Tuesday, March 1, 2011

60/365 Peace Corps

Today, the United States Peace Corps turned 50.

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica 23 years ago.

Calle Vargas

My experience in Costa Rica changed me as a person forever. The lens through which I look at life is different.

As a newly-minted college graduate, I thought the people I would meet during my experience in Costa Rica would be different from me, my family and my friends. I wanted them to be different. I wanted to experience something radically different from the life I had experienced up until then.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that we were much more alike than we were different. And that simple fact is what has changed me forever.

Yorleny, Maribel, yo

Today, I was invited to a 50th Anniversary Peace Corps house party. We ate dal from Nepal, dolma and brandy from Armenia and patacones from Costa Rica. We shared lots of stories about life in these three countries and life in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We laughed about our language slip-ups and cultural mis-steps.

PC 50th

As our hostess so eloquently summed it up at the end of the night, Peace Corps is simply one of the best things our government does!

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