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                                                                                          N E W S A B OU T P E A CE COR P S FE LLOWS/ USA




                                       volume 18, issue 2 . winter 2009                       FROM THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT




           Peace Corps Welcomes a New Director
   T h i s s u m m e r, P re s i d e n t   recruitment and project evalua-       of assistance programs in Latin
Obama nominated, and the                   tion officer for the Peace Corps      America, Africa, Asia, and the
U.S. Senate confirmed, Aaron               in his hometown of Chicago from       Middle East. He was awarded
S. Williams as the 18th Director           1970 to 1971.                         the USAID Distinguished Career
of the Peace Corps.                             Williams has pursued a ca-       Service Award, and was twice
   “I am deeply honored to be the          reer in the development and           awarded the Presidential Award
Director of the Peace Corps and            implementation of worldwide           for Distinguished Service.
I want to thank President Obama            assistance programs. Williams            He is a member of the Council
for the trust that he has placed in        was a vice president for inter-       on Foreign Relations, and he
me. I look forward to making his           national business development         was a member of the USAID
call to public service a reality for       with RTI International. He was        Advisory Committee on Vol-
more Americans,” said Director             also a senior manager at the U.S.     untary Foreign Aid. He served
Williams. “I am committed to re-           Agency for International Develop-     on the Obama-Biden transition
cruiting, training, and supporting         ment (USAID), where he attained       team, the advisory board of the
the next generation of skilled and         the rank of career minister in the    Ron Brown Scholar Program,
enthusiastic Volunteers eager to           U.S. Senior Foreign Service. He       the board of directors of CARE,
serve side by side with members            also served as executive vice         and the boards of the Institute
of Peace Corps host communi-               president of the International        for Sustainable Communities,
ties around the world.”                    Youth Foundation.                     the Pan American Development
   Williams is the fourth Direc-                As USAID mission director in     Foundation, and the National               Peace Corps Director
tor to have served as a Peace              South Africa, Williams led a $1       Peace Corps Association.                    Aaron S. Williams
Corps Volunteer. He served as a            billion foreign assistance program       Williams is fluent in Spanish.
Volunteer in the Dominican Re-             during President Nelson Man-          He is a graduate of Chicago           ing his service as a Volunteer
public from 1967 to 1970. Upon             dela’s administration. In addition,   State University, and has an MBA      in the Dominican Republic. The
completing his service, he served          he has extensive experience in        from the University of Wisconsin.     couple have two sons, Michael
as the coordinator of minority             the design and management             Williams met his wife Rosa dur-       and Steven.




