S15, E3: Kelly Rusch on serving in the Peace Corps in El Salvador

She’s thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. She’s trekked in Nepal with a 3- and 5-yr-old. She’s taught all over the world. But the groundwork for these adventures was laid when she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Central America.

When you move into a community as an outsider or a foreigner, you have to work at becoming part of that community. (Kelly, 29:20)

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Kelly Rusch is an American living and raising her family overseas. Six years ago, she decided to leave her elementary teaching job in Alaska to see where the world would take her. Since then, she has taught in India, the United Arab Emirates, and is currently teaching in Indonesia. She is lucky to have a husband and 3 children who love meeting amazing people, eating delicious global cuisines, and exploring new lands with her (and who don’t mind sleeping in airports, riding night trains, and using squatty potties!). Her curiosity for travel began back in college, but her love for exploring the world began while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a tiny village in El Salvador, Central America.

YouTube: Travel Hacking Teachers

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S15, E3: Kelly Rusch on serving in the Peace Corps in El Salvador
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S15, E2: Nancy Dimmock on her Peace Corps beginnings in Lesotho

Raised in the Belgian Congo, a young American signs up for the Peace Corps and is assigned to a feedlot project in Lesotho. She plans to employ her animal husbandry skills, but finds she is called by her faith to care for vulnerable children.

I valued the depth with which they taught us about culture and about language. (Nancy, 48:33)

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Nancy Miller Dimmock is a second-generation missionary.  She was born and raised in the Belgian Congo (now DRC) and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho.  She and her husband Frank served for 30 years with the Presbyterian Church in Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia.  Their areas of interest and expertise were in health care and the care of vulnerable children.  They have eight children of their own, six of whom are adopted.

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S15, E2: Nancy Dimmock on her Peace Corps beginnings in Lesotho
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S15, E1: Jennifer Seely on serving in the Peace Corps in Côte d’Ivoire

A young woman volunteers for the Peace Corps straight out of college. The skills she develops there – speaking French, becoming resilient, learning the local customs – will pave the way for her career as an expert in African democracy and development.

It was the Peace Corps that moved me in the direction of French-speaking Africa. (Jennifer, 33:15)

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Jennifer Seely is an Associate Professor of Politics at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana and mom of two.  She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and joined the Peace Corps after college, spending two years in Côte d’Ivoire, followed by additional experience in the West Africa region including a Fulbright research grant in Benin and Togo.  She earned her PhD from Washington University in St. Louis with expertise in African democracy and development, and has authored two books, The Legacies of Transition Governments and the fourth edition of the Historical Dictionary of Togo, which is due out this month.

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The Listen Podcast
S15, E1: Jennifer Seely on serving in the Peace Corps in Côte d'Ivoire
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