Starting Our Unofficial Community

The Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook has been a long-running project that I began almost four years ago when I was applying to become a Peace Corps Volunteer. It is based on the idea that we (applicants, trainees, volunteers) all go through experiences that are shared around the world and make us part of the Peace Corps community. I kept track of my questions, as well as questions that other people have shared with me, and then wrote down answers to those questions a little bit every month. In August, the Unofficial Handbook was released as a paperback and hardcover book and there are already copies on several continents around the globe!

It took a lot of time and hard work, but it's been very rewarding and especially wonderful to connect with so many volunteers worldwide. We had an incredible team of people come together to share stories, advice and wisdom and we have received wonderful comments and support from dozens of readers. It's really been amazing to be in contact with so many great people all around the world including returned volunteers, experienced volunteers in the field, trainees leaving America, applicants getting their invitations in the mail from Peace Corps, and people just starting their applications. I feel very fortunate and humbled to have access to technology that allows us to share our experiences and reach out to help each other no matter where we are.

This really is only the beginning. We are raising hundreds of dollars for Peace Corps projects, starting great conversations about an incredible organization and sharing wonderful experiences with people all over the world.  I look forward to connecting more with incredible people in our Unofficial Peace Corps community for many months to come.