                                                                                           Coming Full Circle
                                                                                                         By Nicole Warren
                                                                        (RPCV/Mali, 1994-1997; Fellow/Johns Hopkins, 1998)
    I was sworn in as a Peace              in amazement as she put my            fall at the bottom of the medical     Clients came to her on the backs
Corps Volunteer in May 1994, af-           inexperience with birth in the        hierarchy. Because of their rural     of bikes, mopeds, and donkey
ter three months of crash courses          same category as not being able       location and relatively low status,   carts. She never turned them
in local language and maternal             to pound millet or carry water on     most matrones are inadequately        away. She couldn’t have if she
and child health, and was de-              my head. Despite our vast differ-     trained, poorly supervised, lack      wanted to. They literally trailed
posited rather unceremoniously             ences, Sali took it upon herself      basic equipment, and receive          her as she made the well-worn
in a village about eight miles off         to introduce me to working with       little continuing education.          trip from her home to the village
a paved road in southeast Mali,            childbearing women.                         Despite these challenges,       maternity throughout the day.
West Africa. By default, I began               In Mali, matrones are formally    matrones are committed, deter-             On market days, when I
working with Sali, a matrone, or           trained health care workers, pro-     mined health care workers who         helped her with prenatal consul-
auxiliary midwife. She was the             viding the majority of reproduc-      provide the best care they can        tations, Sali’s multitasking was
only female health care worker             tive health services in a country     with little respite or support. It    at its peak. I remember watching
available in her community.                where one in 15 women die from        was Sali who introduced me to         her assess one client’s abdomen,
    When I met her, Sali could             a childbearing-related cause.         the realities such a woman would      explain how to take an antibiotic
not believe I had never seen a             Though they are uniquely situated     face as wife, mother, farmer, and     to another confused client, and
child born. Hadn’t everyone?               to help reduce maternal mortality     matrone. Sali’s family and clients    breastfeed the youngest of her
She laughed, shaking her head              in their communities, matrones        needed her attention at all hours.
                                                                                                                                     continued on page 3
  b
                                                                             Friend Us, Fan Us,
                                                                                 and Follow Us
                                     Peace Corps has jumped head first into the 21st century using social networking sites such as
                                 Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
                                     In our online world, these sites provide one of the best ways to connect with a broad new audience.
   Peace Corps                   Compared to a standard website, social networking is more interactive and personal, making it easier
   Fellows/USA                   to get involved.
                                     Social networking sites are especially useful to our partner universities, who can use them as a
To submit stories or ideas:      powerful tool for raising awareness of the programs they offer, as well as for recruitment.
                                     With their very own YouTube channel, Fellows at the University of Arizona are able to share their
                                 unique experiences with the online community. Duquesne and Western Illinois use Facebook pages
Write
Peace Corps Fellows/USA          and groups to provide information on their degree programs, and to keep their Fellows connected.
Paul D. Coverdell                    Other than keeping Fellows up to date on what’s happening on campus, social networking sites
 Peace Corps Headquarters        provide the Fellows with a community made up of other RPCVs. Assimilating back into American cul-
1111 20th Street NW              ture can be hard following service, but having a group of people with a similar background can make
Washington, DC 20526             that process a lot easier.
                                     As a Fellow, you can also use sites like YouTube to chronicle your internship and promote your com-
                                 munity service project. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with a little self-promotion!
Call                                 So, next time you’re surfing the Web, make sure you connect with the Peace Corps community by
800.424.8580, ext. 1440
                                 friending, fanning, or following us.


Fax
202.692.1421



E-mail
fellows@peacecorps.gov



Web
www.peacecorps.gov/fellows
                                                     Happy Anniversary to Our
                                                           University Partners
Julie Driver                     Congratulations to all of our partner universities celebrating an anniversary with the Fellows/USA program
Program Manager                  in 2009! Thanks so much for your continuing contribution and commitment.
jdriver@peacecorps.gov
                                              5-year (founded 2004)                          10-year (founded 1999)
                                              Duke University (public policy)                University of New Orleans
Michael Garcia                                Fordham University                             Southern New Hampshire University
Program Assistant                             Seton Hill University                          Florida Institute of Technology
mgarcia@peacecorps.gov                        University of Cincinnati
                                              University of Maryland–Baltimore               15-year (founded 1994)
                                              University of South Carolina (business)        Western Illinois University
                                              University of Vermont                          Illinois State University
Sarah Van Auken                               University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point
Program Assistant                             Xavier University
svanauken@peacecorps.gov




Fellows is a publication of
the Peace Corps. Views ex-
pressed in Fellows are those
of the individual writers and
do not necessarily repre-
sent the official views of the
Peace Corps or the United
States government.                Current and past Fellows, administrative staff, and community internship supervisors celebrate
                                  Western Illinois University’s 15th anniversary.

