Below is a guest post from current Nepal PCV Quan Blunt:
My name is Quan Blunt and I am a current PCV (2016-18) in Nepal. I am also a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee here. I’m writing to ask for your stories for a new project called “Peace Corps Nepal: Story Corps”
The idea for this project came one day, as I was sipping on my morning chiya, when I had this crazy thought: “So many amazing Peace Corps Volunteers have come to Nepal for decades, and have had so many amazing experiences that would help me with my own service. It’s a shame that I can’t hear more about those experiences or learn more from those volunteers who served here over the years…”
I then realized, “Wait, what am I saying?! Now that we have the interweb, something like this would be a piece of cake.”
Which brings me to why I am writing you all: I am calling upon all RPCVs of Nepal to send me a short/long story. You can pull something off of your old blog, dust off your old journals, or dig straight into your noggin. It can be about a time you felt marginalized/privileged, it can be about your identity, about a time you experienced unparalleled high or a challenging low — really, it could be about any experience that you think could be useful to current/future PCVs.
While I know it can be fun to go down memory lane and write about “that one time aama threw bhaisi poop at me”, I want to stress that when you are writing these stories to be thinking about how it can be helpful to future PCVs. These don’t have to be super formal essays so let your expression soar through the pages; I’m okay with a few swear words (e.g. darn, fudge, heck).
The purpose of these essays is to help current and future PCVs down the road. Even though so many PCVs like you have lived in Nepal, there’s never been any sort of structure for collecting and compiling your stories and then passing them along to future generations of PCVs in Nepal — so now here is your chance to do just that! After I collect these essays, I will create an electronic copy as well as a hard copy (which will be put in a binder in the PCV Information Resource Center at the Peace Corps Nepal office in Kathmandu), and will then hopefully encourage staff to distribute them to new PCVs every year during their Pre Service Training.
The story of an RPCV who served in the ’80s is what inspired me to come up with this idea. She, like me, was an African-American volunteer, and her story and experiences helped me feel less alone in my challenges and my overall service in Nepal. Her story also helped me realize how beneficial these testimonials can be for our future volunteers.
If you choose to submit a story, please include your name, year of service, project, district you served in, and email (optional) at the end of the piece. Feel free to brag about your life after Peace Corps and explain how your service helped get you to where you are. Your success will give us hope for our futures! You may also submit a story and request to be listed as anonymous.
Please send your essay, or any questions or suggestions you have for this project to pcndiversity at gmail.com
Quan (Santosh in the gau) Blunt