Norbert and Carol Hoffmann's Peace Corps Journal


I have four reasons for wanting to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer

I grew up in Germany during World War II and the post-war years. While I focused primarily on survival as a child and adolescent, I concentrated on raising a family and developing professionally throughout my adult life. Now, being close to retirement, I have the need to give more of myself to others than I have in the past. Being a P.C.V. would offer me this opportunity, first in another country and then back home in the States after my return.

I immigrated to the United States in 1961, the year J.F. Kennedy officially established the Peace Corps and sent out the first volunteers to other countries to help people help themselves. In the U.S. I was given a similar opportunity, the chance to start a new life, to get an education and new skills and to establish myself professionally. Being at the end of my career, I feel that I have a huge debt to repay which I can do by joining the efforts of the Peace Corps, by sharing with others the skills and experiences I was allowed to acquire here during the past 38 years.

Over time I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and professional as well as life experiences. Although now I need to move over and give a younger person a chance to succeed me in my position, I want to continue to use my expertise - no longer as a career but in service to others. Peace Corps would allow me to do this.

Last but not least, I always liked different kinds of challenges and adventure. Foreign countries and cultures especially fascinated me throughout my life. When I was twelve years old, I had my first encounter with another culture. It was in April 1945 near the end of World War II in Germany, when I was hiding with a group of people from our village in the woods nearby for several days. Soon after the fighting stopped, we started to walk back home waving a white flag. When I saw an American jeep turn our way, I went far ahead of the others against my mother’s desperate warnings. The jeep stopped, the soldiers told me to get on the running board, and then they drove me to our people where I had to translate using the little English I knew at the time. Later, I started to correspond with pen pals in many different countries. On a large world map on the wall in my room I would mark the cities and countries where they were from. I tried to learn Esperanto and Russian. We had English and French in school. Travel books were and still are my favorite reading. I hitchhiked all over Europe as a teenager, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Denmark, England. And finally, as an adult I went on the biggest adventure of my life. I immigrated to the United States. That was 38 years ago. It is time for another big challenge and adventure.

This website is dedicated to our family, friends and all future Peace Corps volunteers