This Peace Corps Forum member has the username of "amelia.plant". Amelia is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) who served in Botswana 2011-2013 and remained there after her close of service. Here is a little bit about her...Where are you from?
Charlestown, Rhode IslandHow did you become interested in the Peace Corps?
As the end of college approached, I found myself uninterested in trying to find work in some Non Governmental Organization (NGO) in the states. Don't get me wrong--in the future, I may be doing just that. But at that point, winter break of my senior year, with all my friends applying to jobs, I had a feeling that I wanted to do something different. I knew I wanted to travel internationally and be of service in some way. When I thought about the best vehicle in which to do so, someone mentioned Peace Corps. I looked into it, thought it would be the right fit for me and the rest is history.Can you tell us about your background?
I received my undergraduate degree, a BA in International Relations, from Brown University in 2010. For the year in between graduation and Peace Corps, I worked as a hostess at an Italian restaurant and a counselor at a women's reproductive health clinic.Where did you serve?
I served in Shoshong, Botswana. I was placed as a Community Capacity Builder in the local clinic. I gave health talks to patients in the morning and helped nurses improve their computer skills. But like most PCVs, my work extended beyond my primary assignment I worked with youth in the community and teachers in the schools, stressing life skills and prevention of gender-based violence. Like most Peace Corps Volunteers, my projects were varied and all over the community. My favorite part of being a Peace Corps Volunteer was supporting individuals to reach their personal goals and helping them through difficult life situations.Favorite hobby or interest:
yoga, meditation, reading anything I can get my hands onHow did your family and friends feel about your service?
Everyone was supportive of my Peace Corps service. A friend of the family who had begun his service in Uganda had been attacked on his way to his site after Pre-Service Training (Note: he is fine and has since completed his service). Because of that, my mom was a bit wary of me serving in Africa. After we researched Botswana and saw that it did not have that kind of risk it put her much more at ease. But there was never any question that I would indeed accept my invitation to be a Volunteer.Any particularly interesting or funny thing happen during your service?
At my site, I lived in my own house on a family compound. I quickly became part of the family. My host brother became Kgosi (chief of his tribe) during my service, so I was invited to read a poem at his inauguration. It was an honor to be part of such a big event.
Another story... One weekend, another Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) and I decided to walk between our two villages. We heard it was only a 2-hour hike and thought it would be perfect! We took my host brother, another PCV and a couple other Batswana (locals) with us. Of course we only packed enough water and snacks for a half-day trip. We left at 9 am expecting to be lounging in her house having lunch by 1 pm. Oh how wrong we were. It is funny now, but looking back it was terrifying! We were so lost -- listened to bad directions -- and didn't reach her house until almost 6 pm. Be sure you know your route before you go out exploring!What are your future plans? (Amelia stayed in Botswana after the close of her service)
I am currently working as a Program Assistant in the Gaborone, Botswana site of the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). I assist students in finding internships, volunteer opportunities and observations within local clinics, as well as facilitate their integration into Botswana culture. I hope to travel more in the future and get either a Master's in Social Work or a Master's in Public Health.Your thoughts about the Peace Corps Forum?
The Forum is a great place to exchange a wealth of knowledge between RPCVs, PCVs and applicants. I am happy to be a part of it!Amelia's Blog address: http://ameliainbotswana.blogspot.com/