern Region of Ghana and I am so proud that they are still happening annually. Yay Peace Corps!