2007.01.29: January 29, 2007: Headlines: COS - Senegal: GW Hatchet: Jeff Chatellier left a corporate job at a consulting firm in Tyson's Corner for a mud hut in Senegal

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Senegal: Peace Corps Senegal : Peace Corps Senegal: Newest Stories: 2007.01.29: January 29, 2007: Headlines: COS - Senegal: GW Hatchet: Jeff Chatellier left a corporate job at a consulting firm in Tyson's Corner for a mud hut in Senegal

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-249-83-39.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 70.249.83.39) on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 9:28 am: Edit Post

Jeff Chatellier left a corporate job at a consulting firm in Tyson's Corner for a mud hut in Senegal

Jeff Chatellier left a corporate job at a consulting firm in Tyson's Corner for a mud hut in Senegal

Peace Corps volunteers are shaken to the core by the original shock of the living conditions and the isolation they feel, then build themselves back up during the two years of immersion, Chatellier said. He was shocked when he first saw his mud hut, but it was his home for two years and he grew fond of it. In a small community in Senegal, Chatellier was exposed to sickness and bad water quality. It was a shock, but the community became his home and he became so invested in Senegal that it became "like getting a two-year Master's degree in that country." He learned the language, the culture and geography. He watched the children change as education became more pronounced in his village.

Jeff Chatellier left a corporate job at a consulting firm in Tyson's Corner for a mud hut in Senegal

Ditching the office to promote peace abroad

by Brittany Levine
Hatchet Reporter

Issue date: 1/29/07 Section: Life

[Excerpt]

As a freshman at GW, Chatellier, now 27, worked at Peace Corps' headquarters in the District. He met the people who worked there - most were former volunteers - and heard their stories.

"There is a lot of pressure coming out of GW, which is a career-driven school, to get a high-paying job. I did that, and then I left a high-paying job for the Peace Corps," Chatellier said last week. "I got antsy just working in an office (and working) on international issues. I wanted to go out there and really see what was happening firsthand."

But Chatellier said he understands why more of today's GW students would want to join the Peace Corps' ranks - more and more people at the University are interested in community service and international experiences, which are two things GW's admissions office heavily advertises and reasons Chatellier joined himself.

In a small community in Senegal, Chatellier was exposed to sickness and bad water quality. It was a shock, but the community became his home and he became so invested in Senegal that it became "like getting a two-year Master's degree in that country." He learned the language, the culture and geography. He watched the children change as education became more pronounced in his village.

"Kids would walk to school with their little knapsacks and their mothers would tell me how happy they were that their children were getting an education," he said. "I don't judge my Peace Corps experience on the concrete projects I did. It was more about speaking with the families that lived there."

Peace Corps volunteers are shaken to the core by the original shock of the living conditions and the isolation they feel, then build themselves back up during the two years of immersion, Chatellier said. He was shocked when he first saw his mud hut, but it was his home for two years and he grew fond of it.

As a volunteer, he worked in Agro-forestry, helping his community improve their environmental sustainability, but one of the biggest impacts he made was that he started a girls' soccer team in his community. Now girls' soccer is a permanent part of the region. He also started a cashew nut processing company with his Senegalese friend, which promotes organic farming and fair trade.



Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: January, 2007; Peace Corps Senegal; Directory of Senegal RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Senegal RPCVs





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Story Source: GW Hatchet

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