Thus far in the Peace Corps, I have been elected or appointed into every available leadership roll. They are:
I was responsible for the movement of volunteers and information sharing of all logistics to all volunteers from JFK>Istanbul>Bishkek. There were 4 captains, for different stages of the journey. My responsibility seemed to be the most constantly active.. always having to count heads and mark off names every time we got onto or off of an airplane. I was always the last one onboard and the first one off.
Trainee Action Committee:
I was the representative of my language group during our 10-week training that had the “official” line of communication to the PC Staff in regards to things that we wanted to see changed, happen in general, or when the PC needed to distribute information to us, they would send it through me, and I would then share it with my group.
– There were 8 language groups so the committee was 8 people. I represented 6 people in my group.
Peer Support Network:
This is a group of volunteers who have received some extra training and resources to be the “help line” for other PCVs. Volunteers needing advice, counseling, someone to talk to etc.. We are of course encouraged to just talk to anyone, but often times it is better to talk to an acquaintance than a close friend. This Network was setup as a means by which Volunteers can call on each other for this type of support. All calls are of course confidential and I am only mandated to share with Medical Staff in the event that I have reason to think someone will cause harm to themselves or others.
– Of the 42 new Volunteers, 6 of us were selected for this
Talas Oblast Warden:
Every Oblast (state) has a designated Volunteer who is a Warden. This person has many responsibilities but the primary function is to act as the liaison between volunteers in that region, and the PC Safety and Security Officer in the event of an emergency. If we are to be consolidated, evacuated, etc.. then it is the Warden who will receive this information and then have to relay it as quickly as possible to all the volunteers in the area. We also hold a special medical kit with far more medicines than the standard First Aid Kit each volunteer has, and even a surgical kit that we will have to deliver to a local hospital in the event a volunteer needs emergency surgery. We get some other nifty resources but I think I should use discretion and not mention them (for safety reasons).
– I am the Talas assistant warden this year. Next year I will become the primary warden when the current one leaves. The current Warden is going to Greece for 3 weeks later this month, during that time I will be the acting Warden.
Now that I am a volunteer there are a few other opportunities for service and committee membership. Several are sitting on boards that review grant applications, I may have interest there. But I probably wont go out for too much more. I may already be wearing myself too thin, not to mention that none of this actually has anything to do with my site where I am working. That in and of it’s self is going to be more than a full time job.
Overachieving? Maybe. Surprised? Of course not!