Preface Two – The History

My name is Jeff Bailey. I’m from Coos Bay, Oregon. I’m 23 years old. I’m in the Peace Corps.

A less dry history of myself might include that I just graduated from Portland State University (June 2007). I got a B.A. in Social Science and worked as a Peer Mentor for the University Studies program. I really loved the work I did in there, and was hoping to find a way to continue to do so after I graduated. That was my junior year.

I spent what was supposed to be my senior year studying-abroad, in Seoul, Korea. I was taking classes, but not focused whatsoever on graduating. I attended Yonsei University for two semesters and taught English on the side, and came back to the U.S. in August of 2006.

I came back prepared to start my final year of college, but I was also determined to have a post-degree plan lined-up before I actually graduated. I really really really didn’t want to finish school and have nothing on the horizon. I idea scared the crap out of me.

I was looking into doing AmeriCorps until my cousin suggested Peace Corps. In a sense, that was it, because as soon as I looked into it, I decided thats what I wanted to do. That was in September 2005. I would stay up all night reading PC blogs, imagining myself in various scenarios all over the world.

The application process was thorough, and annoying, but in the end was doable. However, did my determination to complete the obstacle of the application, and avoid any post-graduate doldrums cloud my judgment as to whether or not the Peace Corps was actually a good idea or not? If you did the math between when I got back from Korea and when I will leave for Azerbaijan, I will have been back for less than a year. Is it too soon? Am I going while the going is good? Why do I have such an urge to leave when others seem so content to stay? Do they see something I don’t?

Did I make the right choice? Keep reading for the next 27 months to find out.


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