2007.03.05: March 5, 2007: Headlines: COS - Peru: The Evening Sun: Ryan Nelson goes to Peru with Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Peru: Peace Corps Peru: Peace Corps Peru: New Stories: 2007.03.05: March 5, 2007: Headlines: COS - Peru: The Evening Sun: Ryan Nelson goes to Peru with Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-186-59.balt.east.verizon.net - on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 9:42 am: Edit Post

Ryan Nelson goes to Peru with Peace Corps

Ryan Nelson goes to Peru with Peace Corps

Through his work, Nelson hopes to either form an association of women weavers to start a marketable business of hand bags, wall hangings, table sets and other products, or work with a fish-farming project. "As far as the experience goes, I couldn't ask for anything better," he said. "It's really an unmatchable experience. I'm not saying that it's an easy job, as I have never been so challenged in my life, but it is extremely gratifying."

Ryan Nelson goes to Peru with Peace Corps

East Berlin goes to Peru with Peace Corps

Evening Sun Reporter

Article Launched: 03/05/2007 10:11:47 AM EST

Ryan Nelson is far from home.

The 23-year old East Berlin resident longs for a plate of spaghetti with a fresh garden salad. He even misses eating his vegetables.

And the only thing Nelson can drive is a bicycle.

For the past eight months, Nelson has been living in Peru as a volunteer with the Peace Corps.

"I really didn't know much about the Peace Corps until a year and a half ago when I attended a recruitment meeting at Dickinson College, where I attended college," he said in an e-mail interview. "It sounded like a pretty amazing experience and seemed to be a pretty good match for me."

The Peace Corps was started in 1960 by then-Sen. John F. Kennedy to spread peace by sending volunteers to live and work in developing countries. More than 187,000 volunteers have been invited by 139 host countries to work on issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation.

Nelson is a small-business promoter in Peru. He works with various community members in business-related areas.

Nelson said he just finished teaching computer classes and will soon be taking on projects more in line with his field. He graduated from Dickinson College in 2006 with a degree in international business and management.

"Facing graduation, I was looking for something a bit different than the 9-to-5 daily routine," Nelson said. "I was also seeking something a bit more gratifying than making money. The Peace Corps seemed to offer me a way to use my degree in a more fulfilling way."

So, Nelson started the application process in December 2005 and left the states at the end of June 2006.

Nelson will be coming home in May for two weeks but won't return to his hometown again until September 2008.

In his first eight months in Peru, Nelson has become proficient in Spanish, overcome his fear of dancing in public and has grown accustomed to the starchy diet of rice, potatoes and yucca.

But it's not all fun and games.

Nelson keeps a blog, www.ryaninperu.blogspot.com, where he relates some of the different things he has experienced.

"I visited all of the classes in the local schools on the first day with a doctor from Lima," Nelson wrote in his blog dated Sept. 15, 2006. "She was screening the students for epilepsy. Apparently it is fairly common and is caused by eating undercooked pork. There are worms that spread throughout the body and actually in to the brain, eating holes in the tissue É good thing I've had pork for just about every breakfast to date!"

And Nelson has noticed numerous differences between life in the United States and life in Peru.

"This week is also the big festival week for my town, Tunal," Nelson wrote in his blog in September. "Thursday and Friday are the big days with dances and festivities. Today (Thursday) I participated in the 'running of the bull' which is a custom where the people walk a bull through every street in the town along with a small marching band. They dance and drink throughout the precession and when the final destination is reached they slaughter the bull. I was sure to take plenty of photos. It's times like this that it really hits me that I'm in Peru!!"

Through his work, Nelson hopes to either form an association of women weavers to start a marketable business of hand bags, wall hangings, table sets and other products, or work with a fish-farming project.

"As far as the experience goes, I couldn't ask for anything better," he said. "It's really an unmatchable experience. I'm not saying that it's an easy job, as I have never been so challenged in my life, but it is extremely gratifying."

The hardest part of being in the Peace Corps, Nelson said, is being so far from home and not seeing his family and friends.

Although he is uncertain what his future holds, Nelson said he has plenty of time to think about it.

But, in the meantime, Nelson reflects on what the experience has already taught him.

"What I do know is that this experience has taught me a lot about what is important in life," Nelson said. "I have yet to complete my first full year here in Peru, but already the 'American dream' looks less and less appealing.

"I know a lot of people who are making loads of money, working long hours but to what end? Life is really about relationships, something I think we often forget about in the states. Here that's all people have and you wouldn't believe how happy they are."

Contact Ashley Adams at aadams@eveningsun.com.

