Peace Corps Service In Ethiopia

                                                                  Hello Everyone!

Raison d'être
During my first quarter in university I wrote my "Master Plan" it mentioned a lot of the usual undergraduate goals like read everything ever written by Paul Farmer, speak fluent French, and remember to call family more often.  At the very top of the list was "Serve in Peace Corps."

When I first heard about Peace Corps I was a kid. I knew before I even knew what it was that it was for me. Like when you hear the first line of a great song, or looking at the ocean for the first time or when a waiter begins with "crispy bacon..." Your awesome meter in it's infinite wisdom says "yes" and you jump without knowing the fall. 

It was not until I met with the PC representative at the University of Washington that  I had evidence to confirm my instinct. Listening to his stories and how it had transformed his perspective I knew that I had found one of my raison d'être (the most important reason or purpose for someone or something's existence).

Awakening a path of service
Service has always been a big part of my life. Volunteerism has become the way I connect with my community and activate upon what I learn in the classroom. Specifically I have volunteered with environmental conservation, after-school tutoring in refugee communities, adult English language education, relgious non-profit and health care facilities for oncology and HIV/AIDS.

From my earlier guidance at Pierce Community College and later at UW I was taught that the world is changed through friendship, collaboration and care ethical engagement. In my life I have been surrounded by individuals, like my professors that reinforce the importance of a spirit of generosity and service.
I believe the Peace Corps experience epitomizes this advice. Peace Corps is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life centered on actively practicing how to serve and participate in the world.

This is truly a profound gift, to take up partnership in Ethiopia to be a part of assisting local efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases.
By doing so we will be working to protect an individuals right to make informed health choices. Stopping AIDS is spreading life, safe-guarding individual's lives so that they can pursue their potential, fulfill their destiny. Beyond health education I will also be a part of the community, assisting individuals living with HIV/AIDS and those affected by AIDS particularly orphans.

At 22 we're deciding what we live for, what path to take. I know everyone can relate to following your heart. Going into Peace Corps: this is me following mine.

When I got the suggested supplies list from Peace Corps I immediately said - "oh my ." The list is very long and thourough. After researching Ethiopia and asking Returned PC Volunteers I have found that I am not materially prepared for my service. I can white knuckle the Pacific Northwest without a good raincoat just fine, but that won't cut it during the Ethiopian monsoon season.
Not to mentioned since everything has to last 27 months I need to restrict myself to bringing only high quality, new or like-new products with me.

I am working full-time but all my earnings go directly to my student loans (which I have to be 27 months ahead of while I am serving in Peace Corps). Yes, that's right! I have thousands of dollars in loans to pay while I am serving in Ethiopia.

I have a shopping wish list (some of the items are listed at the bottom). I would be happy to share the list per request. Some of the items are really simple like duct tape and ziploc bags. I would also appreciate donations if you have any of the items on my wishlist that have been lightly used.

What I need:
-New or used supplies that would help me live comfortably in Ethiopia
-Funds for my supplies 
-REI coupons (if there is such a thing :) )

To all my friends and family! I wish I could take you all with me <3 You all mean the world to me and I can't imagine my life without you all in it. After many attempts to plot how to take you with me...I have decided the more practical approach would be to bring pictures :)
I would appreciate it so much if you could print and mail me pictures of us together to take with me on my 27 month adventure. Send to: 

                                                                   P.O. Box 917
                                                            Graham, WA 98338

Thank you in advance! I grateful for your generosity and support <3

#whenwecomealive #pcethiopia #greaterthanaids


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Rachel Montgomery 
Graham, WA
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