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Voices from the Peace CorpsFifty Years of Kentucky Volunteers$
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Angene Wilson and Jack Wilson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813129754

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813129754.001.0001

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The Toughest …

The Toughest …

(p.129) Chapter 5 The Toughest …
Voices from the Peace Corps

Angene Wilson

Jack Wilson

University Press of Kentucky

Looking at an ad campaign for the Peace Corps illustrates that the service was to involve “the toughest job you'll ever love.” Several volunteers would attest that the job is indeed tough and full of challenges. The volunteers in this study cite that one of the most significant shocks involves cross-cultural male-female relationships and expectations in different countries. Some of the other issues that the volunteers pointed out include the lack of privacy and structure, isolation and loneliness, language, the slower pace of life, food, and health issues. The workbook of the Peace Corps states that the initial shock and adjustment experienced by the volunteer would always be followed by more shock and the need to make more adjustments. Being a volunteer, one would have to learn how to take care of oneself and be on one's own. This chapter looks into the adjusting efforts made by several volunteers, and how women were particularly affected by the cross-cultural differences in male-female relationships.

Keywords:   cross-culture, culture shock, male-female relationships, language, adjustment, lack of privacy

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