May 10, 2004: Headlines: COS - Moldova: Corpus Christi Caller Times: Anna Brown going to Moldova in Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Moldova: Peace Corps Moldova : The Peace Corps in Moldova: May 10, 2004: Headlines: COS - Moldova: Corpus Christi Caller Times: Anna Brown going to Moldova in Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-44-226.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.44.226) on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 7:07 pm: Edit Post

Anna Brown going to Moldova in Peace Corps

Anna Brown going to Moldova in Peace Corps

Anna Brown going to Moldova in Peace Corps

Peace Corps sends 2 local women abroad

1 will teach in Nicaragua, the other in Eastern Europe; just 48 Corpus Christi residents have joined since '60s

By Icess Fernandez Caller-Times
May 10, 2004

Jennifer Morrison, 24, spent her last couple of days in Corpus Christi enjoying the great indoors - the warm glow of cable television and the soft breezes from her air conditioner.

"I'm antsy to enjoy America," she said. "Like watching TV and enjoying air conditioning."

Where she's going, air conditioning is a rarity. Morrison, a recent graduate of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, joined the Peace Corps and will spend the next two years in Nicaragua. And while the city enjoyed the last weekend of Buccaneer Days, Morrison sat at Barnes and Noble Bookstore dealing with the idea of leaving her home, her family, and her entire world behind for two years. Morrison has never lived outside of Corpus Christi.

"I already went through the nervous stage but I'm OK now," she said. "I'm a firm believer that you can't be afraid to live."

Morrison has traveled to other countries before. In August 2003, Morrison was one of eight A&M-Corpus Christi students to travel to Mexico on a photography tour for a week.

Anna Brown, 54, also joined the Peace Corps and will be sent to Moldova in Eastern Europe. She graduated in 2001 from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a master's degree in music.

Morrison and Brown are part of a handful of Corpus Christi residents who have joined the Peace Corps. Since the inception of the volunteer agency, which dates back to President Kennedy's administration in the early 1960s, 48 people from Corpus Christi have joined.

Jesus Garcia, a spokesman for the Peace Corps, says not many people from Corpus Christi volunteer in the organization.

"It's amazing to have two," Garcia said. "Every two years we may get one. We need an awareness campaign in the area."

The Peace Corps is a government-backed agency that staffs volunteers in other countries. The organization sends volunteers to countries not in turmoil. For about two years, volunteers work in other countries in jobs such as agriculture and youth mentoring. During their time in the Peace Corps, volunteers receive benefits such as deferment from college loans and medical insurance.

To join the Peace Corps, volunteers must be at least 18 years old, an American citizen, have earned a college degree or have four to six years of experience in agriculture, business or construction. No foreign language is required. The organization also looks for self-starters, Garcia said.

"We are looking for leaders," he said. "We look for someone who doesn't need to be told what to do."

The number of Peace Corps volunteers is on the upswing, including many people over the age of 50 who lost their jobs. About 6 percent of the volunteers are over 50, Garcia said.

"More people 50 and older are signing up because they were either laid off or are too young to retire so they volunteer before retirement," he said.

The oldest volunteer in the organization is 82, Garcia said.

Volunteers go through an intense 12-week training before flying off to their assignments. Brown will be teaching English as a second language. Morrison will be in youth development, teaching classes.

Her father, Tom Morrison, is confident his daughter will do well in her new life.

"I'm not worried," he said. "Jennifer is a survival type of person. I feel confident that Nicaragua is a safe place to be. I think it's safer than South Padre Island Drive. No one wants their child to leave home but it's part of the life cycle."

Contact Icess Fernandez at _886-3748 or fernandezi@caller.com




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Story Source: Corpus Christi Caller Times

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Moldova

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