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Word Count: 846
People choose to do different things with their lives and spend years trying to find themselves but according to Mahatma Gandhi the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others Over 210000 volunteers have lost themselves in service through the Peace CorpsPresident John F Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1 1961 Since then the Peace Corps has served 139 different countries and accepted volunteers from all ages and backgrounds One of those volunteers Gloria Freeland assistant professor of journalism at Kansas State University said 37 years ago I began the adventure of my life Freeland volunteered for the program in Ecuador from 1976-1978 After initially being rejected Freeland wrote a six page response to the Peace Corps describing her experiences and qualifications After she was accepted in November 1975 she was on a plane to Ecuador almost immediately During her first week in Ecuador there was a distant earthquake and the government changed hands in a bloodless coup These two things that would seem very scary hardly fazed Freeland as she remembered her tripFreeland stayed in the capital city of Quito for six weeks to transition and learn Spanish the official language of Ecuador Freeland then moved to Salinas Ecuador to begin her official work While volunteering Freeland taught English and did sporadic radio spots on health and nutritionIts hard to say if I made a difference When I first went down I was idealistic and was going to change the world said Freeland now I think that change is possible through individual relationshipsAlthough Freeland loved her experiences through the Peace Corps she also felt somewhat cast off when she first arrived According to Freeland you have to be very flexible and sometimes make your own projects and work These feelings were also shared by Steven Graham assistant to the dean and director of the college of agriculture at Kansas State Graham was volunteered
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