1. Mongolia The Story of My Service

    Sometimes a story is so good that I don’t want it to end. As the pages in my right hand get lighter, I might even flip back a few chapters to try and enjoy it again—to remember what just happened and maybe catch something I missed. For whatever reason, I brought that blue invitation packet with me across the ocean, the same one every Volunteer gets in the mail with “Peace Corps invites you to serve” printed on the front. It’s been a long time since I opened it, more than two years. A c...

  2. Mali In the Bush

    Koniaba and I after our day in the bush. Collecting shea fruit in the bush is like a long Easter egg hunt, walking back 2 miles with a bunch of it balanced on your head is kind of difficult. Maybe next year I'll be able to say "Hey look, no hands!'

  3. Kyrgyz Republic Coming of Age

    Sometime toward the end of my Peace Corps service I had a revelation: being a grown-up is hard. When you're a kid, you have this idea that all your problems can be easily solved by some person you perceive to be a "grown-up." When you've got a serious problem you need help with it’s great to be on the kid side, but, as I joined the Peace Corps straight out of college, I've only recently started to experience things from the other side, and that's not so great. A friend of mine, a f...

  4. Namibia Reconciliation

    Today I was thinking about post-Peace Corps service and what it was going to be like going back to the states. I tried to imagine the reverse culture shock that I hear so much about and how it was going to affect me. I started to think about all the things I really love and miss about the States and it really got me thinking about my experience in Namibia thus far. Don’t get me wrong, I love America. I never realized how truly wonderful it is until coming here. I miss so much about it that I...

  5. Madagascar Five Squiggly Lines

    My January 14, 1997 journal entry is an award winner.   I like it because of the five squiggly lines that cascade down the page from the middle of words.   I shouldn’t be able to remember writing it but I have a vivid memory of laughing myself awake at the end of every squiggle.  The entries just before 1-14-97 were a little arbitrary when it came to writing a date.  I had a fixed date to write when I wrote the last entry in Washington, D.C.  The fourth group of Peace Corps Trainees bound fo...

  6. Senegal Ndeye

    This is my sister Ndeye right before Tabaski during my second year at site (November 2009).  Everyone else was just sitting around, braiding hair or shelling peanuts.  Ndeye is extra special to me because when her son Ibou was born (her first child), he was extremely malnourished and Ndeye didn't know how to properly breastfeed.  I worked with her on it and coached her about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and Ibou started gaining weight!  He is now a healthy, active, and precocious...

  7. Jamaica Dream in Progress

    On 7 December 2008, Jordan Frazier interviewed Donald Ellis. Mr. Frazier is twenty-something and Mr. Ellis is 90-something. They exchanged information and opinions for nearly 3 hours. Jordan learned a great deal about the history of Ewarton and Donald had an attentive audience. They exchanged information and laughed at their different experiences. So what? Challenged from birth, Jordan was one of those special children suffering from the low expectations of surrounding adults. Until Step Up ...

  8. Moldova Our teacher

    My seven year old host nephew teaching my host mom and I how to say our R's.

  9. El Salvador Reina

    The queen of International Environmental Day.

  10. El Salvador Youth

    This was the first photo I took while in Peace Corps.

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