After a lot of searching I realized there weren't as many resources out there for Volunteers as I had hoped there would be. Starting my senior year of college, as I was applying to Peace Corps, I wrote down questions and answers regarding my experience. I wanted to know how to be a competitive candidate for Peace Corps, what to include in my application, what the interview was like, what would happen if I declined my invitation, and answers to many other questions. I was very lucky to talk with incredible Volunteers who loved their experiences in Peace Corps, but often they couldn't remember or didn't know the answers to a lot of my questions. As I kept track of my questions throughout the process, I tried to answer them as best as I could so I could share those answers with others. This resulted in a short guide through the application experience which was printed by my university and made available for free to students. 

As I graduated and began preparing to leave for Peace Corps, I started realizing I had only moved from one part of the Peace Corps experience to another: the questions only got harder and the answers became even more important. How can I best prepare for service? What makes a Peace Corps Volunteer successful? Why are the happiest Volunteers happy? Again I was very fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly talented and wise people, including some of the best friends and best Volunteers that I know, who shared their advice and experiences with me. It has made all the difference in my service and I have continued to write for almost four years because I wanted to share that advice with others. A paragraph or two a month, I have been writing this handbook for my entire service. Together I hope we can all keep writing it. The beauty of the Unofficial Handbook is that it will never be completed - it will always be collecting thoughts and experiences from Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.

It's amazing in our digital world how fast information can travel. My hope is that this information is good and helpful. Our goal will always be to help Peace Corps Volunteers have happy, healthy and meaningful service experiences starting right from the very beginning. I am honored that you have joined us here and look forward to reading your thoughts and hearing about your experiences. Good luck with your Peace Corps adventure, it's an incredible journey and we're right here with you.