                                                                                                                                Page 2
 Full Circle
                  Con’t from page 1

eight children—all at once. When
the last client was taken care of,
Sali would sigh and complain that
her busy morning prevented her
from getting the best produce at
the market.
    I returned to the U.S. in 1996
and pursued training in nursing,
midwifery, and public health,
traveling to Mali as often as I
could. In 2002, I became a nurse-
midwife and began to appreciate
the magnitude of the matrones’           Nicole Warren (far right) with participants in the Mali Midwives program. Photo courtesy
responsibilities through my own
                                         of Robert Akers.
professional lens.
    As I struggled to balance my
own personal and professional           their job as well as they would like,   than a few phone conversations         visit but not at the second, what
responsibilities, I thought about       struggling to meet their respon-        and a couple of awkward emails.        should I do?” Another asked,
the matrones, who were doing            sibilities with few supplies, little    The day before the event, three        “How many pills of iron should
the same thing, only under much         supervision, and little continuing      of the region’s top clinical staff—    the woman take?” A third tried
harsher conditions and with far         education. In a place like Mali,        two sage-femmes, the most              to clarify when and how much
fewer resources. In the midst           where the health care system is         highly trained midwives in Mali,       malaria prophylaxis should be
of my busy clinic day, I could          severely under-resourced, I knew        and a physician specializing in        given. These discussions had
call up an electronic version of        that these front-line matrones          reproductive health—sat down           the others on the edge of their
evidence-based guidelines to            would struggle to find that sup-        to adapt the training materials to     seats. The matrones had been
help guide my practice. A well-         port.                                   fit the matrone’s education, skill     waiting for an opportunity to
rested, competent colleague                 Back at home, the matrones’         level, and preferred language          ask these questions, to have an
would reliably relieve me at the        stories stayed with me. They had        (Bambara, not French).                 audience with more highly skilled
end of a 24-hour shift. If a client I   told me about women bleeding                The matrones were scheduled        colleagues, and to discuss com-
had been laboring with suddenly         to death because they did not           to arrive the next morning. I woke     mon problems with peers. When
developed a complication, I could       have the drugs they needed. They        up feeling anxious and hurried         the matrones were satisfied, the
call on a nearby expert to provide      grew tired of delivering stillborns     down to the medical center, trying     session broke up and matrones
needed care. Matrones have no           caused by malaria. Like so much         to keep my expectations low. But       lingered, exchanging stories and
such resources.                         of maternal and newborn mortal-         as I turned the corner to the health   ideas about caring for women and
    I was fascinated by the ma-         ity, most of these tragedies were       center’s courtyard, I was greeted      newborns.
trones’ experiences and admired         preventable.                            by dozens of matrones chatting             This was, by far, the shortest
the way they managed with so                So, in 2006, I formed an or-        with old colleagues and friends.       trip I have ever taken to Mali—
few resources—and so the ma-            ganization called Mali Midwives         Sali flashed her broad smile at me     barely two weeks. But as I said
trones became the focus of my           to support continuing education         from the back of the crowd. I had      goodbye to Sali and watched
doctoral research. I traveled to        for matrones.                           not seen her in four years.            her start her journey back to the
Mali in 2003-2004 to conduct my             With enormous support from              Over the next six days, 82         village where we had first met 15
field work, interviewing matrones       other returned Peace Corps              matrones participated in the           years earlier, I felt like I had come
in the district of Koutiala, where I    Volunteers, U.S.-based nurse            continuing education event, fo-        full circle. To learn more about
had served as a Volunteer.              midwives, family, and friends, Mali     cusing on “essential newborn           Mali Midwives please visit mal-
    The matrones were natural           Midwives raised enough funds by         care.” At the end of each session,     imidwives.org or email Nicole at
collaborators, eager to tell their      2009 to sponsor a pilot project:        matrones were initially hesitant to    malimidwives@gmail.com.
stories and proud of the contri-        a continuing education event for        ask questions. The first few shy
butions they make to their com-         matrones in Koutiala.                   inquiries gave way to a barrage        Reprinted with permission from
munities. They described the way            The medical director and the        of questions well beyond the ses-      Johns Hopkins Nursing maga-
they link traditional and biomedi-      midwifery supervisor I had known        sion materials. They did their best    zine.
cal models of care and provide          in Koutiala in 2004 had both been       to take advantage of having three
access to higher levels of care         replaced in the intervening years,      supervisors at their disposal.
when needed. Many expressed             so the first Mali Midwives event            One matrone asked, “If I hear
frustration that they could not do      was organized with nothing more         heart tones at the first prenatal



      Would you like to see yourself in the Fellows/USA newsletter? We would like to increase
      the visibility of individual Fellows and programs. If you have a story to share about your
      experience as a Fellow, or your Fellows/USA program, let us know! Email story ideas,
      profiles of students and staff, and photos to fellows@peacecorps.gov.

                                                                                                                                                Page 3
              Walking the Walk                                                                   Fresh Faces at
                   at the 2009                                                                     Fellows/USA
                 Coordinator’s                                                     Michael Garcia
                                                                               has been on staff with

                   Conference
                                                                               Fellows/USA since
                                                                               March of this year,
                                                                               but his work with
                                                                               Peace Corps began
                                                                               back in 2003 when
                                                                               he became a munici-
                                                                               pal development Vol-
                                                                               unteer in Guatemala.
                                                                               After completing his
                                                                               service in 2005, he
                                                                               became a Peace
                                                                               Corps Fellow at Car-
                                                                               negie Mellon Univer-
                                                                               sity where he earned
                                                                               a master’s degree
                                                                               in public policy and
                                                                               management.
                                                                                   Sarah Van Auken
                                                                               joined Fellows/USA
                                                                               in August. In col-
                                                                               lege, she spent four
                                                                               years as a work study From left are Sarah Van Auken,
                                                                               student with Peace Danielle Scism, and Michael Garcia.
 From left are Jordan House manager Marco Murillo, Kathleen
                                                                               Corps Returned Vol-
 Kennedy, Julie Driver, Kate Reinsma, Sarah Van Auken, Henry
                                                                               unteer Services. She gradu-       August as a federal work study
 Schwalbenberg, and Georgia Ehlers. (Not shown is Michael
                                                                               ated in 2008 from The George      student. She currently attends
 Garcia)
                                                                               Washington University with a      Georgetown University, where
                                                                               bachelor’s degree in religion.    she is majoring in government
    This year’s Peace Corps Co-           At the end of the second day’s           Danielle Scism has worked     with a minor in history.
ordinator’s Conference was at-        sessions, four coordinators joined       with Fellows/USA since late
tended by representatives of          Fellows/USA staff at Jordan House,
nearly 30 Fellows/USA partner         a Washington, D.C.-based psychi-
universities.
    Through the variety of sessions
offered, coordinators learned new
                                      atric crisis stabilization program, as
                                      part of the White House’s United
                                      We Serve initiative. Together, they
                                                                                       Director Named
ways to use existing tools, such
as social media marketing and
                                      landscaped part of the backyard.
                                      In moving dirt, they moved the                for Office of Public
grant writing, to strengthen their    idea of a tranquility garden a bit
programs. Coordinators also
delved deeply into topics that are
                                      closer to reality. They also sorted
                                      clothes and organized the base-
                                                                                          Engagement
central to the program, attempting    ment storage area so incoming                 David Medina currently serves as the director of the new
to answer questions like “What is     residents could more easily find
                                                                                 Peace Corps Office of Public Engagement, formerly known as
service learning?” and “Which         what they needed. Finally, they
                                                                                 the Office of Domestic Programs. Medina previously served as
evaluation metrics are most ap-       washed baseboards in anticipation
propriate?” As usual, one of the      of an upcoming open house that             deputy chief of staff to First Lady of the United States Michelle
primary benefits to coordinators      would showcase Jordan House to             Obama.
was the opportunity to exchange       its neighbors and supporters.                 Over the last 16 years, Medina has also worked for the U.S.
ideas and best practices.                 Spending a few hours together          Global Leadership Campaign, U.S. Sen. John Edwards, the
    On a lighter note, coordinators   outside of the office and do-              Democratic National Committee, the AFL-CIO, and U.S. Sen.
brainstormed ideas for celebrat-      ing work that Fellows do was a             Carol Moseley-Braun.
ing Fellows/USA’s 25th anniversary    wonderful way to connect on a                 Medina has served on the University of Chicago’s Alumni
in 2010 and Peace Corps’ 50th         new level. Everyone enjoyed the            Visiting Committee and the national boards of the Human Rights
anniversary in 2011. These two        afternoon and hopes it can be-
                                                                                 Campaign and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
anniversaries promise to bring        come a permanent part of future
welcome attention to the many         conferences.                                  Medina received his bachelor’s degree from the University of
positive contributions Fellows/                                                  Chicago and his master of public policy degree from Harvard’s
USA programs make to commu-                                                      Kennedy School of Government.
nities across the country.


