Just in case you don’t know me and have stumbled across my blog or never remember what it is I do here’s a brief overview. My name is Mikaela Cherry, and I was born and raised in Olathe, Ks. I attended Colorado State University for my undergrad in Watershed Science and Chemistry. I then went to the University of Victoria in British Colombia for a masters specializing in isotope hydrology (using chemical isotopes to understand hydrological processes). I love swimming, reading, and hiking.
Why did you join the Peace Corps?
The Peace Corps is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time. My cousin Derrick served in Bulgaria several years ago and his experiences further encouraged me to join.
Where exactly will you be?
I’m going to Madagascar! For the first few months I will be living with a host family and training with other volunteers. During that point I will find out where I will be for the next two years. I’ll let you know when I do!
Is this where you wanted to go?
It is! When I was looking at which countries currently had openings in agriculture and environmental sectors there were a number in Africa and South America. Since I speak no Spanish it made more sense to look at African countries. The Peace Corps recently changed their application process so that potential volunteers can choose up to three places they would like to go or say they would be happy going anywhere. I selected Madagascar and Malawi because I have a friend who loved Malawi and because Madagascar has such amazing biodiversity. My third option was to go anywhere. I was extremely excited when I found out I would be serving in Madagascar.
How long will you be gone?
I will be gone for 27 months. Expect me back sometime in May 2018.
Will you have water or electricity?
As I don’t know where I’ll be serving I can’t fully answer this question yet, however, the answer to both will most likely be no.
How can I contact you?
I would love to hear from people! See my contact me page for information on how and where to send me letters. I’ll have one address for when I’m in training and then one when I move to my village. Also I love any form of contact, e-mail, facebook, letters, but due to my lack of Internet connectivity I might be slow to respond. Letters are the easiest for me to answer at site.
Peace Corps FAQ
Here are just a couple FAQ for the Peace Corps in general. It by no means covers everything. The Peace Corps website has a much more extensive list if you still have questions.
Do you get paid?
Peace Corps volunteers receive a living allowance during their service. This amount varies from country to country and allows you to live in a manner similar to the local people in your community. The Peace Corps also provides a readjustment allowance at the end of service. It is currently around $8,500 before taxes.
Do you get to pick where you go?
As I mentioned before with the new application process you can pick specific countries to serve in. Before you could pick regions like South America, Northern Africa, etc. However, just because you make a selection doesn’t mean that’s where the Peace Corps needs you to go.
Is there an age limit to serving?
The minimum age to serve is 18, but there is no age limit to serving. As long as you pass all the medical requirements (basically just being a healthy individual) you can serve! We have one lady in our group who is 70.
Do you need to speak a foreign language?
No, there are some countries where knowing Spanish or French is beneficial, but you go through extensive language learning during training.
Do you need a college degree?
No, a college degree is an asset when applying, but not required. When applying without a degree having relative job experience is very useful.
“I think ambition is good. I think overreaching is good. I think giving people a vision of government that’s more than Social Security checks and debt reduction is good. I think government should be optimistic.”- The West Wing