July 30, 2004: Headlines: COS - Romania: : Henry Herald: Peace Corps Volunteer Adam McGarity returns from Romania - "I learned more about America in the Peace Corps than I ever did here."

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Romania: Peace Corps Romania : The Peace Corps in Romania: July 30, 2004: Headlines: COS - Romania: : Henry Herald: Peace Corps Volunteer Adam McGarity returns from Romania - "I learned more about America in the Peace Corps than I ever did here."

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-22-73.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.22.73) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 11:38 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps Volunteer Adam McGarity returns from Romania - "I learned more about America in the Peace Corps than I ever did here."

Peace Corps Volunteer Adam McGarity returns from Romania - I learned more about America in the Peace Corps than I ever did here.

Peace Corps Volunteer Adam McGarity returns from Romania - "I learned more about America in the Peace Corps than I ever did here."

McDonough native returns from Peace Corps

By April Avison

After spending two years in Romania, Adam McGarity came home to find a new Georgia flag, one-way streets around the McDonough Square and unfamiliar commercial developments throughout the county.

"There's also a lot more stop signs now than there were two years ago," McGarity said. "I've run a few a them already."

Although some sights in Henry County may seem foreign to the 24-year-old, McGarity has seen a few things over the past few years that might seem unusual to Henry County residents.

"I was walking down the street and saw this kid playing with his dog n well, I thought it was a dog, but it was a lion. You just don't see people in Atlanta out walking their lions," McGarity said.

The Peace Corps volunteer, assigned to Romania for two years, also became accustomed to the familiar sight of a train stopping for a new passenger and her goat to get on board. He suffered through cold winters when temperatures dropped to minus-25 degrees. He learned a new language and a lot about himself.

"Some go for adventure and altruism. Some go because they can't get a job somewhere else. Some go because it looks good on your resume," McGarity said. "I wanted to travel and learn another language. Everything I wanted to get out of it, I got out of it."

Coming from a close-knit family that includes parents John and Nan McGarity, and younger brothers Nathan and Reed, Adam's Peace Corps duty brought changes on the family as well.

"He's always been very confident, willing to go out and see the things he hasn't seen and do the things he hasn't done," said John McGarity, a local real estate agent. "There was that sense of your firstborn being 10,000 miles away and what if something happens, you can't get in touch with him all the time but I guess that's part of growing up for the parents. It was an excellent experience."

Nathan and Reed visited their older brother last summer for two weeks and toured Budapest and Romania.

That was a little scary to have all three of them in a foreign country," John McGarity said. "They're all very different. It was a good experience for Adam and for us. It's always exciting to see what your kids can do when they're on their own."

Although Adam said his brothers enjoyed their vacation, he doesn't expect they'll be signing up for the Peace Corps.

"Nathan is too attached to home, and Reed likes the first world amenities. He has no problem traveling but he'll want to travel first class," Adam said.

Since 1960, the Peace Corps has been sending volunteers to promote peace and friendship throughout the world by meeting medical needs, teaching and working in the professional fields in more than 130 host countries.

McGarity, a graduate of Henry County High School and Mercer University, trained in Poliesti with a group of about 60 volunteers ranging in age from their 20s to Odi Diaz, a Cuban man in his 80s.

"He had a lot more energy than some of us in our 20s," McGarity said.

McGarity and other volunteers were trained to teach English, and he eventually taught English as a second language to fifth- through 12th graders in an industrial school. The Peace Corps encourages its volunteers to live at the level of the local population. While the average salary in Romania is about $100 per month, McGarity earned a living allowance of $225 per month.

McGarity said the experience changed his perspective.

"I appreciated the opportunities I have here (in America) better," he said. "People are often very defeatist there n it's like a Communist hangover. They think nothing's ever going to get better. I see so much potential there, I just wish they could, too. I wanted to come back and make the most of the opportunities I have."

The experience taught him more than a new perspective. He learned Romanian and some Hungarian.

"I also read a lot more, probably about as much as in college but this time it wasn't forced," he said. "I liked the freedom to be away from the pressure to have an opinion. I just wanted to read for knowledge I learned more about America in the Peace Corps than I ever did here."

And now he's ready for his next adventure.

"I'm moving to Atlanta and I'm going to wait tables and do some freelance writing," McGarity said. "I just want to make enough money to support whatever lifestyle I choose."

And McGarity says he'll always reflect on his Peace Corps experience as a positive one.

"I'm happy I did it, but I was ready to come back," he said. "I'd recommend it to anyone who thought they wanted to and thought they could do it."




Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Henry Herald

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

PCOL12538
10

.


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: