Written in early 2016 when I first joined the Peace Corps in Namibia.
Here are questions that I was asked numerous times when letting people know about my plans.
- Why the Peace Corps?
The Peace Corps’ mission of sustainable development emphasizes the human aspect of improving conditions in the world, without building dependencies on technology or financial assistance. While I’ve spent my entire career developing, marketing, selling and using high-technology, I am excited about the prospects of finding non-technological solutions to problems. I also value the extensive experience the Peace Corps has gained since its founding in 1961 – they’ve had their challenges over the years, to be sure, but few other development groups have done as much good for as many people with as little funding.
Visit the Peace Corps website to learn more.
- Why Community Economic Development (CED)?
Business development is my comfort zone – coaching and counseling business owners and operators is what I do best. Having spent years earning my MBA, surviving the large corporate world, owning my own company and consulting to numerous entrepreneurs and small business owners, CED is the Peace Corps sector in which I believe I will have the greatest effect.
- Why Namibia?
Namibia is one of the newest countries on the planet, having gained its independence in 1990. One of their first calls its founding fathers made for assistance was to the Peace Corps, which has been operating here ever since. Most countries request volunteers in education, healthcare or agriculture – not too many request CED. Namibia appears to be the most anxious to take advantage of our resources.
My knowledge about the country before applying to work here was extremely sparse. The more I read, researched and spoke to people about it, however, the more excited I got. Though it’s an ancient land, the Namibians appear to have made a number of wise decisions in their young history and deserve our support.
- Why now?
Like many other volunteers, this has been a dream through much of my life. John F. Kennedy is one of my favorite leaders and the Peace Corps first came to my attention during junior high school. I first contacted a Peace Corps recruiter in my first year of college, and made several other approaches subsequently. There were always other priorities that precluded my participation until last year when my love reminded me that her son had three more years of high school. She said, “if you’re going to do this, now is the best time!” A fuller account of how I came to be here can be found at Why Am I Doing This?