Ep #040: Joseph Braccio, Niger 2007-2008
Joseph started his vacation by being robbed at machete-point and thought it could only get better from there. He was wrong. Listen to his Peace Corps story filled with successes and struggles, and learn why he had to end his service early.
On this Episode:
- Finally feeling at home in the village and comfortable with the local language
- Being robbed at machete-point on the first day of vacation
- Having to Early Terminate due to bureaucratic issues
Photos from Joseph’s Story
Joseph Braccio’s Peace Corps Story
Where and when did you serve? What did you do?
Niger Jan 2007 – Aug 2008. I was a Natural Resource Management Agent in a village called Zourare Tekashuwart in the Konni/Tahoua Region. It was a small village, tiny compared to some. I had a successful grinding machine project that was implemented to help relieve the women from the constant labor of hand pounding millet and to help raise money for the village children’s healthcare needs. I also had a semi-successful women’s garden project (raised all the funds, implemented installation, wells dug, equipment purchased, fence posts installed, trees and seeds purchased… but I had to Early Terminate due to bureaucratic issues and the project was given to a new fellow volunteer and her village).
What is one of your favorite Peace Corps memories?
When I first realized I had enough command of the language and culture to hold a proper meeting and have light, jovial, relaxed interactions. I remember the feeling, it was like I had become part of something, as well as a place… I couldn’t define it, but it was a feeling of ‘home’.
What is one of your least favorite Peace Corps memories?
Being robbed at machete-point on the first day of ‘vacation’ in Benin and a day later being drugged and robbed. Though coming out of it unscathed makes for a pretty thrilling tale.
What do you miss about the Peace Corps?
The simplicity of village life and the sweetness of Nigerien cultural interaction.
What is something you learned in the Peace Corps?
Patience and Perseverance.
Do you have a favorite quote or local saying?
Sai Hankuri – Have Patience
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