Dondie Crook is a new Peace Corps Volunteer, on her way to Costa Rica.

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By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, July 15, 2001 - 10:26 pm: Edit Post

Dondie Crook is a new Peace Corps Volunteer, on her way to Costa Rica.

RPCV in Costa Rica

Editor's note: Dondie Crook is a friend of the Parchers. She is a new Peace Corps Volunteer, on her way to Costa Rica, where the Parchers served many moons ago. For those grizzled veterans who might have forgotten life as a volunteer, Dondie agreed to send us letters so that we can post her saga as it unfolds. This is her first letter, before shipping out.


It's about a week before my training begins with the Peace Corps in San Jose, Costa Rica. If I was able to survive the PC application process and the in-between period before departure, training should be a breeze. All of the waiting and anticipating and then BOOM! I am on my way out of the country for 2 1/2 years.

I do not know exactly where I will be- or the specific details of what I will be doing...but if everyone is correct, it is sure to be an experience of a lifetime. I would like to share some of my adventures that you, former Peace Corps Volunteers, have helped make possible.

I suspect I will have frustrations that cause me to question my being there, and I hope these same frustrations through a changed perspective will remind me exactly why I chose to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer. So aside from the unsorted mound of student loan papers and an unsold car, I am ready to begin "the toughest job, I will ever love." I have no doubt that I will achieve success wherever they place me, because I have the power to laugh at myself. There is an entertaining awkwardness to learning new life skills and some things you just cannot prepare for.

While on an island in Thailand, I saw a sign that read, "More people killed yearly by falling coconuts than by traffic accidents". No amount of education or guidebooks could have equipped me for that. Even my grandmother's loving advice based on 20/20 episodes about American hostage abductions was futile. So bear with me as my interpretation of my life with the Peace Corps will be based on my family of origin upbringing and a limited overseas stay.

I am completely capable of admitting that sometimes the lessons of my previous reality have no validity in a new situation, but I intend to show respect and appreciation for the culture of the people in Costa Rica, even when the understanding does not exist. I will write again, once I have reached the destination of training. Please keep me in your Prayers.

Never Cease Believing in Peace,

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By Sam E. Robinson on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 11:06 am: Edit Post

Hi, Dondie Crook,

I read your letter before you left for Costa Rica, how are you now. I am interested in volunteering there as well. Are there any tidbits of encouragement of discouragement that you would offer someone as myself.

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