Hello! So I don’t have an update as far as my application process goes but I wanted to spread the word about a book I recently found. The book is called “The Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook”. The tagline for the book reads, “Peace Corps may be the toughest job you’ll ever love, but you don’t always have to learn that the hard way!” Basically the book is a handbook compiled by RPCV’s that chronicles the Peace Corps experience from initial interest, through the application process, staging, pre-service training, the first year, the second year, and transitioning back home. In the back of the book there is a collection of helpful resources (websites, books, etc.) relating to the Peace Corps. This is the first edition of the handbook, and a new one will be released each year in August with updated information from volunteers.
Now, as if all that wasn’t good enough, here is my favorite part about this book: IT’S ALSO A JOURNAL! The book was intended to be an interactive tool that will be your companion from the time you begin considering joining the Peace Corps, all throughout your service, and for many years after you return. The book is designed with the reader in mind with TONS of space for making notes, pages for journaling, and more! They even say that the reason the front cover is practically blank is so that you can write your name, doodle, write quotes, whatever you want to make it your own.
BUT WAIT (I know..I watch way too many infomercials..but really I do need a slap chop/Yoshi knife/ShamWow/snuggie/shake weight) The even better part about this book is that the proceeds go to funding projects lead by Peace Corps Volunteers around the world!
So, I bet you are wondering where you can get this incredible book for just one low price of $15.95 (am I taking the infomercial thing too far?) Visit the official website of the handbook at http://www.peacecorpshandbook.com/home and order your copy today! There are three options for ordering, and I would like to encourage you to choose to order from Lulu rather than Amazon as the donation to the Peace Corps projects is greater. Also at the bottom of the page there is a small link where you can get discounts for Lulu.com, I clicked on it and got a code for 15% off of my order!
The book is candid, raw, real life advice from Peace Corps volunteers. In my opinion this is hands down the most important thing for prospective/current/and returned Peace Corps volunteers to have. I haven’t finished the book yet but I plan to read it once, then read it again highlighting and marking things that are important to me or mean a lot to me, and then read it as I progress through the timeline of Peace Corps application and service at which time I will use the journal portion of the book.
I want to share with you the most valuable piece of advice I have taken from the book thus far:
“Making a decision to serve in Peace Corps for 27 months is a commitment to give over 820 days to serving others, almost 20,000 hours of excitement, frustration, hopeful, hopeless, wonderful and horrible experiences minute after minute, week after week. The desire to help others will only pull you through this adventure if you are willing to reach deep down inside to ask yourself how much you are really willing to give. Peace Corps will shake your worldview, probably in a very good way, and you can prepare for that now by honestly answering this question, “Do I believe it’s important to help others? If so, what am I doing right now to live that out?” Peace Corps service requires a huge heart, and it helps if it’s a muscle you’ve already been working out before you apply.“
I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I am! Happy reading 🙂