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: March, 2007; Peace Corps Peru; Directory of Peru RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Peru RPCVs

When this story was posted in April 2007, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Subscribe to Peace Corps News Date: March 3 2007 No: 1071 Subscribe to Peace Corps News
Don't miss our new web site, Peace Corps News, for the latest news about the Returned Volunteer community and what is going on with the Peace Corps around the world. Subscribe to our news feed to get Peace Corps news delivered to your desk as it happens. Then visit the Peace Corps Library, History of the Peace Corps, the worldwide RPCV Directory or leave a message for the RPCV community on the RPCV Bulletin Board.

Peace Corps News Peace Corps Library Peace corps History RPCV Directory Sign Up

Suspect confesses in murder of PCV Date: April 27 2007 No: 1109 Suspect confesses in murder of PCV
Search parties in the Philippines discovered the body of Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell near Barangay Batad, Banaue town on April 17. Director Tschetter expressed his sorrow at learning the news. “Julia was a proud member of the Peace Corps family, and she contributed greatly to the lives of Filipino citizens in Donsol, Sorsogon, where she served,” he said. Latest: Suspect Juan Duntugan admits to killing Campbell. Leave your thoughts and condolences .

Warren Wiggins: Architect of the Peace Corps Date: April 15 2007 No: 1095 Warren Wiggins: Architect of the Peace Corps
Warren Wiggins, who died at 84 on April 13, became one of the architects of the Peace Corps in 1961 when his paper, "A Towering Task," landed in the lap of Sargent Shriver, just as Shriver was trying to figure out how to turn the Peace Corps into a working federal department. Shriver was electrified by the treatise, which urged the agency to act boldly. Read Mr. Wiggins' obituary and biography, take an opportunity to read the original document that shaped the Peace Corps' mission, and read John Coyne's special issue commemorating "A Towering Task."

March 14, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: March 14 2007 No: 1074 March 14, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Evacuated PCVs attend Festival on the Niger in Mali 23 Feb
Tom Bissell tells the story of how Vietnam came home 13 Mar
Mike Honda cites Japan's Sex Slavery 8 Mar
Donna Shalala co-chairs presidential commission 7 Mar
Sixth Anniversary of Disappearance of PCV Walter Poirier 6 Mar
Sam Farr was de-selected during Peace Corps Training 6 Mar
Elaine Jones would be good fit for NAACP President 6 Mar
Pat Waak re-elected chairwoman of Colorado Dems 5 Mar
Astronaut Mae Jemison was PC Medical Officer 4 Mar
Guy Consolmagno blends faith and science 3 Mar
Doyle Turns Down Federal Abstinence Money 3 Mar
Owen Cylke writes: Taxi in the Rain 2 Mar
Jody Olsen receives "Founder’s Day" Award 2 Mar
Chris Dodd introduces PCV Empowerment Act 1 Mar
Michael O'Hanlon writes: Iraq Deserves One More Chance 1 Mar
An Excerpt from Jan Worth's Night Blind 28 Feb
David Harde sentenced for Medical Marijuana 28 Feb
Oscar winner Helen Mirren congratulated by RPCV husband 26 Feb
RPCVs distribute mosquito nets 25 Feb
Peter McPherson new Chairman of Dow Jones 21 Feb
Arabic speakers under-utilized in Homeland Security 9 Feb
Dr. J. Michael Taylor co- founded Konbit Sante 4 Feb

February 23, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: February 24 2007 No: 1070 February 23, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Hill announces Draft Accord in North Korea Nuclear Talks 12 Feb
Dodd builds connections in New Hampshire 19 Feb
PCVs accused of counterinsurgency activities 19 Feb
Harris Wofford declares support for Obama 18 Feb
Tschetter becomes the first Director to visit Malawi 16 Feb
New Fellows Program at Yale University 15 Feb
Sidney Slover helps start donut production in Honduras 16 Feb
Kevin O'Donnell's Daughter and Granddaughter are PCVs 14 Feb
Joe Krueger helps restore Liberia's timber industry 14 Feb
Peace Corps Hippies 13 Feb
Maryland RPCVs to screen "American Idealist" on March 3 9 Feb
Aaron Kase writes: Moon over Africa 8 Feb
Margaret Krome writes: 'Rogue nations' aren't only threat 8 Feb
Shays says he would Support McCain 8 Feb
A Mistrial for Lieut. Watada 8 Feb
Chris Matthews drops the F-bomb 8 Feb
RPCVs - Believe it or not 07 Feb
White House requests $334 Million for Peace Corps 5 Feb
Carol Bellamy writes: We need an Earth Corps 3 Feb
First Group of PCVs arrive in Cambodia 2 Feb
Mae Jemison wears red for charity 2 Feb
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts 30 Jan

The Peace Corps Library Date: July 11 2006 No: 923 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory or leave a message on our Bulletin Board. New: Sign up to receive our free Monthly Magazine by email, research the History of the Peace Corps, or sign up for a daily news summary of Peace Corps stories. FAQ: Visit our FAQ for more information about PCOL.

Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps Date: September 23 2006 No: 996 Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps
Senator Chris Dodd (RPCV Dominican Republic) spoke at the ceremony for this year's Shriver Award and elaborated on issues he raised at Ron Tschetter's hearings. Dodd plans to introduce legislation that may include: setting aside a portion of Peace Corps' budget as seed money for demonstration projects and third goal activities (after adjusting the annual budget upward to accommodate the added expense), more volunteer input into Peace Corps operations, removing medical, healthcare and tax impediments that discourage older volunteers, providing more transparency in the medical screening and appeals process, a more comprehensive health safety net for recently-returned volunteers, and authorizing volunteers to accept, under certain circumstances, private donations to support their development projects. He plans to circulate draft legislation for review to members of the Peace Corps community and welcomes RPCV comments.

He served with honor Date: September 12 2006 No: 983 He served with honor
One year ago, Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya) carried on an ongoing dialog on this website on the military and the peace corps and his role as a member of a Civil Affairs Team in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have just received a report that Sargeant Paul has been killed by a car bomb in Kabul. Words cannot express our feeling of loss for this tremendous injury to the entire RPCV community. Most of us didn't know him personally but we knew him from his words. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. He was one of ours and he served with honor.

Meet Ron Tschetter - Our Next Director Date: September 6 2006 No: 978 Meet Ron Tschetter - Our Next Director
Read our story about Ron Tschetter's confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that was carried on C-Span. It was very different from the Vasquez hearings in 2001, very cut and dried with low attendance by the public. Among the highlights, Tschetter intends to make recruitment of baby boomers a priority, there are 20 countries under consideration for future programs, Senator Dodd intends to re-introduce his third goal Peace Corps legislation this session, Tschetter is a great admirer of Senator Coleman's quest for accountability, Dodd thinks management at PC may not put volunteers first, Dodd wants Tschetter to look into problems in medical selection, and Tschetter is not a blogger and knows little about the internet or guidelines for volunteer blogs. Read our recap of the hearings as well as Senator Coleman's statement and Tschetter's statement.

Peace Corps' Screening and Medical Clearance Date: August 19 2006 No: 964 Peace Corps' Screening and Medical Clearance
The purpose of Peace Corps' screening and medical clearance process is to ensure safe accommodation for applicants and minimize undue risk exposure for volunteers to allow PCVS to complete their service without compromising their entry health status. To further these goals, PCOL has obtained a copy of the Peace Corps Screening Guidelines Manual through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and has posted it in the "Peace Corps Library." Applicants and Medical Professionals (especially those who have already served as volunteers) are urged to review the guidelines and leave their comments and suggestions. Then read the story of one RPCV's journey through medical screening and his suggestions for changes to the process.

The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again Date: July 31 2006 No: 947 The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again
The LA Times says that "the Peace Corps is booming again and "It's hard to know exactly what's behind the resurgence." PCOL Comment: Since the founding of the Peace Corps 45 years ago, Americans have answered Kennedy's call: "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." Over 182,000 have served. Another 200,000 have applied and been unable to serve because of lack of Congressional funding. The Peace Corps has never gone out of fashion. It's Congress that hasn't been keeping pace.

PCOL readership increases 100% Date: April 3 2006 No: 853 PCOL readership increases 100%
Monthly readership on "Peace Corps Online" has increased in the past twelve months to 350,000 visitors - over eleven thousand every day - a 100% increase since this time last year. Thanks again, RPCVs and Friends of the Peace Corps, for making PCOL your source of information for the Peace Corps community. And thanks for supporting the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

History of the Peace Corps Date: March 18 2006 No: 834 History of the Peace Corps
PCOL is proud to announce that Phase One of the "History of the Peace Corps" is now available online. This installment includes over 5,000 pages of primary source documents from the archives of the Peace Corps including every issue of "Peace Corps News," "Peace Corps Times," "Peace Corps Volunteer," "Action Update," and every annual report of the Peace Corps to Congress since 1961. "Ask Not" is an ongoing project. Read how you can help.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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: The Evening Sun

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


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.