Page 20 - William Woods University - Winter 2012-13

I highly recommend this for
anyone who can commit the
time. You learn a lot about
yourself,” she said.
The process of becoming a
Peace Corps volunteer is not an
easy task.
It is a long process to join,”
Leibman said. “It is a
competitive process. Thousands try to
join every year, but are turned away.
Opportunities are based on job openings…
even if you are recommended, joining
depends on whether there are job openings.”
To become a volunteer,” Hanes said,
starts with a long online application,
followed by either an invitation to have an
interview or rejection because you do not
meet their requirements. I interviewed in
Chicago a few months after I submitted
my application.”
After the interview, applicants are
required to pass a health evaluation before
being considered further.
After the medical exam was completed,”
Hanes said, “it was just a big waiting game
for them to send the invitation to serve packet
where they congratulate you on passing their
little jump-through-hoops-game and tell you
when and where you are serving and how to
get ready for the departure date.”
Humanity's international work was considered
a way to greatly increase the nonprofit
housing ministry's ability to provide
knowledgeable and skilled personnel to
help build homes around the globe.
Habitat is there for rural business and
tourism development and support. I help
with their website and projects,” Hanes said.
She has a goal to improve life in Moldova
while she’s there.
There are ... about 500 stairs that you
can take from the river valley part of Rezina
upward toward the newer part that are famous,
but are very broken down and destroyed …
it is a goal of mine to fix the stairs and be a
link between a local cement company and the
community of Rezina.”
As exciting as becoming a volunteer is,
leaving home is a bit challenging, according
to Leibman.
The most difficult aspect is that you have
to put your life on hold for two and a half
years. You leave family and friends.”
For Hanes, the lure of travel and adventure
made leaving her life in the United States a
little easier, but leaving her four-legged
companion was tough.
Once I had the idea in my head, I had
a ʽno turning back’ mentality about it,
even though I would miss my dog,
Carhartt, immensely.”
Not only was making a new life in
an entirely different country challenging,
but Leibman also struggled with a
language barrier.
I didn't speak Spanish, which made it
very difficult.”
However, Leibman enjoyed the challenge
of the new experiences.
She added, “It was insanely tedious
to wait and turn around and submit more
paperwork, wait more and not really have
an explanation for it, but the process is long
to weed out people that are not 100 percent
dedicated to serve.”
Despite the long process, both Leibman
and Hanes are thankful for the opportunity to
work with their countries. Though Leibman
completed her volunteer work in 2010, she
has been back for a wedding and to visit
family (fellow Peace Corps volunteers). For
Hanes, her view of the world has changed.
I am absolutely content here so far. It has
changed my perspective and knowledge of
people and life for the better and I meet more
and more wonderful friends here every day.”
Leibman has words of advice for anyone
considering becoming a Peace Corps
volunteer: “You need to go fully willing to
learn,” she said. “It's helpful to speak the
language. You have to be committed and
know it will be difficult. Go with an open
mind and an accepting attitude.”
It has changed
my perspective
and knowledge of
people and life for
the better...
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