Wanderlust Wendy

Peace Corps

10 Years Since the Peace Corps

Batié, Cameroon, Peace Corps

Last week marked 10 years since I left the comforts of American suburbia for a different life. It was 2008. I packed up two massive bags and flew to Philadelphia to meet a bunch of strangers, some would later become lifelong friends. From there, we got vaccinated and were inundated by information. Within a few days, we were shipped off on a plane to Cameroon. I was a bright-eyed and … Read more

That Time When NYT Published My Words

Earlier this year, NYT printed my words on its website. For an amateur writer like myself, this was a big deal. Sure, my journalists friends are publishing on big name publications all day long like it’s no big deal, but for me, it was rather out of the ordinary. It began during my trip to Ethiopia back in February. I was traveling without my laptop, and only connecting to the … Read more

Mourning the Loss of a Village Friend

Today was a sad day full of tragic news. I woke up to my NYT alert on the San Francisco plane crash, and made a mental note how spooky it feels that I am due to take a flight on a similar route in a few weeks’ time. You just never know. Then, I ended the day with a devastating news – my dear friend Victor, who was my guardian, … Read more

China in Africa: Taiwanese American in Cameroon

Peace Corps Cameroon Batié

When I decided to buy a one-way ticket to Shanghai, I began researching publications that report on Sino-Africa relations. Social media is an amazing place. A Twitter follower contacted me, and turns out he follows this issues closely and works with the China Africa Project. Recently, the Project came out with an iPhone app, and now I can follow the podcasts easily during my Shanghai commutes.

Today, I came across an episode titled…

Letter from Village

It’s rare these days to receive a hand written letter. Once in a blue moon, I will receive a postcard from a friend traveling. But a legitimate hand-written letter? I haven’t received one of those in a long long while. But today, I received one. It was written in French, from my Cameroonian friend, Victor, who lives in my village. It was, incredible. I left Cameroon two years ago, and … Read more

2012 Peace Corps Annual Gathering

Over the weekend, I met the Peace Corps volunteer on this 1964 issue cover of National Geographic. She was with the first group of volunteers to Ecuador, and one of many remarkable Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) that I met at the 2012 Peace Corps Annual Gathering. The event  was hosted by the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), an independent non-profit organization that works closely with the Peace Corps…

The little things in life

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. In the past 6 years, I have only spent one Thanksgiving in the USA. I am beyond excited to be back. Celebrating this holiday in the foreign land, while at times memorable (those Peace Corps Thanksgivings were pretty epic), usually is pretty anti-climatic. Even though I am staying in the City and not going home for Thanksgiving, I am at least in the US and can make … Read more

On est ensemble!

Peace Corp Reunion in DC

The long-awaited Peace Corps reunion weekend happened a few days ago. This is the 50th year of the Peace Corps and this was the weekend that loads of events took place in DC. My stage (training group) took this opportunity and organized our own reunion on top of it. Somehow, we managed to get people to fly in from all over the country. Nearly 50 people showed up at the … Read more

Reverse Culture Shock: One Year Later.

Peace Corps Cameroon Batié

I left Cameroon just a little over a year ago. This year went by in a blur. Swoosh! and it was gone. As I reflect upon this past year, I begin to realize the impact that reverse culture shock had on me. People always say that it’s easier going into a new experience than coming back. I never really had too much difficulty with past international moves, so I wasn’t … Read more

Water For Thought?

Yesterday (March 22nd) was World Water Day. I wasn’t aware that there was such a day until I saw Peace Corps’ Twitter feed featuring a number of water projects that volunteers are doing around the world. I then remembered my two years of service without running water. Someone else on Twitter said that “More people on our planet have cell phones than a toilet.” This statement accurately reflects my own … Read more