Five Reasons for Not Joining the Peace Corps

Topics: Peace Corps, Paul Theroux, National Peace Corps Association Pages: 4 (1213 words) Published: April 30, 2012
Five Reasons Not to Join the Peace Corps

Many travelers have considered—even just for a moment—joining Peace Corps. The allure of two years abroad and the chance to integrate into new and exciting cultures has tempted some 200,000 volunteers into a life of service in 139 different countries. Whether it’s a post-college move or a mid-career shift, Peace Corps provides a unique way to experience places in a way no typical trip allows. Sure, a sense of adventure and a bit of independence are requirements for the job, but that’s where parallels to travel end. Peace Corps isn’t for every globetrotter or international jetsetter. There are hundreds of reasons to join the Corps—but here are the top five reasons not to. Because traveling for two years sounds like fun

It goes without saying that Peace Corps Volunteers see the world: from the Caribbean Islands to Central America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, too. Volunteer projects extend to the far reaches of the globe. Yet despite this international presence, the happiest volunteers are typically those most content to stay at home. (Their new home, that is.) Peace Corps Volunteers are brought in to do a job. Whether it’s to build fisheries in a remote region of Zambia, train teachers in computer skills in Eastern Europe or combat HIV/AIDS in China, Peace Corps work is a full-time gig. To be effective, volunteers must integrate into their communities, adapt to new cultures and become familiar with customs and traditions. This means that when the job ends, the hard work of getting to know a place and its people really begins. Only volunteers who stay at site and dedicate time and effort to cultivating relationships actually succeed. Like most jobs, Peace Corps has vacation and holidays, too. However tight volunteer budgets mean travel is anything but glamorous. Modes of transport usually include hitchhiking, bike taxis, donkey carts, canoes and banana trucks. And that’s if those options even exist. For volunteers in...
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