27 Months of Personal Progress–Newly Created eBook for Peace Corps Volunteers

By | November 13, 2012

As a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia, I have battled with a billion difficult emotional and environmental factors, including fatigue, boredom, homesickness, and cold. During these stressful times, I wished there was a guidebook to help me overcome these situations. I couldn’t find one, so I decided to create my own.

What developed was “27 Months of Personal Progress,” a 27 month handbook with tangible ideas for getting a volunteer out of their funk and spurring them to action. Each month lists a challenge and an alternate challenge that corresponds to the probable moods and experiences of the PCV at that time in Armenia.

27 Months of Personal Progress

27 Months of Personal Progress--a monthly handbook of ideas to guide your personal development during your Peace Corps Service

I introduced this handbook at our recent All Volunteer conference, in connection with the Peer Support Network (PSN), of which I am a member. PSN will facilitate the monthly goals for our volunteers in country.

Everyone seemed really excited about it, which makes me excited, because it was a big project, but a lot of fun, both to write and to design.

The following is a preview of one of the pages—Month 18, which is where I am right now in my Peace Corps service.

Month 18 of 27 Months of Personal Progress

This is one sample page from the "27 Months of Personal Progress" handbook

I have already been asked if I would be willing to share this document with others, and the answer is absolutely yes.

You can download the full PDF by clicking on this icon:
Download 27 Months of Personal Progress

You can also download a smaller printable version of this document by clicking on this icon: Just open the file and print, double-sided, on A-4 paper, then fold everything in half.

Download 27 Months of Personal Progress

Feel free to share this document with whoever you see fit. It can also be downloaded from the right sidebar on this website.

The original file is created in a program called InDesign, so if PCVs in other countries want to use and modify it, I can send the file, but they must have InDesign. If other PCVs do use the handbook, I would just like an attribution as the person who created the original, and a link to my website. (something like: “This has been modified from its original version, created by Evelyn Helminen, PCV in Armenia, 2011-2013—www.travelingev.com/)

If you are not a volunteer, you might still find this interesting to read, and fun to play along with the PCV you know and love. If you can get a group together, you can push each other to achieve more and grow more, every single month.

Whatever helps you become a better YOU, whatever helps you through the tough times in a healthy and positive way, DO IT. Push yourself, and you will surely have 27 fulfilling months of personal progress.

Thanks to everyone for their support on this project. Please let me know what you think, in the comments.

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7 thoughts on “27 Months of Personal Progress–Newly Created eBook for Peace Corps Volunteers

  1. Andrea

    Please realize that your time and efforts are worth something (and by that I mean money); this project could be one that helps you to pay the bills after you come home. You will have bills, you know, and this looks to me like a valuable document that other volunteers would be eager to pay for. If not individually, then maybe the PC organization could give you royalties. Soon, you will be done giving your time and excellence away. See you then!

    1. mu mu

      Good Job Ev! 🙂
      There should be established “$ bonuses” initiatives for outstanding PCV during their service to encourage them during their -as you put it- “battle with a billion difficult emotional and environmental factors, including fatigue, boredom, homesickness, and cold. During these stressful times” facing them while serving.
      I do not know if writing to my senators and congressmen would help, but your bosses certainly should take my suggestion into consideration:-)

  2. Wayne Burt

    My goal will be to read one of these a month, but I bet I will cheat and read ahead. From what I’ve seen so far, it looks very well done. Apres.

  3. Mu Mu

    Hi there! I am trying to do an experiment this winter. Namely to use a “quartz infrared heater” with a fan inside in order to distribute the heat all over the room/house/apt. and not just around the heater like the liquid-oil heaters and similar ones do. This quartz heater should be encased in a wooden box as the plastic ones may giver bad odors. I DO NOT KNOW IF THIS KIND OF HEATERS ARE AVAILABLE IN ARMENIA and that is what I like to know. Here in US the price range is from $100 and up. Here is a comment by a manufacturer or seller:

    “A 1500 Watt Infrared Quartz Heater is designed to evenly heat your home without reducing humidity or oxygen (does not dry out the air), maintaining a healthy and comfortable living environment all while saving you up to 50% on your heating bill. This infrared heater does not require any parts to be replaced or costly service repairs like many other heaters do. Even more important is the fact that this infrared heater is safe for you and your family. The heater does not get hot and will not burn your skin or pets. This heater features: 1. Exterior Cabinet: Oak Wood with Natural Finish; 2. Electronic thermostat with LED display Programmable temperature and includes timer; 3.Maximum output: 1500 watts 4. Washable filter; 5. 4 Caster wheels allow for easy portability; 6. Heat chamber: Copper tubing with stainless diffraction coils; 7. Six quartz infrared elements; 8. Remote control with standard 3V lithiam battery included; 9. Produces up to 5100 BTU for just pennies a day; 10. Save money on heating costs: heats any open area up to 1500 square feet; 11. Soft, Natural, Comfortable heat: Quartz infrared heat will circulate and recycle heated air from floor to ceiling while maintaining air’s oxygen and humidity.”

    “1500 maximum watts – 5000 BTU, wire and quartz bulb as heating element, makes more heat than most other heaters, reducing energy consumption about 40%
    Fills room with even heat wall to wall and floor to ceiling, 6 foot power cord, 4 caster wheels, remote control; 30000 hour lifespan; CSA/CSAus Certificated
    Dual-heating power levels: Low: 720 watts for 500 sq. ft. rooms; High: 1500 watts for 1000 sq. ft. rooms
    LED display and controls for time and temperature, electronic thermostat with timer, lifetime washable filter
    Dimensions: (L/D)14.41 x (W)12.2 x (H)16.18 Inches”

    I paid for it $120

    1. Ev Post author

      I haven’t heard of anything like this in Armenia. I have a small space heater that works fine. It doesn’t heat the entire room, but there’s probably not much that would, as my apartment is not well insulated; the heat escapes very quickly.

  4. Pingback: Self Inflicted Challenges | David's Armenian Diary

  5. Karina

    What a great book, Evelyn! I’ve already benefitted from some of your challenges! (You’re probably wondering who I am…a good friend of David Corsar’s!)

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