Before joining the Peace Corps, I was under the impression that Will and I would be the only 30-somethings in our group. I was sure the Peace Corps was made up of recent college graduates and a handful of retirees—but not crazy people like us who would quit their jobs to live abroad for two years and put procreation (or marriage) on hold! Friends who had served in the Peace Corps told us that this was usually the case as well. Perhaps it is in many countries, but our group of 46 is a special group, if I do say so myself.
The Indonesia program is referred to as an “Early Generation Program.” This is because the Peace Corps is relatively new here. Outside of three groups of physical education coaches who served here in the 1960s our group is the third group to serve in Indonesia. We are referred to as ID-6 because we are technically the sixth group.
Perhaps the Peace Corps was looking for a group with more teaching experience, more life experience or more language experience, because ID-6 has got it all! Out of 46 trainees, 10 of us are over 30. Most of those 10 are in their thirties, with one 40-something, a 60-something and a 70-something! There are also a good handful of those in their late-twenties. Eight people in our group have advanced degrees, most everyone has studied one or more other languages, almost everyone has some teaching experience and everyone has been out of the United States. AND on top of that there are a lot of really fun, easy going people.
I have really enjoyed everyone so far. We’ve grown especially close to our small language training group of six. In addition to Will and me we’ve got two somewhat recent college graduates. One of whom is no stranger to service and served in America Corps, and another who is super outgoing and picking up the language crazy fast. Our other male is a mid-twenties former teacher/football coach that keeps us laughing with his inability to get coffee without sugar from his host family. Finally we have one 30-something former journalist-turned-yoga instructor who is a fantastic inspiration for me to keep up my yoga practice. We spend all day with these people and they’ve been a great support network. We spend our days studying hard, laughing hard, and figuring out how to live in this new environment. We feel lucky!