I’ve been so busy at work lately that I haven’t had the time to just unwind and relax. One of the things that I like to do is just write. Not to write marketing or analysis or plans. Just to write about things that are on my mind.
I am an RPCV. I rarely say that but I do like to. It makes me happy to remember and proud to say. An RPCV is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. There are no X Peace Corp Volunteers. In training, they told us, once you’re in, you’re in for life. First you are an active PCV, then an RPCV.
It makes me happy to remember since Peace Corps was a happy time for me. 1980-82. I was young and having a great adventure,
life was simple, and the work was interesting. I’m proud not so much because it was useful socially-minded work (it was but I am suspicious of the high-ground that many do-gooders claim to have) but because it was a very independent-minded decision made by me and a good one. I’m proud because I worked hard and was productive as a volunteer. And I’m proud because it was the finest part of my education (despite having attended both an Ivy League c
ollege and grad school). I rarely talk about Peace Corps because mostly I find talking about it bores me. When asked, I rehash the same stories that I’ve been telling for 30 years since I get back. I rarely bring it up.
I’m thinking about it today because I was reading about Paul Theroux, the writer. Paul Theroux began b
y writing about the life he knew in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteers His first first three novels are set in Africa: Fong and the Indians, Girls at Play, and Jungle Lovers. Jungle Lovers focuses on Malawi where Paul was a PCV. Two of his later novels, My Secret History and My Other Life, recast his Peace Corps tour as fiction.