April 27, 2005: Headlines: COS - Mozambique: The Acorn: Robin Hull leaving for Mozambique in the Peace Corps as community health promoter

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Mozambique: Peace Corps Mozambique : The Peace Corps in Mozambique: April 27, 2005: Headlines: COS - Mozambique: The Acorn: Robin Hull leaving for Mozambique in the Peace Corps as community health promoter

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Robin Hull leaving for Mozambique in the Peace Corps as community health promoter

Robin Hull leaving for Mozambique in the Peace Corps as community health promoter

Robin Hull leaving for Mozambique in the Peace Corps as community health promoter

Calabasas employee finds peace in helping others

She's leaving for Mozambique

By Michael Picarella
The Acorn
Agoura Hills, Calif.
April 27, 2005

Calabasas Environmental Services Manager Robin Hull gave up her good-paying job with good benefits last week. Money isn't everything, she said.

Hull has been with the city of Calabasas for over five years. The city only recently promoted her to environmental services manager. But Hull resigned last Thursday to track a dream.

"I'm nervous about what I'm doing, but this is definitely what I want to do," said Hull, who is joining the Peace Corps in the southeast African country of Mozambique, something she's wanted to do for many years. It's the biggest life move that she's ever made.

"I grew up here in Calabasas, I went to school in Santa Barbara-I've always been pretty close by," Hull said.

Hull could have joined the Peace Corps following college graduation, but instead moved home after learning her mom was sick with cancer. Her mother has since died.

"After my dad remarried and I knew he'd be taken care of, I had allowed myself to think about joining the Peace Corps again," Hull said. "I picked up an application last year and ran with it."

The application process for the Peace Corps takes about six months to a year, according to Hull. She set a date to join in accordance with her apartment lease and her car loan payoff date.

Sunday, Hull began her long journey to Africa.

"This is something I've always wanted to do because it's such an incredible program," Hull said. "There are so many ways to help people and I'll get to work on AIDS/HIV programs."

According to Peace Corps statistics, 13 percent of the population in Mozambique suffers from AIDS and two-thirds of the people live in absolute poverty.

Mozambique is about twice the size of California.

Hull will live in a very small, isolated village in an area very different from Calabasas. Not only will she see a difference in civilization, but also her life will be in more danger in Mozambique, she said.

"There are things that concern me," Hull said. "There are still land mines there because when (the people of Mozambique) were regaining their independence from Portugal-they were occupied for 500 years-there were a lot of land mines set up. I know that I'm going to use a lot of caution. And I'll have to stay on the beaten path. But I also get nine weeks of training that will give me the do's and don'ts on how to be safe."

Hull has made a two-year commitment to the Peace Corps. She's given a probationary period to drop out if she wants. She'll get paid whatever a professional would get paid out there and after she's served her duties, she'll receive a stipend of about $6,000.

Hull will take a significant pay cut. It's worth it, she said.

"I know that if I don't do this, I'll always wish that I had," Hull said. "I'm a very hard worker and I'm very driven, so I feel that when I get back, I can find a job and try to get into a place where I'm happy again."

Hull will try to get her old job back with the city of Calabasas when she returns from her Peace Corps duties, she said.

"There's no protection of my job," Hull said. "I'll just come back and if I can work for the city, that would be great."

Hull's position in the Peace Corps will be community health promoter, a volunteer position, she said. She's no stranger to volunteerism or world service. Three years ago, she volunteered to address environmental issues, such as pending water shortages and the dangers of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, during the Johannesburg, South Africa Summit 2002 conference.

"At the conference, I met the co-founder of a Los Angeles-based nonprofit called NextAid (www.nextaid.org)," Hull said. "We had gone out to meet a group of AIDS orphans and I saw that (NextAid) was trying to raise money to develop a sustainable green building use center for AIDS kids. I've been volunteering with NextAid since I got back from (the Johannesburg, South Africa Summit 2002 conference)."

Hull's involvement with NextAid fueled her decision to join the Peace Corps and help others with AIDS.

Hull graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies. Shortly after leaving school, she was offered an internship with the city of Calabasas and about four months later became a full-time employee. She had been with the city since. She lived in Santa Monica before flying out to the Peace Corps over the weekend.

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

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Story Source: The Acorn

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



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