1. Bulgaria Baba Choir

      A Bulgarian Baba choir performs a wedding dance in Dobarsko part of Razlog municipality, Blagoevgrad Province. This choir is in the community that Peace Corps volunteer Joe Waling lives. One of the women in the choir is Joe's host mother.        The Church of Theodore Tyro and Theodore Stratales is located in Dobarsko and dates back to at least 1614, but some claim 1122. The church is a destination for tourists and the choir performs for the visitors.      I took this low quality video with...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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").

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. Micronesia Yap Day

    On the tiny Micronesian state of Yap Proper, each year Yap Day, a celebration of culture, is held. Men and women from villages all over the island prepare traditional costumes and dances to share. Even the youngest girls in the village are invited to participate.

  10. Mongolia Tsagaan Sar

    Celebrating in the home of a Mongolian friend during the lunar new year, the annual Tsagaan Sar festivities in Mongolia

Countdown to Weekly Contest Deadline!

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