November 2, 2003 - Dayton Daily News: First get the real truth By Bolivia PCV

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By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 8:12 am: Edit Post

First get the real truth By Bolivia PCV

First get the real truth By Bolivia PCV

First get the real truth By Bolivia PCV

As a Peace Corps Volunteer currently serving in Bolivia, I can say that I have first had knowledge of what it is like to be serving in a developing country. Here is what it is really like as a PCV in Boliva.

To the statements of safety, Peace Corps strives to keep its volunteers safe. During our 3 month in-country training before being sent to site, we are given extensive training on security and language, the number one tip to safety being community integration. While you cannot take out risk in life, you cannot and should not hide from it. While I know that living in a foreign country does espose me to the risk of theft, robbery, or assult, living in the United States also exposes me to the same. I am not living here with my eyes closed, and as a volunteer, I choose to be here, fully knowing and accepting that there are inherent dangers.

As to the notion of all volunteers being young, straight out of college, ignorant young adults, that is definately not the case. I am a registered nurse with several years of inner city hospital experience. I consider myself a professional. I am currently working in a health and sanitation program with a school. I teach nutrition to kids. I also try to teach them the importance of washing their hands and brushing their teeth. While it is not what most people would call regular nursing work, it is directly related to the realm of pubic health nursing. No, I am not unprepared for this job.

I resent the fact that the Peace Corps is being slandered by this newspaper. I do not understand why an orginization dedicated to helping the developing world is being attacked. Boliva has the second highest infant mortality rate in the western hemisphere at 10 %. That means one out of every ten infants die before their first birthday. That statistic is very grave, and for me, in a country where the greatest risk to your life is just being born, I would rather choose to live here in Boliva, as a volunteer, than in a country where people are so apethetic that they would try to stop people from helping others in the world.

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Story Source: Dayton Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Investigative Journalism; COS - Bolivia



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