1. Mongolia Looking for the right word in Zuunmod

    Communication can be challenging. Mongolia PCV Jocelyn Sarmiento tries to find the right word to convey what needs to be done as she shows it to her counterpart in a dictionary. Jocelyn serves in the health sector and is attached to the local Health Department for the Mongolian Ministry of Health. She lives and works in Zuunmod in Mongolia's Central Province, Töv aimag.   I took this photo while traveling around the world documenting Peace Corps volunteers for a book, "Making Peace with...

  2. Mali Haircut in Mali

      PCV Audra Helser gives her boyfriend, PCV Ben Arnold, a haircut on the porch of the transit house in Koutiala, Mali. Both Helser and Arnold are from Ohio, but did not know each other until meeting in Peace Corps. Ben was in the group ahead of Audra's group.      I met Audra and Ben, who have since COS'ed and are now married and living in Chicago, while I was traveling around the world photographing Peace Corps volunteers. My photographs are compiled in a book titled, "Making Peace wi...

  3. Niger COS Conference Niger 2003

    Here is a photo of Volunteers in Niger at their COS conference which took place at the Parc W in Niger, West Africa.  There were babboons and other animals watching us as we celebrated our service and learned about readjusting to American Life.

  4. Bulgaria A Tale of Two Minorities

    Suddenly, the music began to blare.  I turned to Katia, my counterpart, for an explanation.  “All the mehani (taverns) turn into discos at midnight.”  My glass of rakia (strong Bulgarian brandy) started teetering precariously close to the edge of our table as my fellow diners leapt to their feet and onto chairs, booths and, particularly impressive in stilettos, bar stools. Welcome to Bansko, Bulgaria.  As the pre-recorded music subsided, a group of Roma musicians took command of the rest...

  5. Paraguay Sesame Lovers

    Amongst the many crops we promoted for crop diversification in Paraguay, sesame was one of our favorite cash crops because: 1. It generally had a high market value, but even if farmers couldn't sell any of it, they could still use it as a valuable protein source for their animals or themselves; and 2. It grows extremely well without need of chemicals or irrigation, even in Paraguay's hot, droughty summers.

  6. Paraguay Neni's Creative Seed Starting

    Being a Peace Corps Volunteer is all about helping local people value the resources they have and coming up with creative ways of sustainably exploiting the ever-present "under-utilized resources in the community." Our friend Neni mastered this principle by using the abundant citrus rinds lying around the farm as seed-starting pots (a "maceta casera").

  7. Paraguay Boat Day, Bahia Negra

    Imagine living in a place so isolated and remote that your only physical connection to the outside world was a boat that came once a week. That's what it's like in the town of Bahia Negra, Paraguay, on the Rio Paraguay. Boat Day in Bahia Negra is a total bonanza of activity. A rush of people and goods pour on and off the boat for a couple hours before it floats back down the river and life in this sleepy town returns to its slow pace once again.

  8. Paraguay Bahia Negra Boat

    Though the Rio Paraguay is massive and carries a huge amount of freight, it can also be incredibly serene. This is especially true up in the extremely isolated northern town of Bahia Negra, Paraguay, on the southern edge of the amazingly vast and biodiverse Pantanal wetland.

  9. Paraguay Paraguayan Power

    Even most rural Paraguayans now have power lines connecting their homes to the massive Itaipu hydroelectric dam built in the early 1970s across the Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay. At Itaipu, which means "the sound of a stone" in the native Guarani language spoken throughout Paraguay, massive volumes of water pound through immense turbines on the way down toward the sea. Itaipu’s spinning turbines produce over 90 terawatt-hours of electricity per year. That’s more than any ...

  10. Paraguay Kiko & Roberto Learning English

    As Peace Corps Volunteers, we took advantage of every opportunity to teach Paraguayans something. During a dull moment in the truck on the way to an agriculture training in a rural community, Kiko asked us to teach him how to say "I want to wish you a merry Christmas"...and then we made Roberto try it, too. The language you hear them speaking is the native Guarani which we did most of our work in. 12-9-08

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.