Anonymous asked: Hi, I'm about to graduate college and have been contemplating joining the peace corps in a year or two. I know that ultimately the decision comes down to me, but I've been reading you blog for about a year (since I first got interested in the Peace Corps) and was wondering whether you (and your site mates) would join the Peace Corps again now that you are at the end of your service? Why or why not? Also are you going to get to take Gobi home with you?
Hello! Thank you for your message and thank you for following my blog. I think it is great that your are contemplating joining the PC in a year or two. I would love to answer all your questions.
As I approach the end of my service I can honestly say that I would most definitely join the Peace Corps again. In fact, I would very much like to do the Peace Corps again someday (possible). Overall, this whole Peace Corps thing is filled with insane high and lows for most people. Kind of like a roller-coaster of emotions. I have this lucky ability to always see the positive in things so most of my time here has been nothing but that… POSITIVE. I have grown into a more patient, loving, honest, hard working, appreciative, happy, confident, and peaceful person. The PC experience is going to make you a better person. Of that I am sure. Not everyone enjoys it, but I feel confident speaking for many others when I say most don’t regret it and come at a better individual. I would say the majority of people who join but don’t enjoy it or quit do so because it is HARD. It is hard to be away from the ones you love for 2+ years. It is hard to move to a foreign land where you don’t know the language, the food is strange (or worse bad in your eyes), you are often sick with strange bugs, everyone stares at you, you often feel like you an outsider and you are going crazy, etc etc etc. But is is beautiful and awesome in its own special way. I would not call those negative parts to service though. That is just part of the experience. There could be what I would consider negatives to joining the PC but it completely depends on your personal situation in life and your personality. It probably isn’t the best step in a business career or if you know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life. It can be a stepping stone for many many things (so I have been told) but there are other ways to get international working experience and make money while you are doing it (as my ex-pat friends in UB unknowingly remind me of). Joining the PC needs to be a decision that you alone make. It sounds like you know that.
It took me a long long time to decide what what best for both Gobi and I. After consulting shamans and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) alike, I have decided to leave Gobi here with the family that I live with in my hashaa/fenced compound. I came to this decision for a couple of reasons. When I got Gobi I hoped for the best but planned for the worst. I hoped she would come home with me but planned for her to stay. I didn’t spoil her, trained her to respect human’s personal space, fed her a normal hashaa dog’s diet, and kept her outside all year long. Doing so has prepared her very well to function and live very well like a Mongolian dog. However, that is exactly what she has become and a Mongolian dog would not do well in America. She is wary of strangers, fights other dogs that come near or inside our hashaa, is protective, barks all night with all the other dogs if she so chooses, and has never had a meal of something that isn’t some combination of rice, organs and meat (often raw), bones, or noodles. Basically, I think the transition to life in America will be very hard and not fair on her. I have no idea what my future in America will hold and I don’t think she is the kind of dog that would do well with frequent change or spending most of the day inside. I then looked at her situation now. She has a family that already feeds her, likes her, and values the role she has in my hashaa My landlord uses her to guard all of the car and truck equipment my he leaves out when he is working on his failing truck. Which is everyday. The little girls who run around my hashaa all summer don’t like her chasing them but they all play a wonderful (albeit confusing to Gobi) game of hide and seek/tag with her. She is also a wonderful garbage disposal for all of us. I’m sure she will miss me but I know she has a family that already looks after her and that makes me okay with the decision to leave her here.
Please let me know if you have any more questions about joining the PC. Feel free to email me at email@example.com