In Peace Corps, approximately three months before the end of a volunteer's service, we attend a COS Conference. COS stands for Close of Service, but at the beginning of our three days in the capital, we learned that it also could be thought of as Continuation of Service. Why? Because one-third of a PCV's job is to share with the American people their experiences abroad. [The other thirds are to share America with our host country and to actually do some work.]
I'm looking forward to beginning, or continuing if you consider this blog an early attempt at that last third of my job, this important part of my service. I've got lots of photos and video that I hope to edit into a short film and/or powerpoint presentation. At this point, my honorarium is very reasonable – turkey sandwich on a toasted bagel. Let the speaking tour begin!
I suppose this was technically my fourth COS Conference - once in Uzbekistan, and twice before in Moldova as a presenter. Another (now departed) PCV and I created a financial planning presentation to help RPCVs (returned) make wise financial decisions as they re-enter the workforce and start earning a salary. This was my first time making the presentation solo, and I think it went very well. Actually, one of the other attendees just told me that she was inspired to take the government bonds that her grandparents have been giving her since forever ago and move them into something with a higher interest rate. Made my day.
Ps – Quote of the conference: “Peace Corps is like wearing a chicken suit in New York City and telling people in broken English how to do things better.”