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Author Topic: "Senior" Volunteers - how is it different for them  (Read 1956 times)

Offline the boss

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"Senior" Volunteers - how is it different for them
« on: December 20, 2013, 09:22:51 PM »
I saw this on the internet.... 

editted to add:  It turns out this list was originally posted by our own Forum member "PeruThirdYear"



Advantages of “older” Peace Corps Volunteers

1-   “Real World” business skills and experience – we bring years of special abilities, skills and expertise to the table.
2-   Accumulated life experience and people skills – older Volunteers have worked with hundreds of co-workers, customers and governments. This translates into an ability to rapidly assess situations and solve problems.
3-   Age = Respect. This simple equation is very true in many of the developing countries, where Peace Corps works. Younger Volunteers, especially the women, have a much harder time earning that respect, which comes automatically to the “older” Volunteer.
4-   Ability to focus on tasks at hand. There is not the worry about “What will I do after Peace Corps?”, which can be distracting. No time studying for GRE and making grad school applications.
5-   Confidence – Older Volunteers know their strengths and weaknesses – they’ve been fire tested. Many talented younger Volunteers are just discovering how good they are.
6-   Independence – More experience with being alone or apart from a group makes it easier to adapt to the “isolation” of living as the only Gringo in a rural setting.
7-   Contacts & Friends – We know a lot of other folks with accumulated knowledge and experience to call upon for support. Friends are older, well-established. Handy for funding a PCPP project.
8-   Lack of dependence on electronic media. We grew up in a world before the iPod, iPad and Kindle. This frees us and enables us to interact more freely with the Communities which we serve. We can entertain ourselves.
9-   No need to “Party Hardy”. We got over the College / Fraternity culture of heavy drinking years ago. No wasted “mornings after”.
10-   Older Volunteers need not worry about age - related illness. The Peace Corps Medical Office provides the best Medical Services you will ever have, including all medications and pharmacy needs.
11-   Older Volunteers fit-in just fine with the 20-something PCV majority. You can learn about their “culture” and share yours.
12-   This may be an opportunity to spend some Very High Quality time with your spouse. Married couples are some of the best Volunteers. Peace Corps can accommodate you.
13-   Serving the people of the World with the Peace Corps is far more satisfying, educational and fun than “retirement”.
14-   All the usual benefits of Peace Corps service still apply : A chance to learn a new language and experience a foreign culture “up close and personal”, and foreign travel. This may mean a step outside your “Comfort Zone”, but it will also provide access to the “Adventure Zone” and a chance to improve “Quality of Life” and promote friendship and World Peace in a real and direct way.



Agree or disagree?

Offline Marion

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Re: "Senior" Volunteers - how is it different for them
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 09:30:44 PM »
As a "senior" volunteer I can say I agree with every item on the list. 

One item that especially rings true is...

Age = Respect.  This was true in Botswana and I think I had an easier time dealing with people in government than some younger volunteers just for that reason.
Marion
RPCV, Botswana (2011-2013)

Offline cdillon8769

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Re: "Senior" Volunteers - how is it different for them
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 08:33:52 AM »
This is great! I am a younger FPCV (under 50); I think most of it is up to the volunteer though, I think. This is just my opinion.
Caroline
Invitee: Lesotho, Africa June 2014

"The ones crazy enough to believe that they can change the world, do" Steve Jobs

Offline PeaceCorps1

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Re: "Senior" Volunteers - how is it different for them
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 05:55:31 AM »
I agree with most but I have issues with:
6. Gringos mean white foreigners. PCVs are not all white.
11. Young people may tend to ignore and isolate the older volunteers. Older volunteers need thick skin in order to get through being possibly isolated during PST. After PST, when the big group is shattered, it is less isolating.
"If it were not for the reporters, I'd tell you the truth"', President Chester A. Arthur

Offline PeruThirdYear

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Re: "Senior" Volunteers - how is it different for them
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 04:31:54 AM »
I'm the author of the original list of advantages of "older" PCVs.

RSim6100 makes a good point about older PCVs having more financial resources. Adding that to my list.

I call my grey hair (and lack thereof) my "Peruvian Express Card". It gets me respect wherever I go. Don't leave home without it !!

Offline PeaceCorps1

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Re: "Senior" Volunteers - how is it different for them
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2014, 07:41:51 AM »
I observe people at a lunch or dinner date both on their iPhones rather than enjoying the company of one another. I'm so ready to not have to answer my blackberry.
"If it were not for the reporters, I'd tell you the truth"', President Chester A. Arthur