                                                                                                                                        Page 4
Fellows/USA                                                                                                 Peace Corps
Fall Census                                                                                                   Returns to
University of Denver .................................................. 64
University of Arizona ................................................ 57
                                                                                                            Sierra Leone
Johns Hopkins University ......................................... 48
Columbia University Teachers College ..................... 36
University of Michigan ............................................... 26
Duke University ......................................................... 24
Carnegie Mellon University ...................................... 20
Western New Mexico University ............................... 14
The New School ....................................................... 14
University of Maryland-Baltimore County ................. 13
University of South Carolina ...................................... 13
Western Illinois University ........................................ 12
Marquette University ................................................ 10
Illinois State University ............................................... 9
Indiana University ....................................................... 9
New Mexico State University ...................................... 9
Fordham University .................................................... 8
University of Missouri-Columbia ................................. 8               A Peace Corps Volunteer works with young boys in Sierra
University of Oregon .................................................. 8         Leone in the 1980s.
University of Vermont ................................................. 8
University of New Orleans .......................................... 7              United States and Sierra Leone     with additional Peace Corps
Bowling Green State University ................................. 6               government officials signed an        Response Volunteers also arriv-
Duquesne University ................................................... 6        agreement to re-establish a Peace     ing in 2010. The Volunteers will
Florida Institute of Technology .................................... 6           Corps program in Sierra Leone         focus on secondary education in
Southern New Hampshire University ......................... 6                    after a 16-year absence. Glenn        public schools and work together
University of Maryland-Baltimore ............................... 6               Fedzer, the Chargé d’Affaires for     with communities on grassroots
                                                                                 the U.S. Embassy in Freetown,         initiatives and community devel-
Yale University............................................................. 6
                                                                                 and Sierra Leone Minister of For-     opment throughout the country.
Seton Hill University ................................................... 5      eign Affairs Zainab Hawa Bangura         “On behalf of Ambassador
University of Cincinnati ............................................... 5       signed an agreement to officially     June Carter Perry, I am honored
University of Maryland-College Park .......................... 5                 re-establish Peace Corps/Sierra       to participate in the signing of this
University of Southern California ................................ 5             Leone at the Ministry of Foreign      agreement welcoming the Peace
George Mason University ........................................... 4            Affairs in Freetown. Fedzer was       Corps back to Sierra Leone,” said
Kennesaw State University ........................................ 4             accompanied by Lynn Foden,            Fedzer at the signing ceremony in
Loma Linda University ................................................ 4         Peace Corps’ acting regional          Freetown. “This ceremony is the
University of Pennsylvania .......................................... 4          director for Africa.                  culmination of the dedication of
                                                                                    “We are delighted that the         dozens of Americans and Sierra
George Washington University ................................... 3
                                                                                 government of Sierra Leone has        Leoneans, including President
University of Colorado Denver ................................... 3              invited Peace Corps Volunteers        Ernest Bai Koroma, U.S. State
University of Missouri-Kansas City ............................. 3               to return and work shoulder to        Department and Peace Corps
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ............................ 3                 shoulder with the people of Sierra    officials, and many former Peace
Cornell University ....................................................... 2     Leone,” said Peace Corps Direc-       Corps Volunteers who continue
Georgia College & State University ............................ 2                tor Aaron S. Williams. “The part-     to serve the people of Sierra
Rutgers University ...................................................... 2      nership between Peace Corps           Leone long after their return to
Xavier University ......................................................... 2    and Sierra Leone was established      the United States.”
Northern Arizona University ........................................ 1           in the era of President Kennedy          Peace Corps/Sierra Leone
                                                                                 and it is an honor and a privilege    was first established in 1962
University of Rochester .............................................. 1
                                                                                 for us to have the opportunity to     when 37 Americans volunteered
University of Wyoming ................................................ 1         work with the communities of          to serve as secondary school
Drew University .......................................................... 0     Sierra Leone once again.”             teachers. Since 1962, more than
Humboldt State University .......................................... 0              The first group of approximately   3,400 Americans have served as
Monmouth University ................................................. 0          40 Volunteers is scheduled to         Peace Corps Volunteers in Sierra
University of Alabama-Birmingham ............................ 0                  arrive in Sierra Leone in June,       Leone.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point ....................... 0
Wichita State University ............................................. 0

