* Peace Corps

Peace Corps Third Goal Blogging: An Unofficial Guide

PC Third Goal Blogging

Back in August 2013, we were thrilled to be able to participate in Peace Corps’ Third Goal Summit in D.C. with the other winners of the Blog It Home contest. We gained a renewed motivation to use our blog for PC’s Third Goal: to promote a better understanding back home of this new country and culture we’re experiencing.

Peace Corps HQ: Blog It Home
Peace Corps HQ: Blog It Home

The Summit also sparked a whole lot of great ideas for Third Goal blogging and allowed us to collaborate with the other blog winners from Thailand, Ethiopia, and Mexico as well as the Office of Third Goal. 

We were learning so much from each other, we decided it would be worthwhile to put all our thoughts together and create a practical resource for Volunteers who want to use their blogs for the Third Goal. 

Blogging Guide

This guide, created by volunteers, for volunteers, has already helped us become better bloggers and better Third Goal ambassadors. It is meant to be an ongoing and collaborative effort, so additional suggestions and contributions are encouraged. We hope Volunteers around the world will find it useful.

Even bloggers outside of Peace Corps will find this guide useful for sharing about cross-cultural experiences, service or mission trips, and travel.

To access the guide, start with the links below. You can also find the pages in our tabs above, under Peace Corps Info.

Blogging About Third Goal

> Includes: Why you should consider blogging about Third Goal topics, and serves as a homepage for the other resources

Resources in the guide are:

Principles for Third Goal Bloggers 

> Includes: Simple steps to improve the quality of your blog writing so that you can become a more effective ambassador of your host country’s culture and increase your readership

How To: The Nuts and Bolts

> Includes: Practical tips and tricks from blog settings to getting ideas for content, great for beginners and those wanting to up their game

Blog Post Idea Bank

> Includes: An extensive list of ideas for Third Goal-related blog posts, with examples from recent PCV blogs, so you can keep your content fresh and interesting

Again, we’d love to include tips, ideas, and examples from other Volunteer bloggers around the world, so if that’s you, don’t hesitate to provide suggestions using the comment form at the bottom of each of those resource pages.

* Michelle Thoughts, * Peace Corps

Mid-Service Reflections

As we took part in our Mid-Service Conference a little more than a week ago, we had the opportunity to reflect on why we’re here and how we can make the best out of our remaining time (about 10 to 11 months). We were given the Aspiration Statements we had completed way back in 2011, before we had arrived in Jamaica. These were letters written to introduce ourselves to PC Jamaica staff. Below is an excerpt of my statement. Reading back over it has been a good reminder, and I’m also happy to say that I wasn’t too off base.

What I didn’t consider back when I was writing my Aspiration Statement, was how living in Jamaica might affect me in negative ways. If I had to sum up the biggest challenge for second-year volunteers in Jamaica, it would be the struggle to not become jaded. I don’t know if this feeling is unique to certain countries or if it’s experienced across the board in all Peace Corps placements. Our fellow volunteer, Adri, posted a reflection on this topic that I really resonated with, so if you want to understand what I mean, I highly recommend reading her blog post: Aspiration, Pessism, Inspiration- Starting Year Two. At this point in our service, I think many of us are mourning the loss of our optimism while fighting to keep a hold of hope and the passion we brought with us to our Peace Corps service.

Self-portrait on our 5 year anniversary. Also celebrating over a year of Peace Corps service.
Self-portrait on our 5 year anniversary. Also celebrating over a year of Peace Corps service.

Aspiration Statement
From an early age, Continue reading “Mid-Service Reflections”

* Michelle Thoughts, * Peace Corps, Videos

Jamaica Taught Us…

Our Peace Corps Volunteer training group took advantage of our recent reunion at the Mid-Service Conference last week to compile some of our lessons learned as volunteers in Jamaica. It’s a light-hearted, humorous perspective on the many aspects of Jamaican culture we’ve encountered so far. For your entertainment:

* Michelle Thoughts, * Peace Corps

Topics in PCJ #3: Goals

Continued from previous post(s)IMG_3660

The Peace Corps’ mission has three simple goals:

  1. Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.

  2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.

  3. Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

In my last post on cultural challenges, I started to mention that we as volunteers have to remember that our work is only one third of the Peace Corps’ goals. We have to turn in reports full of numbers to prove ourselves to the higher-ups and the tax payers, and there is pressure to have some tangible project to justify our presence here to people back home. I’m not saying that our work has no value in itself. But it is easy to forget that we should also find success in intangible, interpersonal ways. In fact, more likely than not, our greatest and most lasting impact as Peace Corps Volunteers will not come from our work. Continue reading “Topics in PCJ #3: Goals”