I don’t know what it is about kids and the Peace Corps, in general, but I have the personal, but not always shared opinion that children are a volunteer’s best friend. As you’ve seen already, I have had the opportunity to befriend several kids so far. They help you adjust to volunteer life in so many ways. So far this guy, Erbol which means “be a man” in Kyrgyz, has been a source of laughs as of late. He has many different faces and is passionate about everything. His favorite word/noise is “da-dong!!” which is a sound effect for pretty much everything he does. The best is when he runs to go kiss his baby brother on the cheek, and then takes his tiny baby hand to punch everyone within punching distance.
"In my small village in Ukraine, The Meeting of Spring is the single largest public celebration held each year around March 1st. Each Street creates a float-type submission and everyone who lives on the street passes through the town before doing a skit on the main stage. In these photos, I’m with my host mother Laryssa and her street neighbors who were dressed as aliens!"
- Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Jessie Park
This photo was taken in the small village of Ain Chaib, Morocco, just east of Agadir, on my host grandmothers farm. It is early morning and Jdda (grandma) is sitting on a grain bag, sifting through argan nuts as she pours them into a hand operated grinder made of stone. I return to the U.S. in two weeks and she is making Argan Oil for me to take back to my family in America. She wants me to remember her and the two years we spent together on her farm. She is the only grandmother I’ve ever known.
- Peace Corps Business Development Volunteer Leslie Mansour
This is my host brother having his hair washed by my host mom. He was born only a week after I arrived at my site. Because of that, it was always easy to remember how old he was. I took this picture close to the end of my service, so that means Jose is almost 2 years old here.
In the photo, I was teaching two of my host sisters, Samira and Hafsa, about how in America we make wishes on dandelions. We live in the Sahara desert but near an Oasis. Here the children know every plant, herb and even weed that grows. They always want me to eat some strange seed, or smell a weird plant. Now they know another use for dandelions! Photo taken by fellow Volunteer, Jo Troyer.
Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Rachel Rubinski
"My family in the U.S. sent me a care package full of sugar cookies, sprinkles, and icing so I invited my friends and neighbors in Ecuador over to decorate some traditional American Christmas cookies. This photo shows my 8-year-old host niece Roxana enjoying sharing in one of my own family traditions." - Peace Corps Environment Volunteer Laurel Smith
Volunteer Danny Lovell and his host mother enjoy a snack together in their small village in Armenia. In the beginning, Lydia’s family lived in the home as well, but they eventually moved to Germany. Though Lydia spoke in a heavy and difficult to understand dialect, she and Danny were able to find a way to communicate.
Volunteer Emily Haas - Peace Corps Armenia, 2009-2011 Second Place - Sharing Overseas Culture with America 50th Anniversary Photo Contest