Total                                                                   512

                                                                                                                                                Page 5
            Seventh Annual Peace Corps Graduate
             School Fair Has International Audience
   The seventh annual graduate school fair was held September 24
at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C. The event drew
over 100 people from as far away as Cameroon. More than half of the
attendees were returned Volunteers.
   The fair, hosted by Fellows/USA and Master’s International, be-
gan with an informative panel composed of both current and former
students.
   Panel members included Alison Case from Carnegie Mellon Uni-
versity, Andy Cruz from the University of Maryland–Baltimore County,
Cameron Caswell from Johns Hopkins University, and Kristina Owens
from Michigan Technological University.
   Following the panel, over 20 partner universities, from both Fellows/
USA and Master’s International, were present to speak with attendees
and answer questions about their respective programs.
                                                                                            RPCVs at Peace Corps Headquarters



                                      NCE: What Does it Mean to Me?
    Peace Corps Volunteers are        cedures that govern the use of         tus. Peace Corps recommends               So, Fellows, have your cake
all too familiar with acronyms,       NCE.                                   that RPCVs apply to federal            and eat it too! Make sure to
and it’s understandable if you are       The Peace Corps just hap-           jobs during their last semester of     take advantage of all the perks
acronymed-out. But NCE might          pens to be one of those excepted       school in order to capitalize on all   that come with being a returned
just be an acronym worth learn-       service agencies, but, luckily for     remaining NCE.                         Peace Corps Volunteer.
ing if you are a returned Volunteer   you, it recently began accepting
looking for a federal job.            NCE from RPCVs. So, if you’ve
    NCE stands for noncompeti-        considered applying to work for
tive eligibility. As an RPCV who      Peace Corps behind the scenes,         Quick Facts:
successfully completed Peace          you’ve just been given a leg up on      •	 NCE permits (but does not require) a competitive service
Corps service, you were given         the competition!                           agency to hire an RPCV who meets the minimum qualifica-
NCE for one year from the date of        NCE has further advantages              tions for the position.
your close of service. Essentially,   for RPCVs. For starters, NCE al-        •	 NCE allows RPCVs to compete for positions not available to
NCE permits a federal competi-        lows RPCVs to compete for posi-            the general public.
tive service agency to hire a NCE     tions not available to the general      •	 NCE can be extended for two years (a total of three years from
candidate, such as an RPCV, who       public. Of particular interest to          the COS date) under certain situations (one of which is full-time
meets the minimum qualifications      Fellows, NCE can be extended               enrollment at a recognized institution of higher learning).
for the position, without going       for an additional two years if, fol-
through all of the procedures         lowing your Peace Corps service,         Helpful Websites:
usually involved in hiring an em-     you become a full-time student at        NCE info for RPCVs
ployee.                               an institution of higher learning.       www.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/former/hotline/
    It is important to understand     This means, as long as an RPCV           hotline051508.pdf
that NCE does not require an          doesn’t wait more than a year to
agency to hire you, it just makes     enroll in a Fellows/USA university,      Major excepted service agencies
it easier for them to do so. In       and as long as their graduate            www.usajobs.gov/EI6.asp
addition, while NCE only applies      program doesn’t exceed two
to federal jobs, there are some       years, they would be able to take        General NCE info
excepted service agencies that        advantage of both the Fellows/           www.usajobs.gov/infocenter/howjobsgetfilled.asp
don’t have to abide by the pro-       USA program and their NCE sta-


 Upcoming Events:

            RVS Career Conference                                                    RPCVs with Noncompetitive Eligibility Hiring Event
            February 9–12                                                            Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
            Peace Corps Headquarters                                                 March 19, 11:00am–4:00pm
            Register by February 4 at rvsevents@peacecorps.gov                       CDC Atlanta, GA
                                                                                     Register by February 5 at rvsevents@peacecorps.gov

                      For More Information: 202.692.1430 rvs@peacecorps.gov www.peacecorps.gov/rpcv/events


                                                                                                                                          Page 6
                                                                       Where Are They Now?
                        Brian Goercke (RPCV/Zimbabwe, 1998-2001, Fellow/Duquesne University, 2004)

