Yesterday was Peace Corps' 50th birthday! Celebrations took place around the world - supposedly there were 741 events that took place across 76 countries and all 50 US States! I took part in a house party in London, and it was absolutely marvellous!
Since I've been back in London, I've tried to find other RPCVs, but not to much success. And here at this party, I met over 20 volunteers that ranged from a currently serving (Cristina, my replacement!) to a lady who served in 1962! It was really incredible that though we all served in various corners of the world, we could understand the funny stories of one another. In some ways, Peace Corps is its own language!
There were a few volunteers who served but wasn't with the Peace Corps. One British lady who was in Liberia back in the 70s recounted fond memories of being a part of the Peace Corps community because her organization didn't have an established entity. She said Peace Corps friends have remained in her life until today. Her story reminded me of the French friends I met and volunteers from various other organizations like VSO. Peace Corps doesn't just bridge relationship between American and the host country, but also other nations who send their people to the developing world.
I had such a fantastic time last night. In some ways, this group of people was what I've been needing since returning from PC. When I shared that it has been hard to be in London after my service, every one of them understood. No extra explanation necessary. That was really nice. Everyone at the party expressed interest in keeping in touch and planning future gatherings. I really look forward to them!
Happy Birthday to Peace Corps! Thanks for two wonderful years of service, memories that last a lifetime, and the opportunity to meet amazing people no matter where I am. To continue my role as a volunteer, I created a 5-minute video summary of my service. I'm promoting Goal Three to inform Americans (or anyone, really) of the people of my host country. Enjoy!
For the complete album of the event, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/PC50thLondon