Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Africa or Asia?

I got an email from my placement specialist. She has identified 2 programs that are options for me.

1) teaching english in Asia, departing July 1st

2) teaching english in Sub-Saharan Africa, departing June 2nd

How do I figure out which I prefer?  At this point the date is not an issue. My intuition tells me Africa. Do I listen to that?

 Thanks to PC Wiki I have figured out that the program in Asia is in the Philippines and that the possible programs in Africa are in Mozambique and Togo.

I feel like since the PC program in the Philippines is the second oldest, that it is more likely to be the better developed program. Still, my gut says Africa.

If I got an invitation for the Philippines I would be happy, but now that I am given the opportunity to indicate a preference, I don't think that I can turn down Africa.

Africa. Asia. Africa. Asia. Africa. Asia.

Why do I feel like I should have some loyalty to Asia?

Logical (for me) Africa pros:
Romance Languages - I have italian and some remnants of French
People to Land Ratio is low - I have a fear of getting lost in crowds....sort of. This is an easy way to describe it. Not that this is something that I would let hold me back.
Hello! It's Africa.

(The only logical pro for the Philippines is the fact that it is the second oldest program.)

FYI: It is hard to be nominated to one program and then realize that everything you have learned, and been trying really hard not to count on, is now......useless? at least for the PC adventure.

I don't know if I would ever be able not to think 'What if....' if I were to ignore my intuition.


  1. If it is June 2nd then it is Mozambique! Which is a Portuguese speaking country. That is where I am currently nominated for (hoping to get an invite). The blogs on here of people in Mozambique seem to indicate that it is a pretty good program there and that people are enjoying it.

    Good luck in your decision!!! And congrats

  2. I know someone currently in Mozambique as a PC Volunteer and loves it! I think both places could be amazing though... Good luck with your decision!

  3. Go with your gut! Either place you end up will feel like the right one after you're there. I say flip a coin, and when it lands your gut reaction will tell you if you really wanted that country or the other one :)

  4. Wow congrats! That's awesome you've been given the option to choose. I'd say go with your gut ..best of luck to you!

  5. I served in the Philippines as a PCV recently, it was a wonderful 27 months and I wouldn't trade my time there for anything, HOWEVER, it was not the "typical Peace Corps" experience. The western influence there is palpable and it makes being a PCV there very frustrating and difficult, most of the time my host country agency wanted me to produce results for them that were not feasible for me as a PCV (expensive projects, acquiring expensive equipment like projectors and internet routers since my town didn't have internet access) because that's what they saw on TV and in the rich areas of the capital. I was lucky to be in a very rural town that worked with me in order to check expectations and I was able to do a lot of good things while I was there, but many of my friends in larger towns/"cities" were not so lucky. I am planning to do Peace Corps again and request Africa (as part of my graduate school degree - Masters International). Again, it's nothing against the Philippines, I wouldn't go back and change my mind because I think I grew a lot while I was there, but if you want something that's more grassroots where you'll have the opportunity to make a larger impact then I think Africa would be the right choice!! Good luck with whatever you choose :)