|Full disclosure: I volunteered in Africa under an American NGO. I was not Peace Corps, but we served in similar ways. Additionally, on some weekend trips to the nearest city, we’d hang out with Peace Corps volunteers and trade stories and insights.
A returned Peace Corps volunteer interviewed in this film echoes my sentiments (I paraphrase): “We returned a little embarrassed to realize that we’d been gifted with more than we were able to give.”
Towering Task is an engaging well-rounded history of the Peace Corps from inception, precarious launch, through shifting missions/motivations as US and World politics evolved. Filmmakers interview volunteers, administrators, invested politicians (Jimmy Carter among others), as well as researchers. You’ll enjoy historical and relevant speech excerpts from Kennedy and other key players. While filmmakers don’t shy away from program negatives and embarrassments, an overall positive light is left shining over the PEACE CORPS. Have a look. Maybe you’ll be inspired to volunteer somewhere in the world – even if it’s just in your neighborhood.
Again, I am biased toward world travel. I strongly feel that volunteer/work/study abroad positions are rich opportunities for everyone involved to grow. Yes, there are risks, but the rewards are vast. When individual citizens of the planet bring an open hand, open heart, or even just an open mind into foreign cultures, humankind inches ever closer toward World Peace.
Listen to my lively interview with the director of “A Towering Task.”