    I’ve had many exciting and eventful experiences following my gradu-      nongovernmental organization, NawaLife Trust. In this position, I
ation from Duquesne University.                                              monitored program indicators across 11 regions countrywide and
    From 2004-05, I served six months in Namibia as a Crisis Corps           assisted in conducting and disseminating qualitative and quantitative
Volunteer. Working with the Namibian Ministry of Education, I helped         research.
create a speaking program titled “Making it Real.” The program was               More recently, I became associate Peace Corps director for Swa-
composed of four HIV support groups, who visited and spoke with              ziland. I look forward to working with an amazing collective of host
secondary school students about living positively.                           country colleagues, as well as the dedicated Volunteers at this post!
    Following my service with the Ministry of Education, I worked as a

                                                                                   Peace Corps
program officer with Family Health International/Namibia to provide
supervision and technical assistance to community-based organiza-
tions across three regions of the country. This position provided me
with valuable curriculum development and training experience.
    In 2006, I began working as monitoring and reporting officer for
the Johns Hopkins University/Health Communication Partnership field
                                                                             Response Launches
office in Namibia. This office later transitioned to a Namibian-registered
                                                                                  New Website
                                                                                Peace Corps Response, formerly known as Crisis Corps, recently
                                                                             unveiled its new website.
                                                                                The redesigned Open Positions page makes it easier for qualified
                                                                             returned Peace Corps Volunteers to search for and apply to positions.
                                                                             New positions are added on a weekly basis, and a diverse array of
                                                                             assignments are offered.
                                                                                The Frequently Asked Questions page is a great resource for people
                                                                             who want to learn more about Peace Corps Response. Among the
                                                                             FAQs, you can find the answers to the most commonly asked ques-
                                                                             tions.
                                                                                Navigate to the Volunteer Stories page to hear firsthand experiences
                                                                             from past and present Peace Corps Response Volunteers. Be sure to
                                                                             check back often, as new stories are added on a regular basis.
                                                                                Lastly, if you would like to receive monthly updates about upcom-
                                                                             ing assignments, service stories, or other interesting facts about the
                                                                             program and the countries Volunteers work in, sign up for Impact,
                                                                             Peace Corps Response’s brand new e-newsletter. To subscribe, go
 Brian Goercke (standing) at a research dissemination meeting
                                                                             to www.peacecorps.gov/rpcv/info.
 in Namibia.


         From the Fellows/USA                                                staring at so much food. We
                                                                             tried to explain by talking about
                                                                                                                  about, anchoring us in time and
                                                                                                                  place, and adding chapters to

            Program Manager                                                  pilgrims, American Indians, and
                                                                             New World plants.
                                                                                                                  our stories.
                                                                                                                     This year, my wish for all of
                                                                                 We also shared our memories      you is that these winter holidays
     My all-time favorite Thanks-         And so, with hope in my heart      of Thanksgivings past, and in the    bring you peace, joy, and con-
 giving happened the year I lived      and cranberries on my mind, I         telling of those stories, not only   tentment.
 in Taiwan.                            set out on what would become          did he begin to understand what
     Having lived in Asia before,      an epic journey. I criss-crossed      the holiday meant to us, we un-
 and having experienced the            the city many times over a pe-        derstood more deeply, too.
 feeling of being adrift in time due   riod of many days, stalking an            Holidays mean more than
 to the lack of familiar holidays      elusive jar of pumpkin pie spice      days off from work or school,
 cycling through the year, I knew      in a German bakery, risking           opportunities to have parties,
 that the creeping cold of winter      frostbite in the freezer section      or storming the mall in search
 had to be held back, for at least     of a French grocery store for         of the perfect gifts. Holidays
 one day, with turkey.                 a turkey, and cornering a bag         are supposed to be shared with
     In China, a traditional Thanks-   of marshmallows in a tiny Brit-       family, whether it’s the one you
 giving feast could be had only at     ish café. I also had to buy an        were born with or the one you
 the poshest of Western-style          oven.                                 choose. Holidays need traditions,
 hotels. But in downtown Taipei,          On the big day, I sat down at      like sweet potatoes baked with
 I thought, “How hard could it be      the dining room table with my         marshmallows on top.
 to find the proper ingredients?”      roommates and a few friends,              Most of all, holidays should
 After all, the only Starbucks in      one of whom was Taiwanese             be celebrated for the richness
 the country was on the corner         and had, at best, only the vagu-      they bring to our lives—con-
 of my block!                          est idea as to why we were            necting us with people we care                  Julie Driver

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