Wednesday, September 4, 2013

79. Conference (Day 2)

Just as important as the relationships we build in our communities are the friendships that we develop with other volunteers.

Of the 51 volunteers that landed in Maputo on September 29, 2011, there are significantly fewer remaining in-country today.  The first to go home, a young woman, left at the end of training. Then, three weeks later, two volunteers died in an accident just after swearing in.  Nine would leave over the following months in a mass post-accident exodus.  There are 38 of us left remaining here today, and every one of us is dedicated, hardened, and in it for the long haul. Now that we've reached our Close of Service conference, we feel an overarching sense of unity and achievement.

Of all these wonderful volunteers, here are some of our favorites.  These friends have been a source of support and inspiration for us and provide some excellent insight into what makes a Peace Corps Volunteer.  They are our best friends in Africa, our confidants, our travel buddies, and our professional peers.

Jamie Randol
  • Name:  Jamie Randol
  • Age:  24
  • Education:  B.S. in Animal Biotechnology
  • Prior Experience:  Studied abroad in Argentina
  • Reason for Joining Peace Corps:  Wanted to learn a new language and share her passion for education
  • Job Description:  Biology Teacher, 9th and 11th Grade (17 hrs/wk), 2013 Science Fair Provincial Coordinator
  • Biggest Achievements:  Advanced-level Portuguese; Meaningful friendships
  • Post Peace Corps Plans:  Already accepted to a Master's program at the University of California to study Animal Biology 

Hoang Thai Tao
  • Name:  Hoang Thai Tao
  • Age:  32
  • Education:  B.S. in Construction Engineering; B.F.A. in Art Theory; M.A. of Architechture
  • Prior Experience:  Studied abroad in Italy, China, and Taiwan; Worked as an architect in Los Angeles, California
  • Reason for Joining Peace Corps:  Influenced by a high school teacher who marked the Peace Corps as a valuable experience
  • Job Description:  Coordinating Director of the Civil Engineering Program at UCM (Catholic University of Mozambique)
  • Biggest Achievements:  Introduced new methods of construction; Aided in the building of schools, latrines, houses, and a community center
  • Post Peace Corps Plans:  To work in Architecture and Urban Development

Dylan Campbell
  • Name:  Dylan Campbell
  • Age:  24
  • Education: B.S. in Integrative Neuroscience 
  • Prior Experience: Chuck E. Cheese Mouse, Men's Suit Salesman at J.C. Penney
  • Reason for Joining Peace Corps: Desire to experience a life completely different from his own. 
  • Job Description: English Teacher, 10th-12th Grade (17 hrs/wk), 2013 English Theater Provincial Coordinator
  • Biggest Achievements: Formed excellent personal relationships with students and teachers; Helped send students to university. 
  • Post Peace Corps Plans: To study music production. 

Steph Newton
  • Name:  Stephanie (Steph) Newton
  • Age:  24
  • Education:  B.A. in Neuroscience 
  • Prior Experience:  Studied abroad in Mexico
  • Reason for Joining Peace Corps:  Wanted to meet new people; immerse herself in a new culture
  • Job Description:  English Teacher, 9th Grade (24 hrs/wk), Girls' Soccer Coach, 2013 English Theater Provincial Coordinator
  • Biggest Achievements:  Lived for two years without electricity; Empowered girls in her community
  • Post Peace Corps Plans:  To eat a toasted everything bagel with plain cream cheese

1 comment:

  1. Those friends that you make in peace corps are amazing! One of my closest comes home this weekend to right where I'm living. I can't wait to see her! So you can tell those people you listed, that you will see each other after PC, it does happen.