Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience. Volunteers live, learn, and work with the community overseas for 27 months, providing assistance in a variety of program areas, including agriculture. Agriculture is the primary economic activity of most of the world’s people, yet many communities are unable to produce enough food. Peace Corps volunteers contribute sustainable solutions to a community’s agricultural issues and help preserve natural resources. From experienced professionals in the fields of agricultural sciences to recent college graduates, volunteers bring diverse experience and educational backgrounds to their assignments. I do urban agricultural work. I work at the hospital farm, and we have a huge garden that we use to feed the patients that are in the infectious diseases ward. Any vegetables we harvest here go to a kitchen that they make alternative meals for the patients. And then we also have another garden at the psych ward where we use it as a form of therapy with patients. Also do trainings with low-income families throughout all of Dakar, teaching them basic microgardening skills and then we’ll start working on gardens in their own houses to better their nutrition. We do lots of things with Jared. We water our microgardens and bigger gardens. We transplant vegetables from our gardens. We do weeding together. All the activities of the garden we do side-by-side with Jared. Before going to my village we had about 12 weeks of training. During that time part of the training was language training and the other part was technical training. I don’t have any experience with guinea pigs, which is an important and cultural animal here in the Andes. And we learned about guinea pig production, guinea pig management. Also we went to a national park and learned about llama management and so during those 12 weeks it really helped out a lot to fortify the animal facts not that I received as an undergraduate. One of the things that we learned in training was the use of worms to make compost. Again promoting organic agriculture, farmers needed to start looking at chemical fertilizers and comparing it with organic fertilizers and how they could use local resources so that they could make it themselves, and that way it would also be cheaper and more sustainable. What I wanted to get out of this was to learn a method of farming and/or gardening that would be beneficial for my community, especially techniques that would use a lot less water. I believe my organization tried to do a garden before, but there was so little water that they were not able to adequately cultivate the the land and things like that, and every garden project seemed to die out. So I’m hoping that with the new techniques that I’ve learned during this training that I will be able to implement a system that would help save water and also grow very nutritious plants for the people that need them. So the goals of this fish project – we have two – one is to insure better food security and a better source of protein through fish. The second is to sell the excess fish to receiVe money so that the project can keep going and eventually expand to become a business. When we start really going with the fish and soy, when we’re ready to sell, we’re going to talk more and more about recordkeeping and how to plan and how to do all these things and how to use the profits and how to reinvest wisely. To find out more about serving overseas as a Peace Corps volunteer please visit peacecorps.gov.