Posted by: pckatie | October 7, 2010

A Peace Corps Bible of Sorts

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 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, 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 🙂





  1. I got my copy a few weeks ago and looooved it! I had to stop myself from writing too much in in the afternoon it arrived because I know I’ll want to read parts of it again later and may have more insights or different ideas about things. My favorite quote (or the one that has stuck with me) is “The shortest answer is doing the thing.” 🙂 I also loved the part about when the new PCTs arrive in country and they’re greeted by all the PCVs in a big high-fiving line. Great find!

  2. question in regards to peace corps journals. Every time i check it only shows the post i did the day i submitted my blog. since then i’ve done about 5 more post but none of then show up on the website. do you have to submit your blog each time you have a new post or is the website supposed to upload your new posts on the blog automatically? thanks!

  3. I am no expert on the site since I just started using it about a month ago, but I can give you the best advice I have! It is my understanding that the way it works is each time you post a new blog entry that entry will be posted on the site (sometimes it takes a day or two). When visiting the site, then, you will be able to see your most recent blog entry and users can either click on the link to that entry or to your blog where they will have access to all of your entries! Hope this helps!

  4. okay thanks! I just saw that my posts from the last four days finally showed up on pcj, guess it does take a while!

  5. Thanks for such kind words Katie, I’m glad you’ve found the Unofficial Handbook so helpful. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you on your Peace Corps journey. Good luck in Nicaragua!

  6. I am haveing my frist interview tomorrow and am looking for some eamples of question that I may be asked (aside from the obvious ones) in order to best prepare. Any suggestions?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: