Jaryd

Peace Corps

In Development, Post-Whitworth, Readings on March 3, 2008 at 10:18 pm

I have been reading Keeping Kennedy’s Promise: The Peace Corps Moment of Truth for about a week hoping that it would give me some more insight into something that could play a major role in my life as I finish school in a little more than three years. It certainly has, but not in the way I had expected.

The book was published in 1978, authored by two individuals that have 20 years of cumulative experience in the Peace Corps, C. Payne Lucas and Kevin Lowther. It has some very interesting views on the inner workings of the Peace Corps, and also the internal struggles, partisan politics, and even seemingly selfish acts within an organization created to bring people together in a Brotherhood of Man. Every rose has its thorns, I suppose.

Instead of making me more interested in volunteering with the Peace Corps, the book has had the opposite effect: leaving me less than excited about possibly signing away two years of my life to an organization that seems to make a lot of mistakes; at least according to Keeping Kennedy’s Promise, it does. I haven’t yet finished reading it, but I am very close and thought I would put down some thoughts I felt I wanted to share.

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  1. Whoops, my mistake.

    Don’t let one book make up your mind. “Ponds of Kalambayi” certainly had it’s own version of the “Peace Corps Experience”. Obviously, the book was published 30 years ago, so the chances that bureaucratic change has taken place are very good.

    I say, if you’re interested in the first place, keep reading many different things to help you decide; and don’t let this one book change your mind.

    And as always, remember what Kennedy commands – “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country…Ask not what America can do for you – but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

  2. I am making sure to keep the different times that “Keeping Kennedy’s Promise” and “Ponds of Kalambayi” in mind. KKP was published in 1979, I believe, so I know it is very possible that things have changed dramatically for the Peace Corps by now. I ‘d hope so, at least.

    I really did like “Ponds of Kalambayi” a lot. It kind of removed the ‘rose-colored lenses’ I had about the Peace Corps; but in a good way. It gave me a much more real view of what to expect if I were to join. “Keeping Kennedy’s Promise” made me think ‘Has the Peace Corps ever done anything right?’

  3. Edit: I am making sure to keep the different times that “Keeping Kennedy’s Promise” and “Ponds of Kalambayi” were written in mind.

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