Oh Where, Oh Where??

I spoke with my Peace Corps placement officer on Monday. The program for which I was nominated has officially been cancelled. That means they now need to find some place else to put me. He said he was having a difficult time finding something for me in my target areas of the South Pacific, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Because I don’t speak Spanish, that limits me to many area. He did say that he was sure that we could work something out, but wanted to know about other areas where I may be interested in going. I told him I would research the other areas where the Peace Corps operates and send him an e-mail. Below is what I am planning to send him.

Dear David:

Thanks for spending so much time with me on the phone Monday discussing various placement opportunities. As I mentioned, my time frame is much more flexible now. I have spent a good deal of time researching the Business Development programs by reviewing the Peace Corps 2008 Congressional Budget Justification. That gave me a good perspective on all the different countries and areas served by the Peace Corps.

I was particularly intrigued by this description for a program in Vanuatu. It sounds EXACTLY like something I would like to do:

One Volunteer helped to make coffee a significant income generator for Tanna Island farmers by introducing business management skills into small enterprise farming and developing the country’s first rural-based processing factory.

Projects like the brief description of this one are exactly why I would like to receive an invitation to the Peace Corps. During my business career, I have gotten much satisfaction out of finding solutions to problems and implementing strong business skills on different projects. (I even started a separate business for my current company several years ago and kept the books for the first year. )

While I still remain most interested in the South Pacific region, I do realize the need to be flexible. Certainly the Business Development programs in the non-Spanish speaking countries of the Eastern Caribbean and Jamaica would also be high on my list of choices.

Outside of the areas we have already discussed, I would be interested in the business development program in the Philippines. And while there doesn’t appear to be a business development program in China, I would have a lot of interest in going to China. (I realize that is outside of my request to stay in a warm climate.) I was particularly intrigued by the idea of the “English Corner” concept described in the Volunteer Focus area which would certainly put my years of public speaking skills to use. I also like the idea of teaching business skills.

Thailand could also be a possibility for me.

I really appreciate you working with me to find a “good fit”. I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

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