On March 15, 2020, Peace Corps director, Jody Olsen, posted an open letter announcing that due to the pandemic, all Peace Corps activity will be suspended worldwide. For the first time in the organization's 59 years, all 7,300 volunteers are being evacuated. Adam and I had to suddenly pack up and leave our home, our job, and our communities after two years.
"... living on less than one dollar a day" You hear this phrase on commercials to sponsor children in Africa, a catchphrase when it comes to describing the complicated issue of poverty. It's tossed around often, as is the idea that most people on the ginormous continent of Africa are poor. Yes, poverty is certainly … Continue reading What Can One Dollar Buy in Zambia?
Peace Corps is a unique development organization in that volunteers live in the communities they serve. Like our neighbors, our house is made of mud bricks and mortar. We poop in a hole, cook over a fire, and fetch our water like everyone else does. Living in a rural village isn't an easy adjustment, but … Continue reading 5 Essential Items in a Zambian Village
Only a small fraction of Peace Corps volunteers serve with a partner. Until recently, only those married for at least one year were accepted, but the organization opened positions for unmarried and same-sex couples. The Peace Corps' reasoning for only accepting married couples is that service can put a strain on a relationship, but I … Continue reading Serving in the Peace Corps as a Couple
Reflecting on the first 48 hours of Peace Corps, I remember a whirlwind of packing, introductions, buses, airports, and flights. Eventually, we found ourselves in a conference room in Lusaka where the medical officer gave a bottle of medicine. "Take one, pass it on". We all gulped down what I found out to be Malarone, … Continue reading Fight the Bite! Malaria Bike Tour
Promoting small scale fish farming is our main Peace Corps project (read more about this initiative!), but volunteers have the freedom to work on secondary projects in work such as gender, health, education, agroforestry, etc. Camps are a big part of Peace Corps Zambia. There's GLOW (Girls Leading Our World), BRAVE (Boys Respecting and Valuing … Continue reading Camp TREE – Teaching Respect for Everyone’s Environment
Peace Corps Zambia recently held a video contest for PCVs to share what life is like in their villages. I've enjoyed watching everyone's creativity and seeing how much each site varies. There is no typical day, but we tried to fit little snippets of our life here. Hope you enjoy! Be sure to check out … Continue reading Peace Corps Zambia: Day in the Life Video
It's wild how people are now finding out that they have been invited to serve in Peace Corps Zambia RAP 2019. I feel like we just arrived! One year ago, I was full of questions. I sought advise from current volunteers from the Peace Corps Zambia Facebook group as well as our intake's group. I … Continue reading Peace Corps Zambia: FAQ for Prospective Volunteers
When Adam and I applied to serve in the Peace Corps last year (our application timeline), we originally selected to be Environmental Education volunteers in Panama. Since we were in Australia, we couldn't take the Spanish language test to meet the requirement, so we said to place us anywhere. Two weeks later, we open the … Continue reading Peace Corps Zambia: Rural Aquaculture Promotion (RAP)
I would normally list "cooking" as a hobby of mine, but during the first few weeks of community entry, it was a burden just to whip up some kind of nourishment. Initially, it took me up to two hours to get the brazier going plus another two hours to cook, eat, and clean. So, eating … Continue reading Peace Corps Zambia: Cooking in the Village