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I was never a Peace Corps volunteer, but after studying and writing about the agency for six years, there are parts of the Peace Corps experience that feel very familiar. The culmination of those six years of research has just been published in a book called The Death of Idealism. It’s a provocative title—it’s intended to be. The book is actually about rationalism, professionalization, and some of the social forces that emerge within late-stage capitalism.
RPCV/W COVID Community Support In a time where COVID-19 has shut down most of DC and business has taken an important backseat to safety, we created the RPCV/W COVID Community Support Initiative to connect our community members with resources, visibility, and ways to support. If you are able to support or benefit from the businesses below, please reach out to them. We can all use a little bit more love and community during this time.
Viral Disruption: RPCVs, where are you on the change curve? by Anne Pellicciotto, President and Chief Change Agent, SeeChange Consulting, RPCV MX (2010-12) We are a good six weeks into this coronavirus crisis – terms like #socialdistancing and #shelterinplace are regular hashtagged parts of our speech, similarly face masks and gloves have become regular parts of our wardrobes.
I laid on my back in my bed trying not to move. I focused on taking short shallow breathes. Perspiration beaded off my body as I lay completely still. This was a hot summer day on the border between the countries of Mozambique and Malawi. Just an hour earlier I had been sweating at my desk in the local public health department. I was working with the data collection unit. Floor fans sat amongst the collection of desks; circulating sedentary office air. I could not take it any longer. I invoked my “remote working” privileges and embarked on the trek across town, through a dusty dry wind barrage, towards the usually chilled solitude of my little cinder-block house. Alas, waiting for me at my tiny abode was not the atmosphere of productivity I had been longing for. This was one of the many uncomfortable days of my Peace Corps service.
Dina was a Small Enterprise Development PCV in Senegal ’97-’99 and a Crisis Corps (now Peace Corps Response) volunteer in Guinea ’00-’01.
Samantha (aka Sam) comes from a small town in rural Arkansas, the state where she spent the first 24.5 years of her life. She has always been passionate about photography and the idea of telling people's stories. This led her to pursue a Studio Arts degree at Hendrix University in undergrad. She specialized in photography and pottery but fell in love with gardening. Post-graduation, Sam spent six months volunteering at Heifer Ranch, a teaching farm for Heifer International located in Perryville, AR. She then joined Americorps VISTA to work on school gardening and nutrition programs, which she enjoyed for almost three years.
Joelle is an RPCV who served in Burkina Faso. Following Peace Corps, Joelle remained abroad for over a decade, ultimately living and working in approximately eight countries.
Ty Miranda is excited to join the RPCV/W board as Social Director. Ty served as a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, from 2015-2017.
Ms. Lesley DeRosa grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Spanish at the University of Rhode Island in 2009. From 2009 to 2011 she worked to complete her Master’s Degree in Spanish Studies where she specialized in linguistic and cultural phenomena in the Latin American context. She worked as a Spanish teacher for several years at the secondary and university levels before breaking into the field of technology integration. She continued to pursue teaching through her service in the Peace Corps where she was an English teacher as well as a trainer of teachers.