Volunteer Stories

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

Women from Vanuatu to Nicaragua

Posted: 11/3/2013 2:40 PM
By Kseniya Fenner (Ukraine 2011-2013) Brianna Russell served in Vanuatu (located in the South Pacific) from 2008-2010 as a Business volunteer on the island of Paama. She worked as an advisor for t ... read more

The French Connection

Posted: 10/13/2013 8:10 AM
Zach Matheson talks presenting his Peace Corps Story was scarier than Peace Corps itself. ... read more

Returning to Country of Service

Posted: 9/8/2013 9:57 AM
Local RPCVs return to their site of service, as friends and partners in development. ... read more

Early Termination (ET)

Posted: 8/8/2013 12:59 AM
By Bryan A. Lemos Due to the sensitive nature of this article, volunteer names have been changed. The factual content has not. Living in a developing country comes with certain amazing experi ... read more

It’s the Women who Make the Music in Mali

Posted: 7/10/2013 5:49 PM
By Mary Casagrande “Women were the musical engine in my village,” says RPCV Heather White of her village, Kyro, but this description doesn’t match what others see. “When people look at the music la ... read more

When My Arabic Failed Me, Music Never Did

Posted: 7/10/2013 5:22 PM
By Sharon Heiny Armed with a small acoustic guitar, Socorra Camposanto left for Peace Corps Morocco in March 2010. While music wasn’t her primary focus, Socorra notes: “Anything I did related ... read more