Synopses & Reviews
If you're like most people interested in joining the Peace Corps, the thought of spending a couple of years immersed in a different country, language, and culture sounds both adventurous and intimidating. As you contemplate the reality of volunteering, your mind races with questions. Which programs are my skills best suited to? How will the culture shock affect me? What will my life overseas be like? Will my work really make a difference? Written by a returned Peace Corps volunteer, SO, YOU WANT TO JOIN THE PEACE CORPS...is a candid, straightforward guide that answers all these questions and many more. Author Dillon Banerjee shares his personal insightsand those of returned volunteers who served all over the worldto help prepare you for the experience of a lifetime. Whether you're thinking of joining, or have already been accepted and are getting ready to leave, this book provides answers you simply can't find elsewhere.
Dillon Banerjee spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon and offers an insider's perspective on the organization, the work, the joys, the trials, and the tribulations.
About the Author
DILLON BANERJEE served as an agro-forestry volunteer in the Peace Corps from 1994 to 1996 in Belo, Cameroon. He currently works for the US Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal.THE AUTHOR SCOOP
Read any good books lately? I was on a roll a while back with books like Blindness, Bel Canto, Life of Pi, Perfume, and The Road. I just started The Friends of the Earth by T.C. Boyle and am hopeful.What was the hardest thing about writing a book?Having it edited. After laboring for endless hours over the manuscript, my initial reaction to recommended changes was usually denial. Nothing could be changed because it was so obviously perfect. Between my wife and the top-notch editors at Ten Speed, however, I came to accept that too many cooks can’t spoil the broth when it comes to polishing a book manuscript. Revisions usually translate to improvements. What's the first concert you ever attended?Tenth grade, Siouxsie and the Banshees at Warner Theater in Washington, DC. I had my black jeans, black sneakers, and black concert-T on, but felt like a preppie as I watched grown men in ballroom gowns scaling the stage speakers and jumping into the crowd below. Know any good jokes?My five-year-old son loves to tell this knock-knock joke:Knock knockWho’s there?Nobody.Nobody who?…(silence)…Don’t know why, but it still kind of cracks me up.What's the farthest you've ever traveled?My second assignment in the Foreign Service was to Moscow, Russia, where I served as a Commercial Officer at the Embassy for two years. About halfway through my tour, I was asked to lead a business delegation to the capital city in Siberia – Novosibirsk. Russia is an enormous country with 11 time zones; it’s shorter to fly from Moscow to Boston than Moscow to Vladivostok (in the far east). My flight to Novosibirsk carried me over vast expanses of nothingness, and when I landed, I spammed friends and family in the States with SMS’s just to tell them that I was in Siberia. In truth, Novosibirsk is a nice town with over a million people, replete with a metro system, opera house, cafes, university, and a huge manmade lake (the Ob Sea). Still, it felt way off the beaten path.