As an English major I was shocked to be selected by the Peace Corps vickers-jto serve as a vaccinator in Afghanistan. The World Health Organization had made the eradication of smallpox in the country a priority, however the lack of logistical support, made it very slow going at first for the Volunteers assigned to this project.

Over the next year things improved dramatically though, and I stayed until the following fall when the Volunteers’ role on the inoculation teams pretty much dried up. I’d grown to love the time in the villages, and it was a painful to board the overland bus to Istanbul not knowing if I’d ever see those people again.

Twenty years later when the Soviets had finally withdrawn, our smallpox eradication group had our first reunion. There was time that weekend to hatch a tree-planting project in Afghanistan, however, it didn’t take long for us to realize that between land mines and internal fighting, we were not going back with roots and shovels any time soon.

Fourteen years later with the expert help of Jody Bergedick, I began taping my fellow Volunteers’ recollections from our vaccinating days. The women, including our training director, gave money to make a documentary to raise awareness of Afghanistan as we experienced it, and to raise money for a few trusted NGO’s working in Afghanistan. I’ve traveled with the film, along with my friends, since October 2008.

You can read more about the film at Dirt Road Documentaries.