Heather Mangan, Peace Corps Volunteer

 As of 10 a.m. this morning, one of my life goals was accomplished.

Along with 29 other fabulous Americans, I was swore-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer for Niger. After two years of application and two months of training, I can now call myself a volunteer.

We had a beautiful ceremony at the US Ambassador’s residence with Nigerian and American dignitaries. Most of our sister stag was present to congratulate us and take photos afterwards (which I hope to share as soon as I can). We are all dressed in traditional Nigerian dress and said our oaths in French and English. It was a surreal yet stunning moment. Through out the entire ceremony, I couldn’t help but smile.

Being a volunteer means the world to me and I am ready for two tough, yet exciting years. After today, the real work starts and so does the real frustration and obstacles. It will be an amazing journey, one I am so incredibly blessed to be able to take.

I want to thank all of my friends and family for their support and I want them to know they are the reason I am here. I wish you all could’ve been there with me today.

Tonight, we are going to have an amazingly big dinner on site with our volunteer trainers and training staff. Tomorrow we relax and on Saturday I will head to Zinder for site installation on Wednesday.

I am terrified about the upcoming moments and know they will be trying, but, with all of my heart, I am ready for this. This is what I meant to be doing with my life, a realization I take seriously.

Today, I join a select group of Americans who’ve dedicated themselves to serving developing and poverty-stricken countries and creating a link between those countries and ours. I am very proud to serve my country and Niger in this manner and I am ready for two amazing years.

To all of my fellow PCVs, Baraka – may God be with you.

I hope to up date more from Zinder and then it will be a while before you here from me. Please remember the best ways to reach me are phone and letters.

Love and peace,

 Heather

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3 thoughts on “Heather Mangan, Peace Corps Volunteer

  1. So I woke up during the middle of the night from a sound sleep and my first thought was of you. I looked at the clock and it read 4:00 which is 10:00 in Niger. It was amazing how close I felt to you at that very moment. Just proves how strong a mother/daughter bond can be. Love and miss you very much!

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