Taunton man volunteers with Peace Corps in South Africa
The following excerpt and video comes from the Taunton Daily Gazette and was originally published on July 12, 2012.
“Kevin Crowninshield says his personal midlife crisis presented him with a couple of choices.
‘Some guys buy a ’vette (Corvette) and chase skirts. I didn’t want to do that,’ Crowninshield said.
Instead, he decided to pursue what had been in the back of his mind since he was in high school: He joined the Peace Corps.
‘I thought, “If not now, when?”’ Crowninshield said.
And so for the past half year he’s been living in a single room in a remote South African desert town, teaching computer skills to local teachers and students.
Crowninshield, who turned 51 on Wednesday, acknowledges that joining the Peace Corps is probably not the first thing that comes to mind for men in his age group.
But at the time he was in a unique position of independence, having been divorced and with his son, an only child, about to leave home for college.
Besides that, the East Providence jewelry company for whom he’d worked 20 years, most recently as its information technology manager, had gone through bankruptcy and been bought by another firm.
Although he jokes about dealing with his so-called mid-life crisis, Crowninshield stresses that the Peace Corps is not suitable for anyone looking for a quick lifestyle alternative, good intentions notwithstanding.
He emphasizes that the background checks are extremely rigorous.
‘You need to have a spotless record for the Peace Corps; there are plenty of people who want to join,’ said Crowninshield, whose brother Steve is a Taunton police detective and other brother Glenn a fire department lieutenant.
(He jokes that his sister, an accountant in Boston, actually ‘works for a living.’)
Crowninshield said these two weeks will be his only visit to Taunton this year, the first of a two-year commitment to the Corps.”
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