As usual I have neglected this blog. I am afraid I am not very good at keeping current. I have several excuses. From May to November of last year I was serving as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer. I recommend RPCVs to look into the Response opportunities. They are posted on the Peace Corps website and also on the Hotline job announcements.
Besides being a shorter service and only open (with the exception of a pilot program) to those who have successfully completed a two-year service, there are some other differences of being a Response volunteer compared to a two-year volunteer. One of the major differences is you know in advance what your project will be and what agency you will be assigned to. You apply to a Response position by responding to the positions announcement. It gives a job description. The timeframe from application to service is also quite a bit shorter. You still have to go through medical clearance, but they expedite it depending on when your departure date is.
Another difference is you have a one to three week orientation instead three to six months of training. Since you successfully served as a PCV they do not need to give you as much training.
There are probably many differences that depend on each individual Response position and country and sector. I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica and also served as a Crisis Corps and Response Volunteer in Jamaica. Although all three services were in the same country, they were all three very different. Especially this Response service.
The biggest difference for me was this time I was living and working in an urban environment (Kingston) as compared to a rural one. I was also working for an agency and before I had worked for a school.
Another big difference for me was that this Response position actually required skills related to my professional career. I served as a video documentation specialist. My last full time job I was a multimedia specialist, so I used many of the same skills. Of course my previous experiences in Jamaica - especially cross cultural experiences - were beneficial.
So, that is my excuse for not blogging up until November. Since November my excuse is that I’m job hunting. It has been very challenging. Although I try to communicate how my Peace Corps experience translates to individual jobs I apply, I do not see results.
I hope to be a bit more regular at writing for this blog in the future. I am working at renewing my passion for photography and photojournalism, so I hope to share more here about great photography old and new that is out there. If anyone reading this has any photo and Peace Corps related subjects they are interested in seeing covered let me know. Or if you know of a RPCV photographer who would like to be profiled I am interested.
Speaking of RPCV photographers I just received an e-mail from Joe Connors, who I met at the 50th celebration in DC. Amongst other things he e-mailed me to tell me about his new website: http://www.theextraeye.com/ . So, check it out.
Hopefully, next time I write I will be telling you about my new full time photography job. Until then I’ll be freelancing for a local high school sports magazine and also for my former employer The Herald Bulletin.