Peace Corps blogs have been some of the best sources of information for me about the Peace Corps and the countries where its volunteers serve. I’ve found that the kind of personal account that they offer provide a sense of place and people that no amount of time on Wikipedia or Google Earth match. (That’s not to say I haven’t spent a hell of a lot of time on both; I totally have.)
Unfortunately, for every Peace Corps blog out there that a volunteer maintained consistently for all of their two year service abroad, there are ten that petered out after a few months.
In the excitement and whirlwind of different languages, people, food, customs, and everything else that’s new there is a lot to say. These differences are so overwhelming that there’s more to say about them than a person could – at first. Eventually though, it all fades into the background of routine.
As hard as it is to imagine, any place, no matter how exotic, becomes familiar eventually. And writing about what’s familiar is boring.
In a few weeks I’ll be leaving for Kyrgyzstan to start Pre-Service Training. When I do, I’ll be joining the ranks of well-intentioned volunteers trying to record their experiences in some kind of interesting and sustainable way.
Given that the odds are against me, there’s no telling what might happen once I land in Kyrgyzstan, but I’ll do my best to be consistent and when I find motivation lacking keep in mind what I’m writing for:
So that my grandma knows I’m not dead.
Well, that, and Goal #3.
The Peace Corps’ three stated goals are (1) To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, (2) To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and (3) To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
So, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, it is literally part of my job to tell people about the work I’m doing, where I’m working, and the people with whom I’m working.
So with that, I’ll do my best to do my job.