I went on a school field trip with my teachers and students to the ruins of Old Leon, Nicaragua. After the field trip I was exhausted and hungry. I wanted to get home and make tuna casserole. However, my neighbors were adamant that I watch the news on their television. I acquiesced and found them watching a movie. I kept watching and watching, waiting for the credits to roll across the screen. They kept saying that this was real and happening in real life, that this was no movie, that this was a great tragedy in my country and for the world.
After we understood what was going on, my teachers and friends came to my house to check on me and my family in the States. I had not felt so much love and concern before that moment.
For me, this picture evokes those memories of concern, love, and friendship. I like to remember September 11th as this picture.
“When you join the Peace Corps, you think you’re going to another country to give of yourself—but you end up receiving much more than you give,” says Anne-Claire Benoit (MPA ’12), who is doing her best to balance the scales.
During her three years in the Peace Corps in Niger, Anne-Claire formed a very deep connection with a young woman named Ramatou. “I met her on my first day in the village, and as soon as I saw her I knew we would be connected,” she declares, describing her friend as having a bubbly, happy personality and being extremely smart.
"This photo was taken in my first village, a small Bulgarian Muslim community in northeastern Bulgaria. I was playing in my yard one day with three of my girls, and we just enjoyed one another’s company through games, eating apples, and air guitar. This was one of those simple and defining moments of service when I realized, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, that our work here goes far beyond the technical guidelines. As I read before I came, we expect to give, but in fact we receive much more than we are able to share. These girls gave me so much inspiration, love, and hope. I hope I gave them the same. And we will always remain friends!" - Peace Corps Education Volunteer Karina E. Strange