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amanda [userpic]
newbie
by amanda (aemanduh)
at March 2nd, 2010 (10:54 pm)

Hi my name is Amanda and I just was nominated for HIV/AIDS education in Africa.

I submitted my application on January 22nd, had an interview the next week and now I am working on my health packet.

I graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Anthropology and French, wherein lies my interest in going to Africa. I currently volunteer with an HIV/AIDS organization and am attempting to get more involved with education and community outreach.

I couldn't be more excited about my nomination, however my family and friends (who initially knew very little about the PC and have not known a previous volunteer) are SERIOUSLY concerned about my health and safety. I told them that you have to have common sense when it comes to traveling to a developing country but I also know that PC provides you with safety and cultural training to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

I guess what I am asking is should I be legitimately terrified about doing PC because I am a young Caucasian woman? I am fairly small (5'7", 120lbs) and am not sure if I would be capable of really defending myself in a dangerous situation. My family's concerns coupled with the stories I have read about attempted rapes/assaults and even the murder of Kate Puzey (http://www.coopercrier.com/local/local_story_078082546.html) have all started to intimidate me and have me really question my readiness and willingness to put myself in danger...

I was wondering
-Is it a legitimate concern to be afraid of something seriously dangerous happening, especially if assigned to a country in Africa?
-Do any RPCV have any stories about near assault/dangerous situations that came about during your 2 years of service?
-How safe do you feel as a PCV in your community, especially as a woman?
-Any advice???

Thank you!

Comments

Posted by: Katherine Crossed. (iamwearingpants)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)

I don't have any stories personally of near assault or seriously dangerous situations from being in country, but I do have them from life in America. Are your family and friends concerned about your health and safety living there?

Seriously, though, I had no problems with safety in my service in Turkmenistan. I actually felt safer there than I feel in general at home. I will say that I do know volunteers who encountered trouble, so you get the whole picture, but I also had friends in America who did so during the same period. My point is, there are dangerous places and dangerous situations everywhere. There will probably be some places you shouldn't go and things you shouldn't do, but there are always things like that and it shouldn't be the deciding factor in whether you join the Peace Corps.

Posted by: amanda (aemanduh)
Posted at: April 5th, 2010 06:49 am (UTC)

I completely agree-thank you so much.

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