Since we got our kitchen in order, it has been really nice to be able to cook our own meals. It feels good when we’re able to recreate favorites from home, or when we’re able to secure good vegetables from nice people on the island. Man, how it’s nice to get some tomatoes and leafy greens in the mix! This chronological assortment of photos gives you a sense of how our cooking has progressed: from pasta, to grilled sausages, to fresh salads, to our favorite so far—pizza!

peace corps food fridays peace corps volunteers reblogs

Get Connected: With Tumblr and Instagram


By Brendan Bailes

Tumblr and Social Media graphic

For 20 years, we’ve been getting things done for America. Literally, all of the things.

You’ve seen us around, but now you can find us in more places. Today we’re launching two new accounts — because, you know, pictures.

So follow us on Tumblr! And Instagram! We’ll wait.

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In honor of National Volunteer Week, please check out the Corporation for National & Community Service on social media! If you are looking to get amazing Volunteer experience before applying to Peace Corps, they are a great place to start. 

Welcome to Tumblr!

National Volunteer Week Corporation for National & Community Service volunteering

Earlier this year, five Peace Corps Volunteers from the central highlands region of Madagascar gathered in the nation’s capital of Antananarivo to facilitate a weeklong GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) camp for young female leaders from their respective towns. The five Agriculture Volunteers selected four young women each from their respective communities, ages of 13-16, along with an adult chaperone to attend the camp. The aim was to equip young Malagasy women, who show potential for leadership, with the necessary skills to make healthy life choices as well as advance their personal, professional and academic goals.

Gender empowerment Madagascar Africa Camp GLOW leadership

Images from the central highlands of Madagascar, shot during production of a film about traditional silk weavers and how access to international markets is radically changing lives for the better, especially for women. 

See how Peace Corps Volunteers are helping women like these silk-weaving artisans expand their business internationally to boost income-generation opportunities and provide steady income for their families


Madagascar silk weavers gendev Africa income generation Peace Corps Volunteers The Silkies of Madagascar

When Volunteers asked the community members how they think they had become infected with HIV/AIDS, they said the culture of jaboya – or the practice of trading sex for fish – which is prevalent throughout the communities surrounding the lake, could be the reason.

In Kenya, Peace Corps Volunteers have been working to end the practice of trading sex for fish, which has perpetuated the spread of HIV/AIDS among communities along Lake Victoria. Women who rely on the trade of fish to support their families are often pressured into prostitution with area fishermen to secure fresh fish.

Since 2011, three Peace Corps Volunteers have helped local women find financial independence. Working with Kenyan businesses and U.S. federal government partners, the Volunteers have acquired boats for women involved in the fish trade and supported the development of their own fishing business.

AIDS gender issues sex workers Kenya Africa

My hope for the project was to allow these rather isolated, low resource communities to use their environment and culture as a tool to promote education, health, and intercultural interaction, while boosting economic prosperity throughout the region.

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Shane Butler loves running, and he’s using his love of running to engage his local community in East Java, Indonesia.

“When I first arrived, people thought I was crazy running around the hills,” said Butler, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. “Then they got used to it, and then my students joined me. Now I see more and more people practicing on their own. Running is so healthy for your physical health as well as your state of mind and willpower, so it’s been really rewarding to watch this transformation.”

Working with members of his community, Butler planned and hosted the first-ever marathon in the Mount Bromo region to infuse the local economy and bring people from all over the world together to learn about the local culture.

More than 900 people ran in the race, and runners represented more than 30 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Another 5,000 people came to watch the event and join the festivities, which included an arts and culture festival the evening before the marathon. The festival promoted all aspects of the local culture and featured dance and music performances, art displays, and traditional cuisine.

The project generated income for area restaurants and hotels, and donations were collected to support five school libraries in four different villages as well as one community library in the region. The donations will fund more books, tables and chairs at the libraries, and training for staff and students on library maintenance.

Butler teaches regularly at a local high school and runs an English conversation club. He also coaches cross-country running, and all 25 members of his cross-country team participated in the marathon. In addition to regular fitness training, cross-country team members learn about nutrition, fitness, hygiene, and social responsibility.

running fitness Indonesia marathons global health education


Congratulations to David Malana, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, whose “Kyrgyzstan is Me” video was selected as the winner of our 2014 Peace Corps Week Video Contest!

His was selected based on its ability to increase cross-cultural understanding, the cultural richness of the video, and the quality of the video production. As winner of the competition, he will receive an iPad to help him as he continues to share his country of service with the world.

Spend your weekend watching all the great entries  


Kyrgyzstan culture cross-cultural understanding PCWeek2014 videos Peace Corps Volunteers