9th and G Street
Gallery Place Metro Stop
Hi Fellow YPIAers:
I'm Anjel the Co-Organizer for YPIA and also an RPCV from Benin, 99-01, SBD / Small Business Development.
Today you will hear my story and the story of others in the life of Peace Corps Volunteer, our experiences and our adventures. Come to learn, to ask questions and meet people.
Other Speakers and bios:
Ken Fox/Afghanistan; Corey/Micronesia (whose family worked with Peace Corps and who benefited from a Peace Corps teacher), + 1.
MLK Library only permits water in the building.
Welcome by MLK Library / Anjel
Introduction of panel - name, location, year, job title, time spent in Peace
1) application process
2) Training process
3) Experience Year 1
4) Experience Year 2
Result/career link/life experience
After event Happy Hour: TBA
RPCV/W = Returned Peace Corps Volunteer of Washington
PCH = Peace Corps Headquarters
APCD = Assistant Peace Corps Director / PCD = Peace Corps Dir.
ET = Early Terminate (left early), contracts 2 yrs + 3 mos training
At Johnson & Wales University I Bachelored in Marketing '99 and International Business '98. I spent 1.5 years in Cotonou traveling to Porto Novo to expand my Junior Achievement territory. I loved my job, traveled, no two days were alike, presented the programs to high schools, elementary schools and recruited volunteer business professionals from Junior Chambers Cotonnou Benin Chapter and local universities. I met many kinds of people and furthered my leadership, planning and development skills. While being in the economic capital, I also mingled with a few diplomats, learned about USAID and other government posts.
My situation was rare as I was placed in a city rather than a village, however I visited my colleagues on weekends at least once a month and took bucket showers under the stars, became acclamated with the "White foreigner" song or I was "Chinoise" - called chinese from the kids.
I asked to be placed in a culture unlike my supposed Latina background. What I discovered was that Beninese culture was similar to my family's culture. Food - tomatoe, onions, hot peppers and corn. They didn't have tortillas, but they made ground corn into grits or called "pate" in French = paste/moosh. Husbands had many wives, each wife having 2-3 children. They gasped when they heard my grandmother had 13.
My adjustment to their culture was easier than others because I wanted this dream since my sophomore year in college. I made it happen, asked a lot of questions, gathered information and attended as many information sessions as possible. My objective was to learn and serve - do a good job as it was my 1st international assignment.
Best advice to offer: come to learn, come to adapt, come to meet people. We resolve conflcts or prevent them by learning who people are, their dreams and what has held them back.