Editor’s Scratchpad

Monday, January 28, 2002

Give Peace Corps a chance

The focus of the day is on service to others and sacrifice for country. Patriotic opportunities abound.

If you want to learn another language, live in another culture and have an adventure while helping others, consider the Peace Corps. It has been called the toughest job you'll ever love. You'll often be frustrated and disillusioned, but you'll revel in small successes.

Friends called me crazy when I left Los Angeles years ago to go to Brazil for two years on a $75-a-month living allowance. I worked at a health post, started school gardens and lunch programs, visited villagers' homes to immunize children (I had practiced on oranges), and organized a health post in a remote fishing village.

The 30-day annual leave allowed for extensive but frugal travel throughout an amazing country. I spent a lot of time on rickety buses on perilous roads, but what an experience.

Try the Peace Corps. I can't guarantee you'll like it, but you'll never forget it.

Charlotte Phillips

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