Wednesday, April 1, 2009



For many Peace Corps Volunteers, the path afterwards is clear, graduate school. Peace Corps is a line on the resume to be referred in the life ahead. For others the void at the end is huge and the offering to extend your stay another year tempting. This is especially true for some of my fellow volunteers who find themselves without a clear-cut reason to return to the States. Getting into the Peace Corps is easy compared to leaving.

The Peace Corps does make it enticing to stay a third year in country with a month's paid return trip before starting either in the same capacity or a new one. There are also yearlong programs offered for Peace Corps in China. To go to another country is more difficult and requires reapplying as a new candidate for a full two year term. It is good such opportunities exist for these volunteers are at the height of their skills.

In many ways ending your Peace Corps stay is like being discharged from the military. You are given your walking papers with a handshake and the words, “Good Luck”. One can’t fault the government; their responsibility ends with that handshake and a return ticket. There are Peace Corps Alumnae groups in most cities to make you feel not so alone in readjusting to the life you left.

As I listen to the boom boxes playing their mournful music for love gone wrong, love estranged, love betrayed, or simply no love at all, I think that the words “Peace Corps” could replace the word “love” and the lyrics would make sense, for “Breaking Up is Hard To Do”.


Anonymous said...

What is your problem?
Not being in the military yourself one has a 6-year obligation with the government, either active or not before getting "hand shake" or discharge papers. Extend your vacation is the question here or join a support group at home to get back to reality. Handle it!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you love it there. Stay another year.