Volunteer Stories

Fill the World with Hope

Posted: 3/2/2015 4:37 PM
In Ghana, West Africa, Alice Impraim first learned about Peace Corps as a teenager in a biology class taught by a Volunteer at her high school. But it wasn't until many years later, that she made the journey to Namibia as a Peace Corps Volunteer herself. ... read more

Coming Home

Posted: 1/22/2015 9:30 PM
By Marlow Schindler Just as there is no single Peace Corps experience, there is no single homecoming experience.  Every Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) experienced different challenges and ... read more

When in a Blizzard

Posted: 12/9/2014 1:29 AM
By Sharon Heiny To Amanda Carson, a Community Youth Development Volunteer, April in Mongolia seemed like a safe time to pack up her snow boots and head to a friend’s for a pig roast. After all, ... read more

The Kindness of Strangers

Posted: 12/3/2014 10:19 PM
by Karen Drachler In the developing world, in this case specifically Tanzania, there aren’t road signs. Or maybe there are some, but no one pays them much attention. Directions are always based ... read more

On getting from Point A to Point B in Mali

Posted: 8/6/2014 6:37 PM
by Heather White Mali (2003-2005) One of the greatest coping strategies I developed while living in Mali was learning to lower my expectations of what I could accomplish. More specifically, I l ... read more

Getting from Point A to Point B in Ukraine

Posted: 8/6/2014 6:33 PM
By Julia Lee I don’t have a smartphone. I didn’t have one when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer and if I had, things probably would have turned out differently. It all started in September 2011 when ... read more

Making Lemonade Out of a Terrorist Attack

Posted: 7/9/2014 7:01 PM
By John Hoban In rural Niger, villages go completely still and quiet in the afternoon. Locals come indoors for a nap and hide from the relentless midday sun and heat. But in the small village of S ... read more

A Day Without Rice is a Bad Day

Posted: 7/9/2014 6:59 PM
By Marlow Schindler The verb “to eat a meal” in Malagasy translates literally as “to eat rice.” Homegrown rice is the staple food of people in Madagascar, served at every meal.  Rice is so highly ... read more

Evan and Ivan

Posted: 7/9/2014 6:53 PM
>by Athalia Markowitz In 2011, as Peace Corps celebrated its 50th anniversary with festivities in host countries across the globe, Evan Frazer was in the second year of his service as a Youth D ... read more

Of Loss and Laughter, But Never a Loss of Laughter: A Tribute to Don Sergio

Posted: 6/4/2014 10:22 PM
By John Hoban “¡Tú eres camote!” An argument broke out between a tall and slender gringo and wily mustachioed local at a small rural market in Costa Rica. And now the argument was escalating. Cal ... read more

The Quiet Side: Western Ukraine

Posted: 5/13/2014 8:17 PM
By Will Spargur In April we interviewed returned volunteers who had served in the tumultuous eastern part of Ukraine.  And while the east continues to draw headlines the picture is incomplete witho ... read more

They Think You Have No Family

Posted: 5/12/2014 11:38 PM
By Marlow Schindler As a Community Health Volunteer Britany Schneider found herself at the intersection of health and agriculture.  Although her community had a legitimate need, the local health ... read more

Evacuated Volunteers: Ukraine

Posted: 4/15/2014 10:35 PM
On February 24, 2014 Peace Corps officially announced that it had evacuated 200 volunteers from Ukraine. NorCal interviewed volunteers who among those evacuated. ... read more

The Many Identities of Eastern Ukraine

Posted: 4/15/2014 9:53 PM
Eastern Ukraine has captured worldwide attention.  To give context to these events we interviewed three recently returned Volunteers who served in the Eastern Ukraine: Jing Li, Julia Lee and, Kyle Borley ... read more

Three Poems

Posted: 3/4/2014 11:49 PM
He wears his wife’s black, sequined slippers.
He cooks dinner, not his forte, “to help.”
A Dominican Papi.
... read more

Baobab Blessings

Posted: 3/4/2014 11:42 PM
Baobab blessings shower these fields. Rows of hunched backs Sprout dabas raised to plow. Will rain come, To follow the shot of dolo, a calabash of beer ... read more

The Marlay Peace Corps Legacy

Posted: 2/1/2014 6:04 PM
By John Hoban It’s not every child who grows up being scolded in Tagalog (a local Philippines language), but then again Daniel Marlay did not grow up in an average American family. He was part of a ... read more

Fishing for a Purpose

Posted: 2/1/2014 5:54 PM
By Athalia Markowitz Matt Young is a second generation Peace Corps Volunteer living and working in rural Zambia in rural aquaculture promotion. His father, John Young (RPCV Papua New Guinea 81-85), w ... read more

Marriage to an RPCV – The Experience of a Lifetime

Posted: 12/15/2013 10:56 PM
What is it like being married to a Peace Corps Volunteer? Is it any different than other marriages? ... read more

When Life is not a Beach ...

Posted: 11/3/2013 2:51 PM
Athalia Markowitz Annika Dubrall (Mauritania 2003-2005) found out she was going to Mauritania in a letter from Peace Corps headquarters during her senior year at CAL. When read the name “Mauritania ... read more