Recently, the Peace Corps put me in touch with a reporter from my local newspaper who was interviewing area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers for a story on how the Peace Corps had affected their professional lives.
As always, I was thrilled to talk about my Peace Corps experiences. It was one of the best, most powerful experiences in my life and it has definitely helped pave the way for me to pursue so many of my interests such as writing, foreign language, culture, religion, cooking, and travel.
But it also has improved my professional life. After teaching classes of 80-100 students, I don’t get stage fright anymore. I’ve learned the powerful art of faking it as a public speaker.
I’m much more confident as a result of serving in the Peace Corps. Whenever any challenge presents itself to me at work, I just roll up my sleeves and tackle it, aware that nothing, NOTHING will be as challenging as the work I did in the Peace Corps.
But the best skills I’ve learned have to do with people, which is to say that we all want the same things. I was very fortunate to earn the friendship of many Muslims while I served in the Peace Corps and I was grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about them and their religion before September 11.
For those reasons and for the fact that it brought me the wonderful family I am so grateful to have, I will always value my service in West Africa.
Here’s a link to the article, in case you’re interested.