I’ve recently hosted a couple of guest posts by a boomer who is not only living his life to the fullest, he is making the world a better place–all at the same time. You’ve been asking for more.. so please read on!
David Jarmul is an example of someone who has taken the leap and is now experiencing a brand new life filled with challenges and rewards. He graciously offered to allow me to reprint some of the posts from his fascinating blog, notexaclyretired.com. Here is the third in a series about David’s personal journey as a Peace Corps volunteer…
Nearly four decades ago, shortly after I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, I wrote an op-ed article for The New York Times in which I asked whether I would be able to hold onto everything I had just learned.
“After I’ve lived so long in a truly poor country,” I wrote, “New York seems like Fat City.” I ended the article with the words, “Will I remember?”
For me, as for so many other volunteers, Peace Corps was a transformative experience, changing my view of the world and my own place in it. In fact, I never forgot it, which is what led me to join again years later, this time with Champa, as I approached the other end of my professional career.
The older volunteers with whom we are now serving in Moldova say Peace Corps is altering their perspectives, too, as they look to their post-retirement years.
“Service has changed me,” says Jim Fletcher, a fellow North Carolinian. “I have come to realize that my needs are a great deal less than I thought they were. I use less water when I shower, I can buy good used clothes and look good and be happy, I can and will spend more time here and at home helping others who are less fortunate than I am. My vision of the world has changed because of the wonderful people of Moldova and it has changed for the better.
Deborah Sesek from Cleveland, who served as my mentor before I even came to Moldova, said she has “come to appreciate more the opportunities, privileges and rights afforded me as a U.S. citizen. I am especially grateful for my family, friends and life. In turn I have greater respect and concern for those who are vulnerable and without voice. Peace Corps has expanded my knowledge and world view.”
Other volunteers I interviewed for this series generally concur, saying anyone considering serving in the Peace Corps can expect the experience to change their lives.