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