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West Chester man returns from 3 years in Peace Corps

The following excerpt comes from the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania and was originally published on March 16, 2012.

After graduating with a bachelors degree in psychology from Penn State University in 2009, West Chester resident Kyle Golden decided to take an unconventional route by joining the Peace Corps.

I graduated and I wanted to do something different. I wanted to help people. Joining the Peace Corps was the best way to go about doing that. Its the best way to serve your country, serve another country and serve yourself. Its a culmination of all of those things, said Golden.

In June of 2009, Golden received a Peace Corps acceptance letter into the South American Program, informing him that he would be relocating to Paraguay. Golden reported to Paraguay on Sept. 22, 2009, where he spent three months in the Capital city, Asuncin, training alongside 42 other Peace Corps volunteers. After completing his volunteer training, Golden was deployed to Caaguaz where he would work for the next two years as an agricultural volunteer in crop extension.

Having only taken a few Spanish courses in high school, Golden needed to quickly adapt and overcome the language barrier in Caaguaz, where they speak both Spanish and Guaran. The people in his community struggled with the pronunciation of his name, Kyle, so he was soon referred as Kile (Keelay).

For his first three months in, Golden lived with a family in Caaguaz, located three hours from the capital. After living with the family, Golden began to rent a small house from a woman who was out of the country, living in Spain. Golden was the only Peace Corps volunteer on his site but would keep in touch with other volunteers by phone calls or emails, with his limited Internet access. While offering their service, Peace Corps volunteers are provided with cell phones, healthcare, a full-time medical staff and also receive monthly stipends.

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