Why the Peace Corps ?by Raven Moore:
Photo: Raven as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Côte d'Ivoire: 2001 For Raven's interview with Voice of America go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25sAg68mpFI
Peace Corps was a great experience and although it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, I would not exchange it for anything else. It is a part of who I am; my values, my view of the world, my ability to find a way to communicate with people who may or may not want to communicate with me, my more often curiosity instead of fear in the face of the unknown, and my fight for life in general. I would suggest Peace Corps to everyone of all backgrounds and ages, as all backgrounds and ages have been volunteers. You certainly haven't lived until you've almost smoked one with a fellow volunteer old enough to be your grandmother. This is not a promotion of the Peace Corps however for, based on that last comment, it would be a weak one. This is, however, about the great time you can have volunteering abroad - in any way - at any time. Check out my interview put up by the National Peace Corps Association HERE.
Daring to be Rare (but well done)I would like to publish "Padre" on my own. E-reading is becoming more and more popular but, by and large, people like the fine print and printing "Padre" to put in bookstores will cost me. We are still as resistant to e-reading as we are to E-ZPass.
If You Write It . . . . . .I will create a small team to build my own web/TV/radio/newsprint presence, plan my own Book tours and signings, properly manage the legal aspects of publishing, and establish multiple sales venues through digital, print, and audio so that Padre will have a long and colorful life. I think it also makes sense to offer it in Braille. Getting a grasp on all of the social media platforms and having the time required to manage them creatively will also be a priority. It's not just about Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter although they are the most powerful social media tools these days. There are so many more ways I must reach people...If you write it, they will come.
Next?Just as there are many great independent films that don't get the attention they deserve, there are independent writers with great stories that go unshared. I can push Padre around the world and back again. Being a multilingual translator as well as a writer, I am my own resource when it comes to book translation and it will be very easy for me to pull together a translation team to translate Padre into all of the languages I know as well as many of the ones I don't know . . . .yet. ; )
What the Heck is Kickstarter ?What Kickstarter is, is a crowdfunding site that allows people to actualize their own projects through the support of the masses. I set my minimum goal and try to make that or more, depending on the exchange I can provide to pledgers, the number of people I can contact in a very short period of time, and how fast the word is spread. Greater than a facebook "like," I’m hoping you like my presentation of "Padre" enough to micro-back me in self-publishing it. The deadline for success is Feb. 17th and Kickstarter demands every project creator achieve their minimum goal by the deadline or the project is cancelled and all donations credited back.
Why is Cultural Laughter Important ?Cultural laughter should be important to you because it is the fastest way to realize that all people are human - susceptible to the same love and hate, fear and fearlessness, strength and weakness, genius and error, blindness and clarity. My cultural laughter is not about disrespect but, laughing at my reactions to unfamiliar circumstances and at my inability to adapt to something new. By laughing at myself, I learned to digest culture in a way that pulls all people into the same reality where love and appreciation is all you need to get along.
My experience in the Peace Corps in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast, West Africa) over 10 years ago pushed me to travel more and opened me up to infinite worlds where I formed an insatiable fascination with the exploration of identity. My life there was rough, as all Peace Corps Volunteer experiences around the world usually are but, after struggling with the way I choose to present and share this story, I've managed to put in it the humor that my friends, family, co-workers, and anyone who meets me, know me for. You won't be able to laugh the entire way through but you will be shocked as the experience I had, for the standard 2.25 years of Peace Corps volunteership, is uniquely none other than my own.