March 5, 2005: Headlines: COS - Mongolia: Northern Virginia Daily: Carrie Wallinger, 24, is experiencing several challenges in Mongolia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Mongolia: Peace Corps Mongolia : The Peace Corps in Mongolia: March 5, 2005: Headlines: COS - Mongolia: Northern Virginia Daily: Carrie Wallinger, 24, is experiencing several challenges in Mongolia

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Carrie Wallinger, 24, is experiencing several challenges in Mongolia

Carrie Wallinger, 24, is experiencing several challenges in Mongolia

Carrie Wallinger, 24, is experiencing several challenges in Mongolia

Volunteers help others improve lives

By Jonathon Shacat
Northern Virginia Daily
March 5, 2005

Going halfway around the world to help people in developing countries for two years is tough.

Friends and family are left behind. Modern day comforts become virtually nonexistent. The climate can be unbearable. Foods are entirely different. Language barriers are a challenge to overcome. And, adapting to new cultures and customs can be demanding.

But for four people from the Northern Shenandoah Valley, the sacrifice is worthwhile. Working as Peace Corps volunteers, they are sharing their knowledge and skills to help improve the lives of others across the world.

Tommy Schultz, of Winchester, is a community development worker in the Philippines; Carrie Wallinger, of Mt. Jackson, is teaching English as a foreign language in Mongolia; Paul Negley, of Winchester, is working in hygiene, sanitation and disease control in Morocco; and Nicholas Heltzel, of Maurertown, is an organizational and community development specialist in the Kyrgyz Republic.

[Excerpt]

Wallinger, 24, is experiencing several challenges in Mongolia. Since meat is the staple food there, she has had to get used to not eating fruit and vegetables on a regular basis. Also, as a result of the 20 degree below zero temperatures in the winter, she has faced difficulty in keeping her house warm. She hauls her own water from the river, chops her own firewood and washes clothes by hand.

She now has a better appreciation for the simple pleasures commonly available in the United States, as she indicates in a Jan. 18 journal entry on her Web site (www.carrieinmongolia.blogspot.com) in which she describes the differences between staying in her town, Bayanmunkh Soum, and the capital, Ulaanbaatar, which is abbreviated as UB.

"Coming back from UB was difficult in many ways it was like starting over. I went from a place with hot showers available every day, pizza and English-speaking friends to a place where no one knows English to speak of, no one knows what pizza is, and showers are the stuff of dreams," she wrote.

Wallinger is an English teacher in a town of about 1,000 people. She teaches fifth- and sixth-graders. In addition to the regular classes, she teaches one adult class twice a week and an English Club once a week. She also teaches a youth development program.

"Sometimes I wonder how much good I'm doing teaching English or teaching in such a small place but to me it's worth it when I see how much my students are interested and how welcoming my community is. Sometimes I meet people who were taught by a [Peace Corps volunteer] 10 or 15 years ago and now they're doing something amazing. I wonder if any of my students will get there," she says in an e-mail to the Daily.

Despite all the struggles, it's a worthwhile experience, said her mother, Rosemary.

"She didn't go over to have fun. She went over to administer peacemaking skills in a world that doesn't show too much evidence of having peacemaking skills at this particular time. She has gone to make a difference. She has gone to make friends with someone in an entirely different culture," she said during an interview.





When this story was posted in March 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

The Peace Corps Library Date: February 7 2005 No: 438 The Peace Corps Library
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RPCVs in Congress ask colleagues to support PC Date: March 5 2005 No: 482 RPCVs in Congress ask colleagues to support PC
RPCVs Sam Farr, Chris Shays, Thomas Petri, James Walsh, and Mike Honda have asked their colleagues in Congress to add their names to a letter they have written to the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee, asking for full funding of $345 M for the Peace Corps in 2006. As a follow-on to Peace Corps week, please read the letter and call your Representative in Congress and ask him or her to add their name to the letter.

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Western North Carolina's RPCVs sponsor Africa Night on March 6 3 Mar
Maryland RPCVs lobby their Senators for Peace Corps 3 Mar
Connecticut RPCVs hold fundraiser on March 5 3 Mar
Charles Baquet speaks at Louisiana PC Breakfast on March 4 28 Feb

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March 5, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: March 5 2005 No: 476 March 5, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
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Carol Bellamy defends "feminism" in aiding children 28 Feb
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Elaine Chao Leads Delegation to Uruguay 28 Feb
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Kay Muldoon-Ibrahim's photography on exhibit 27 Feb
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March 1: National Day of Action Date: February 28 2005 No: 471 March 1: National Day of Action
Tuesday, March 1, is the NPCA's National Day of Action. Please call your Senators and ask them to support the President's proposed $27 Million budget increase for the Peace Corps for FY2006 and ask them to oppose the elimination of Perkins loans that benefit Peace Corps volunteers from low-income backgrounds. Follow this link for step-by-step information on how to make your calls. Then take our poll and leave feedback on how the calls went.
Coates Redmon, Peace Corps Chronicler  Date: February 26 2005 No: 457 Coates Redmon, Peace Corps Chronicler
Coates Redmon, a staffer in Sargent Shriver's Peace Corps, died February 22 in Washington, DC. Her book "Come as You Are" is considered to be one of the finest (and most entertaining) recountings of the birth of the Peace Corps and how it was literally thrown together in a matter of weeks. If you want to know what it felt like to be young and idealistic in the 1960's, get an out-of-print copy. We honor her memory.
Make a call for the Peace Corps Date: February 19 2005 No: 453 Make a call for the Peace Corps
PCOL is a strong supporter of the NPCA's National Day of Action and encourages every RPCV to spend ten minutes on Tuesday, March 1 making a call to your Representatives and ask them to support President Bush's budget proposal of $345 Million to expand the Peace Corps. Take our Poll: Click here to take our poll. We'll send out a reminder and have more details early next week.
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Bulgarian writer Ognyan Georgiev has written a story which has made the front page of the newspaper "Telegraf" criticizing the photo selection for his country in the 2005 "Peace Corps Calendar" published by RPCVs of Madison, Wisconsin. RPCV Betsy Sergeant Snow, who submitted the photograph for the calendar, has published her reply. Read the stories and leave your comments.
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Read about two RPCVs who participated in World War II in very different ways long before there was a Peace Corps. Retired Rear Adm. Francis J. Thomas (RPCV Fiji), a decorated hero of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died Friday, Jan. 21, 2005 at 100. Mary Smeltzer (RPCV Botswana), 89, followed her Japanese students into WWII internment camps. We honor both RPCVs for their service.
Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps Date: February 7 2005 No: 436 Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps
The White House is proposing $345 Million for the Peace Corps for FY06 - a $27.7 Million (8.7%) increase that would allow at least two new posts and maintain the existing number of volunteers at approximately 7,700. Bush's 2002 proposal to double the Peace Corps to 14,000 volunteers appears to have been forgotten. The proposed budget still needs to be approved by Congress.

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Story Source: Northern Virginia Daily

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

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