Five Peace Corps Volunteers completed the first Tigray Trek in 2013 and educated nearly 530 community members in nine villages along the way. Their success and local community support led the Volunteers to organize this year’s trek, which has grown to include 15 additional runners and 12 additional volunteers to help lead educational sessions. 

Read more about it

Ethiopia global health AIDS running Peace Corps Volunteers

All moved in!

jtlunar:

Wow, so its been over a month since i last updated you on my life here in China and SO much has happened since!

So, since my last post i have…

Been a brides maid in a Chinese wedding.

Had many nights of singing karaoke with my friends at our training site.

Learned how to play Mahjong (an extremely popular Chinese game).

Climbed up a famous mountain outside of Chengdu. Four hours up and two hours down.

Grew very close to the 20 people at my training site.

Watch my host family go to America for two weeks.

Ate pizza which did not compare to American pizza in the slightest.

Went ice skating with my host cousin.

Found out and visited my permanent site placement in Tongren, Guizhou, China. 

Met my counterpart; a Chinese English teacher who is a colleague, friend, and support system here for me for the next two years.

Depart my host families house in Chengdu to meet up with the rest of the volunteers for four days in a hotel of more training before our departure to site.

Found out my Chinese language level. Novice-Mid which is what i expected and am happy with but Peace Corps was hoping we get Novice high, one step up.

Swore in as an official Peace Corps China Volunteer

Said many hard goodbyes to close friend, some of whom i wont see for several months. That probably doesn’t sound that bad but when you are forced to see 20 people every single day and go through something so foreign to us all for two months you grow incredibly close.

Got sick the night before my departure to Tongren. I’m pretty sure it was food poisoning and was hooked up to an IV for the day to hydrate me from the continuous throwing up that happened the night before. 

Took the 12 hour train ride from Chengdu to Tongren.

Tongren, i am here for good now! ive moved everything into my new apartment, which is actually very very old. I feel like i am living in a log cabin on the inside. So to give you a tour of my new home, as you walk through the front door there is the kitchen table to the right, bathroom straight ahead which is basically i closet with a shower head, a hole in the ground for my toilet (squatter), a mirror and a hose that is used to fill the manual washing machine that sits right outside the bathroom door. I have a small kitchen with the only sink in the house. i have a little stove top, a rice cooker, and a water heater in there as well. Next is the living room with a couch that probably 100 years old so i am in the process of getting a couch cover so i can sit down. then there are two rooms, one i keep closed because it has a bunch of junk stored in there either from previous volunteers or the home owner. Room number two is my bedroom consisting of a bed, closet, mirror and a few shelves. I have one set of windows at the front of my apartment and they are always kept open.

I arrived here Sunday night and that is when i found out my teaching schedule. I would be teaching that Tuesday and have 6 classes a week. The college classes here in China consist of two 45 minute periods with a ten minutes break in between. I have three classes of sophomores and 3 classes of freshman with Mondays off. The freshman in China start about a month later than the rest of the college because they go to military training which pretty much just prepares mentally prepares them for life in college. They do wear camo though. So as of now i only have 3 classes to worry about. 

Tuesday i had class at 8am and i was extremely nervous! I prepared some introduction activities so that the class could get to know me and i could get to know them. After starting class and the students giving me strange looks i realized they could barely understand me. i laer learned through the activities that this class is at a very low level of English. One activity took basically the whole class and the other activity i had to ditch because there is no way they would be able to understand the directions. The class had almost 50 students so it was hard to keep them quite especially when other students were speaking. Wednesday was my second class, i think i was more nervous for this class but it went so much better. The students were wanting to participate and were at a high level so class moved faster. Tomorrow is my last class of the week and i will be going over the same introductions but depending on their level we will see how much we can do. I am still worried about lesson planning so i hope my confidence and knowledge of being a teacher will grow over time.

Today i did not teach so i slept in till about ten, made some oatmeal with bananas and met my city mate named Leah. We ventured up a small mountain with an amazing view at the top. I’m still so amazed whenever i see mountains, they are like some mystic made up landscape out of the movies, but now i am surrounded by them and i love it! After our hike we got some ice cream at a bakery and ran into two foreigners which is strange for the “small” city of Tongren. We then made our way over to a huge open market full of anything from car seats to shampoo to bikes and everything was extremely cheap. I bought two pillows a small rug and towel; and bargained for them all!  

So as of now i am adjusting to being a teacher, living on my own, feeling lonely, and finding my place here. My emotions have been up and down moving faster than a roller coaster these past few days. I am often questioning if i can do this, but in the back of my mind i know i can. Its not in me to give up and that’s what pushes me. But on the other hand i miss America so damn much! Its all the little things that make it so hard. 

I plan to make friends, integrate into the community, and pick up hobbies here that i will enjoy and that will distract me for now until i grow to love this place and what i do. Im staying hopeful and positive over here and it definitely helps when i hear from all of you that i love and miss so much Your support is still as strong on the other side of the world. 

That is it for now. I’m going to enjoy my first rainfall in Tongren while watching a movie. 

xoxo

image

The best training group!! 

image

"living room"

image

image

"bathroom"

image

Kitchen

image

Kitchenimage

Bedroomimage

The symbol of Tongren. This stone is at the top of a mountain.image

image

My counterpart April. image

My counterpart took me to her hometown in the province next to us called Hunan. image

Beautiful Ancient cityimage

Peace Corps volunteer 19 and 20 groups of Guizhou. Im on the far right.image

My training group at swear in. Some of the girls got traditional Chinese dresses made.image

My language class.

image

Saying goodbye for now to my wonderful host mom.

china tongren reblogs Peace Corps Volunteers

How is packing for Peace Corps different for people with disabilities?

disabilities hearing loss cochlear implants deaf culture Peace Corps Volunteers


 Peace Corps Volunteer Lindsay Carrera of Hartland, Wisconsin, is empowering local Ugandan girls and improving their health through sports. Since June, Carrera has been working with 30 secondary school students ages 12-14 to form the region’s first female field hockey teams.
“I played field hockey in junior high and high school, and my best memories are the unlikely friendships and sense of community and pride that came along with being on a strong team,” said Carrera, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has been living in Uganda since 2013. “I created the field hockey teams with the hope of inspiring some confidence and capacity in the young girls of my rural region.”
Carrera has witnessed the harmful effects of gender inequality throughout her service in Uganda, which rates in the bottom 40 percent on the United Nations Gender Inequality Index and many young girls abandon their education once they reach their teenage years.  
Along with a fellow teacher, Carrera will coach team practices, which will incorporate educational sessions on gender-based violence and its causes and cyclical nature. By involving a Ugandan counterpart who is also passionate about gender equality, Carrera hopes the project will continue after she completes her service.
“By forming these field hockey teams, I am hoping to get the message to these girls that they have a future, and even if they don’t all become Olympians, they were a part of something special,” Carrera said. “Down the road, I want to incorporate the whole town in a dialogue about gender stereotypes in Ugandan culture.”

 Peace Corps Volunteer Lindsay Carrera of Hartland, Wisconsin, is empowering local Ugandan girls and improving their health through sports. Since June, Carrera has been working with 30 secondary school students ages 12-14 to form the region’s first female field hockey teams.

“I played field hockey in junior high and high school, and my best memories are the unlikely friendships and sense of community and pride that came along with being on a strong team,” said Carrera, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has been living in Uganda since 2013. “I created the field hockey teams with the hope of inspiring some confidence and capacity in the young girls of my rural region.”

Carrera has witnessed the harmful effects of gender inequality throughout her service in Uganda, which rates in the bottom 40 percent on the United Nations Gender Inequality Index and many young girls abandon their education once they reach their teenage years.  

Along with a fellow teacher, Carrera will coach team practices, which will incorporate educational sessions on gender-based violence and its causes and cyclical nature. By involving a Ugandan counterpart who is also passionate about gender equality, Carrera hopes the project will continue after she completes her service.

“By forming these field hockey teams, I am hoping to get the message to these girls that they have a future, and even if they don’t all become Olympians, they were a part of something special,” Carrera said. “Down the road, I want to incorporate the whole town in a dialogue about gender stereotypes in Ugandan culture.”

(Source: 1.usa.gov)

Uganda girls' empowerment gender equality sports field hockey Peace Corps Volunteers

Help us re-establish a Peace Corps presence in Comoros! Peace Corps Response is seeking multiple Volunteers to serve in 9-12 month environment and education positions beginning February 2015. 

The small island nation of Comoros lies in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Southern Africa, between Mozambique and Madagascar, and enjoys a rich cultural heritage including African, Arabic, and French influences. Just over 70 volunteers were able to serve in Comoros while Peace Corps operated there between 1988 and 1995. Peace Corps and the Government of Comoros are very eager to resume operations after nearly 20 years since the departure of the last volunteers. 

If you are interested in helping re-open Peace Corps in Comoros, check out the Peace Corps Response positions and submit your application today! http://bit.ly/1feUEGb

Comoros Southern Africa Africa Indian Ocean serving overseas Peace Corps Response

“Ultimately, I think a map project truly is a collaboration of geography, art, community and advocacy. I love letting kids from Birmingham know that another kid from Alabama was able to experience another culture.  In a small but significant way our group is continuing our Peace Corps service.”

The Greater Birmingham Returned Peace Corps Volunteers group (GBRPCV) has turned the World Map Project around on its head and completed 13 murals at home in Alabama to expose Americans to the rest of the world.

Alabama Third Goal art geography education Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RPCVs


With nearly 3.5 million reported cases annually, malaria remains the number one killer in Ghana. Roughly one-third of all reported cases in Ghana are among children under the age of 5. This equates to nearly seven newly diagnosed cases of malaria every minute and almost 40 deaths of children under the age of 5 every day.
In an effort to optimize resources, Peace Corps Ghana’s Standing with Africa to Terminate (SWAT) Malaria Initiative teamed up with Tech Think Tank and an impressive crew of nearly 27 computer programmers to address this burden. The result of this collaboration was a hackathon, with malaria as the sole focus.

Read more about it here 

With nearly 3.5 million reported cases annually, malaria remains the number one killer in Ghana. Roughly one-third of all reported cases in Ghana are among children under the age of 5. This equates to nearly seven newly diagnosed cases of malaria every minute and almost 40 deaths of children under the age of 5 every day.

In an effort to optimize resources, Peace Corps Ghana’s Standing with Africa to Terminate (SWAT) Malaria Initiative teamed up with Tech Think Tank and an impressive crew of nearly 27 computer programmers to address this burden. The result of this collaboration was a hackathon, with malaria as the sole focus.

Read more about it here 

Ghana tech4dev Malaria global health Africa tech programming

When was the last time you attended a Hack-A-Thon or charged your device using solar energy? Volunteers around the world apply different technologies to engage with their communities. Whether it’s to finish a project or connect back home, with community members, or each other, Volunteers use various social media sites, translation services, and hardware devices to strengthen their connection with the community and the community’s connection to the world.Are you ready to serve? Get started here!

When was the last time you attended a Hack-A-Thon or charged your device using solar energy? Volunteers around the world apply different technologies to engage with their communities. Whether it’s to finish a project or connect back home, with community members, or each other, Volunteers use various social media sites, translation services, and hardware devices to strengthen their connection with the community and the community’s connection to the world.

Are you ready to serve? Get started here!

tech4dev technology community development digital