The Bale of Hay

For some reason Ree (Court's mom) thought it would be funny to see us push a round bale of down the field. It was dark so the pictures didn't turn out but we had fun attempting it none-the-less.
Derek, Darrin, and me (Jake) - Erin taking photo


This site.

So what is behind this site? Well let's just say we didn't reinvent the wheel on this one. Many of the components have been edited slightly to bring everything together. If you are looking to start your own blog or website and want an easy setup and to keep the upkeep minimal (including quickly adding pictures and quickly adding site content) Wordpress is your answer. There is a easily installed plugin for almost everything you want to display.

The components:

Why we fight... for friendliness, for service, for understanding, for peace.

Erin and I have been getting a lot of questions from friends, family, and co-workers asking us why we want to join the Peace Corps.

The Questions

  • "Why would you want to give away two years of your life?"
  • "Doesn't helping people only make them want more help?"
  • "Why don't you stay here and help out Americans?"
  • "Aren't you afraid that people will hate you because you are American?"
  • First of all there are a lot of misconceptions about the Peace Corps. Many return volunteers say that they learned more from the people they lived and worked with than they could ever teach them. The Peace Corps tends to be more of an exchange of culture than anything. Volunteers absorb the often-complex cultures and offer out a bit of American culture in return. After reading many blogs and hearing stories from past Peace Corps volunteers the consensus seems to be that their experiences as a volunteer seems to be a defining moment in their lives. Most volunteers submit that the difference they made in terms of "helping" the people in their area was a small one but emphasize that it was a difference none-the-less.

    "We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee." --Marian Wright Edelman

    "You're the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it." - Earvin Magic Johnson

    The Answers

    So, do Peace Corps volunteers really "give away two years of life" or do they step outside of the American routine of life to experience the routines and ways of an entirely different culture and in doing so attempt to paint a different view and obtain a greater understanding of the world?
    Many of the countries the Peace Corps sends volunteers to have very weak and ineffective central governments bogged down in foreign debt and are still attempting to recover from past oppressions. This is not a problem in the United States. It is true that there are many areas of our country that need help and assistance but we are choosing to join the Peace Corps because we feel that promoting friendship and peace abroad is an experience that will be both valuable to ourselves and valuable as a service to our country. Who knows, maybe AmeriCorps after :)
    If volunteers live and work with people and countries to teach them how to improve situations are they really perpetuating the claim that helping people only makes things worse?

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." --Chinese Proverb
    There are and there has always been a lot of different feelings about America. Most of these feelings have to do with the current and past policies of our government. We, and many volunteers, set out to show that the policies of the government do not always represent the will of the people. There is a great people, culture, and variety of opinions in the United States. Of course there are going to be people that will never fully accept the "American" living among them but lending an ear for concerns and attempting to understand what these people believe will probably be the greatest learning experience of all."Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it." ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
    Of course every Peace Corps experience is different but we are looking forward to making a difference, meeting and learning from new people, and showing an different side of America wherever we go.

    Fishing at Fish Lake

    We went Fishing at Fish and Crystal lake today and caught some lunkers. Here they are :)