my peace corps story

The Peace Corps idea first struck when I was a college sophomore, fresh off my first heart break and full of possibility. The idea later died to reality and I chose to purse a journalism career after college. Seven months into my first reporting gig in another state, I was unsure if I really could be a journalist, a struggle that still continues, so I took a marketing job. I had spent a good chunk of my life telling others’ stories and I realized I didn’t have one myself. I wanted to go into the world find my story and Peace Corps continued to yell at me as the way to do it. With a new direction and back in my hometown, I realized that the Peace Corps dream still exisited and decided I should pursue it.

Shortly after I submitted my application, I was told that I did not have enough experience. Crushed, I decided to leave Peace Corps on the “I always wanted to do that” list. But, I couldn’t let go. A year later, I attended an information session and decided to try once more. Twelve months later, the invitation came.

Last July, I went to Niger to serve as a Community and Youth Development volunteer in a tiny village in the eastern region of Zinder. It was good. It was hard. It was right. Then, my world turned upside down, leaving me in a frazzled, depressed state.

I returned to my childhood home and reunited with friends, family and living in the first world. I beganreporting again and it too had ups and downs.

Then, another invite came. In October, two days after my 27th birthday, I went back to Africa and life as a volunteer.

This is my life in Lesotho. It’s gloriously messy. It’s full of doubts and realizations. But it’s my life and I am proud to be here and serve my country. These are my stories as I manage my way through a foreign country and the ins and outs of my soul.

After this, well, we’ll see.

It also needs to be noted that the thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are mine only and in no shape or form represent those of the United States Peace Corps. Although I believe in accurate representations, I must respect my school, community and Peace Corps, so some details may seem vague or purposely left out. I often change names to protect those involved.

2 thoughts on “my peace corps story

  1. Pingback: changes to le blog | a story

  2. Good day Heathermangan,

    Sorry to bother you. My name is Ray Blakney and I am a RPCV from Mexico. I am working on a 3rd goal project with the PC regional offices and the main office in DC to try to create an online archive to keep the language training material made all over the world from getting lost. I have created a sub-section on my website with all the information I have been able to get to date (from over the web and sent to me directly by PC staff and PCV’s). I currently have close to 100 languages with ebooks, audios and even some videos.

    The next step for this project is that I am trying to get the world out about this resource so that it can not only be used by PCV’s or those accepted into the Peace Corps, but also so that when people run across material that is not on the site they can send it to me and I can get it up for everybody to use. I was hoping that you could help getting the word out by putting a link on this on your site at:

    so that people know it is there. There should be something there for almost everybody. It is all 100% free to use and share. Here is the page:

    Thanks for any help you can provide in making this 3rd goal project a success. And if anybody in your group has some old material they can scan or already have in digital form, and want to add to the archive, please don’t hesitate to pass them my email. Thanks and have a great day.

    Ray Blakney

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