The Peace Corps advertises a volunteerâ€™s experience as a particularly active and exhaustive one.Â The recruitment slogan, â€œThe hardest job youâ€™ll ever love,â€ epitomizes the expectations held of new PCVs.Â Therefore, when a PCV receives less-demanding assignment, there can be tension between their expectation and their reality.Â Such tension may prompt quandaries of whether they are fulfilling their potential by completing their assignment.
Maureen Carroll, the Philippines 1961-1963
Carroll was a participant in the first year of PCVs and the first cohort in the Philippines.Â As such, there was no clearly defined program when she arrived and no projects to pick up where the last volunteer left off.Â Rather than immediately beginning work, this cohort remarks, â€œthe teachers were actually afraid to expect us to do any real work.â€Â This predicament led to â€œboredom and uncertaintyâ€ rather than fulfillment.
Geer Wilcox, Dominican Republic 1963-1965
In this recorded letter, Wilcox describes the social nature of his work; getting to know Dominican culture and Dominican priorities are a main part of his job as a Peace Corps Volunteer.Â Yet, many of his fellow PCVs find themselves underworked and, subsequently, bored with their assignment.Â This could be both a symptom of the Peace Corpsâ€™ nebulous early years, and indicative of the difficulties in working with people of other cultures.
Ann Holmquist, Nigeria 1966-1968
Holmquist worked in Nigeria teaching English to children.Â Her work in the classroom was successful, but after a trip to neighboring Niger, she felt less satisfied with her accomplishments.Â The PCVs who worked in Niger tackled much more basic problems and saw incredible leaps forward during their service.Â In this clip, Holmquist thinks out loud about the place and value of her work for the Peace Corps in comparatively developed Nigeria.