The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to world peace and friendship.I've more or less been accepted into the program. The recruiter nominated me for a math teaching position in Africa which is scheduled to leave next September. I don't have any details and plans can change at anytime. It's a two year commitment, 3 months in-country training and 24 months in the field, living among the people I will be serving. As I understand it, programs start with a group of volunteers training together, then dispersing into their service fields, maintaining contact with each other as needed until each feels more at home with the locals.
Since that time, more than 195,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 139 host countries to work on issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation.
The full force of this commitment hasn't hit me yet, but I am pretty excited about it. Hard to imagine setting foot in Africa a year from now. But Peace Corps gives me a chance to address several burning desires that have yet been met by closed doors. If I walk through this door that is opening before me, I wonder if I will have to close it behind me. And I wonder how many more rooms I will have to walk through before reaching the end of the maze.