I am new to this whole blogging thing, but decided it would be fun to have a blog about my Peace Corps service (and it helps fulfill the third part of the Peace Corps Mission), so here goes nothing...
My official title is "Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent." Hence, "Agent Stoermer." I also think it would be super cool to be a secret agent, for the CIA or FBI or something, but the Peace Corps specifically prohibits Volunteers from having any connection of any sort to anyone involved in intelligence work. So, an "agriculture agent" title will have to do for the next couple years... As for the "agent dstorm" part....well, D Storm has been a nickname of sorts for several years, and it's easier to spell than Stoermer. So there you have it - an explanation for almost everything (whith an emphasis on almost).
I'll be working in the Peace Corps' agriculture and community development sector in Senegal as an ag extension agent. What that all means specifically is still to be determined, so you'll have to check back to find out. :)
For those of you new to the Peace Corps (like I was about 2 years ago), here are the three goals that define the Peace Corps Mission:
1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their needs for trained men and women.
2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of all Americans.
I have these goals listed here not only for others, but also as reminder to myself. Here's another reminder for myself - the Core Expectations for Peace Corps Volunteers:
In working toward fulfilling the Peace Corps Mission of promoting world peace and friendship, as a trainee and Volunteer, you are expected to:
1. Prepare your personal and professional life to make a commitment to serve abroad for a full term of 27 months.
2. Commit to improving the quality of life of the people with whom you live and work; and, in doing so, share your skills, adapt them, and learn new skills as needed.
3. Serve where the Peace Corps asks you to go, under conditions of hardship, if necessary, and with the flexibility needed for effective service.
4. Recognize that your successful and sustainable development work is based on the local trust and confidence you build by living in, and respectfully integrating yourself into, your host community and culture.
5. Recognize that you are responsible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your personal conduct and professional performance.
6. Engage with host country partners in a spirit of cooperation, mutual learning, and respect.
7. Work within the rules and regulations of the Peace Corps and the local and national laws of the country where you serve.
8. Exercise judgement and personal responsibility to protect your health, safety, and well-being and that of others.
9. Recognize that you will be perceived, in your host country and community, as a representative of the people, cultures, values, and traditions of the United States of America.
10. Represent responsibly the people, cultures, values, and traditions of your host country and community to people in the United States both during and following your service.
And so, with those goals and expectations in mind, I am preparing for the experience of a lifetime, or (to quote the Peace Corps) "the most meaningful, frustrating, exciting, testing and important phase of your life." :)