The following internet petition is going around and I, for one, signed it (signature 8172). I was a Peace Corps volunteer at a time when the budget was drastically slashed. I have seen first hand the potential for change. Ana (on the right above), one of my partners in Moldova, and I had great laughs about how each of us viewed each other before getting to know one another through the lens of the cold war. While this era has passed, the propaganda in people’s minds only dissipates when they are shown the opposite to be true. She told me how she thought that I would be like the devil, possibly with horns, when the principal applied to get an American at the school. She didn’t really think that intellectually, but emotionally it was part of her experience processing the concept of working with me for two years. Ana and I came to be good friend; we both learned a lot from one another. I fully support the idea of expanding the Peace Corps and hope Obama makes true on his promise. If you are interested in signing the petition, read it below and then click on this link.
To: President-elect Obama
We congratulate you on your election victory.
We are inspired by your call to U.S. citizens to serve the nation, and are especially excited by your often repeated pledge to double the Peace Corps by the 50th anniversary in 2011.
We sign this petition to express our strong support for a bigger, better and bolder Peace Corps. The Peace Corps can and should be at the foundation of your administration’s renewed commitment to reach out to other nations in the very best traditions of the American people – cooperation, friendship, cross-cultural understanding and positive engagement designed to improve the human condition for millions of individuals around the world.
We look forward to working with you in achieving your goals for the Peace Corps.