A universal bond across cultures is the love of home. When new Peace Corps Volunteers leave for service abroad, their bonds with family and friends tug at them. Where will they live? Will they be up to the challenge? Who will they reach out to in times of need or loneliness? They arrive in their new countries as strangers, often dependent on their hosts in the community for sustenance and support. During training in many countries, the newcomers live with families and are “adopted” as daughters and sons. As a gesture of welcome and friendship, volunteers often receive invitations to peoples’ homes to visit or share a meal.
This vision and a desire to share enriching experiences provided the spark for us to create and publish the International Calendar. Since 1988, year after year, in homes, offices, and schools – the information and heart-warming photos in this calendar have fulfilled the Third Goal of the Peace Corps: Bringing the world back home.Over time, volunteers and the people in the communities they serve come to view each other as not so different from each other. When this happens, volunteers begin to feel “at home” and discover they have a home away from home, often sharing the hopes, dreams and fears of their adopted families. When their service comes to an end, the emotional bonds they have formed with their host family and friends again make hard to leave. The cycle comes full circle.
Many returned Peace Corps volunteers stay in contact with family and friends from their Peace Corps country. Some are able to return the favor of making someone feel “at home” by offering hospitality when they meet other people from their country of service or from other nations. The bonds formed during Peace Corps service and the hospitality it engenders give many of us real hope for world peace.
Help us create more ties of friendship by getting the International Calendar to a wider audience. Order extra calendars for friends, colleagues, and others. Groups get an added bonus by selling calendars at fundraising events that benefit their own projects. Learn more at rpcvcalendar.org.
Countries featured this year : Mauritania (cover), Lesotho, Ecuador, Haiti, Jamaica, Ghana, The Gambia, Philippines, Turkmenistan, Rwanda, China, Cambodia, Madagascar.
Give the gift of multicultural posters to your favorite school, library, childrens museum or community center