Tuesday, March 16, 2010


With the whole intercontinental move, I didn't pay much attention to this year's Oscars (which may explain my poor performance in Kris' annual contest). However, I enjoyed this New York Times article about Kathryn Bigelow, who won both Best Director and Best Picture for The Hurt Locker. I had no idea she was the first woman ever to win Best Director- really, Hollywood? I also had no idea that she was the director behind the cinematic masterpiece known as Point Break. Rock on, Kathryn Bigelow- you're my kind of lady.

If you're feeling philanthropic, my friend Jess who was in Peace Corps Nicaragua with me started a small non-profit organization called the Asla Foundation that funds scholarships for Nicaraguan students. Many rural communities don't have a local high school, and although the costs associated with commuting to the city to attend high school (bus fare, school fees, uniforms, etc..) may seem small to us, they can be prohibitive for children from farming families. As a result, many young Nicaraguans in small towns end their education in the 6th grade. The Asla Foundation provides scholarships that sponsor students for all five years of high school. You can donate here.

In other news, I saw Shutter Island and it was really bad! Do yourself a favor and skip it. After The Departed, I had such high hopes...


Samantha said...

So, maybe a random question from a frequent reader and first time commentor, but....I'm still in school (college) and was wondering if you need a degree to volunteer with the Peace Corps? I am really interested in it, however, I applied a few years ago and was swiftly denied. I still would really like to get involved, but what should I do to better my chances? I figured pay down some debt and then get my degree, but now I'm wondering if they look for certain types of degress or lifestyles, etc. I'd like to go to Asia and my career experience is mainly with accounting and managing projects. My degree will be in International Business. Any advice?

eileen said...

Hi Samantha,

Generally, you do need a college degree to join Peace Corps- the only exception is if you have a few years work experience in a trade like building/construction. With a degree is International Business you'd be a great candidate as a volunteer with a Small Business sector. So keep going with that and if you want to boost your chances you might want to do some volunteering on the side- maybe you could help a local charity with their accounting books, or something like that? When you're about a year away from graduating, you may want to get in touch with your local Peace Corps recruiter to get some feedback and learn more about the application process (which is really tedious, I'm sorry to say). Good luck!