Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on October 16, 2010

Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Being alcohol-intolerant, my relationship with alcohol during service can be defined as non-existent. I don’t drink it, buy it, or go to clandestine liquor stores. For better or worse, my PC service does not affect the amount of alcohol I consume because, frankly, my body does not digest alcohol well at all.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a PCV about alcohol consumption during service, particularly in Morocco, a Islamic country. The religion forbids Muslims to consume alcohol, if I remember correctly. Just because alcohol is forbidden, however, does not mean that Muslims don’t consume alcoholic beverages.

Anyway, in talking with this PCV, a few thought-provoking questions emerged:

  • Do PCVs realize how much alcohol played into their life and lifestyle in the US? For instance, Americans enjoy a cold beer after a long day’s work or a glass of wine paired with dinner. In contrast, PCVs often live modestly in their sites because alcohol is not available and their reputation with the community is of critical importance.
  • Do PCVs realize how their relationship with alcohol has changed during service? Binge drinking, frequency and quantity of alcohol consumed, and activities conducted under the influence – these all sound like college activities but how much of this has been carried over to PCV activities?
  • In the US, what role has alcohol had in one’s relationships with family, friends, and/or romantic interests?

I wonder how many PCVs encounter (or ask themselves) such questions during service. After all, it can be a hard – mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging – two years for some. If alcohol plays a role during your service, what role do you want it to have in yours?


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