Peace Corps as a program has three main goals that are well-known to all volunteers and staff. In my own words they are:
First: to teach skills to your host country.
Second: to teach your host country about the US.
Third: to teach the US about your host country.
You could say that this blog of ours is one way we work at the Third Goal. (I capitalize because to Peace Corps it is a proper noun.) This blog is an avenue of sharing stories and experiences about our life in Paraguay with all you fine folks back home. Plus, I just really love to blog.
Did you know that in the States there is an Office of Third Goal that helps Returned Peace Corps Volunteers teach and share about the country in which they once served? They encourage this sharing, which is why Peace Corps worldwide recently had an initiative called Blog It Home.
It was crafted to “recognize volunteers who are bringing the world home through their personal blogs, and to incentivize volunteers to use their communication powers for the cultural good.” Each country with a Peace Corps post got to submit a current volunteer’s blog to represent their country in promoting this Third Goal. I submitted Gold Stars & Double Rainbows for consideration and was surprised but excited to hear from our country director that ours was selected as the representative blog of Paraguay!
Next, the gang in Washington D.C. (Peace Corps Headquarters) checked out the blogs from the 50+ countries currently hosting Peace Corps volunteers and selected the top four blogs doing a great job at meeting this Third Goal. I’d have my pants on fire if I said I wasn’t disappointed to not be selected in this category since the winners were flown to Washington D.C. to take part in some Third Goal activities like sharing at local schools and planning activities to take back to the host country. How fun!
However, the blogs that were selected as winners are excellent and I’m happy to have been made aware of them. It’s amazing how many similar feelings and experience we volunteers have, no matter the country or continent in which we serve. You should check them out too:
Jedd & Michelle Chang in Jamaica: simplyintentional.wordpress.com
Joshua Cook & Jennifer Klein in Ethiopia: jenandjoshinethiopia.blogspot.com
Sara Kline in Thailand: klinesc.blogspot.com
Jessica Lavash in Mexico: stonecactuses.wordpress.com
I especially enjoy the couple in Jamaica’s blog and find myself visiting it to read each post. I see similarities there and think we could be friends. I bet you’d enjoy their story too, so check out their blog and the others if you have an interest!
On Friday I’ll share a very delicious way we recently accomplished the Second Goal. That is, if you want to hear from us s’more…
Psst..those of you who know him, don’t forget to wish my dad a happy birthday tomorrow (the 12th) as it’s a BIG one!