June 17, 2019

What It’s Really Like to Be A Peace Corps Volunteer?

Deep River resident and journalist John Guy LaPlante recently returned after a full hitch as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV).  He will give his first public talk about his experience at Deep River Public Library September 25 at 3 p.m.  It is free.  Since the meeting room is not large, reservations are suggested.

LaPlante completed the full 27-month term as a PCV.  A surprising number of Volunteers come home early.  Some 8,00 serve in 74 countries.  He was a university teacher in Ukraine — a former Soviet republic striving to make it as a  new democracy– but also did various other things, as is expected of Volunteers.

All are invited to LaPlante’s presentation, especially anyone thinking of joining Peace Corps.  This is its 50th anniversary—a proud year. Many people do consider joining the Peace Corps – young people are always still welcome, but emphasis is now being placed on older, experienced men and women.

LaPlante turned 80 while in service, becoming the oldest Volunteer in the world.  He will talk about the pay, the numerous benefits, the challenges and difficulties, and the pride and the satisfaction.

He is known for his wide-ranging columns published previously in the popular – now defunct – Main Street News and currently in ValleyNewsNow.com, OldSaybrookNow.com and LymeLine.com.  He wrote the just-published book, “27 Months in the Peace Corps—My Story, unvarnished.” John also wrote “Around the World at 75. Alone, Dammit!” and “Around Asia in 80 Days. Oops, 83!” He will sign books and add a personal note if desired.  No obligation to buy.

LaPlante will meet afterward with anyone thinking of joining.  He says, “What I want to do is spread the word about what a good deal Peace Corps can be.”

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