After a lot of searching I realized there weren't as many resources out there for Volunteers as I had hoped there would be. Starting my senior year of college, as I was applying to Peace Corps, I wrote down questions and answers regarding my experience. I wanted to know how to be a competitive candidate for Peace Corps, what to include in my application, what the interview was like, what would happen if I declined my invitation, and answers to many other questions. I was very lucky to talk with incredible Volunteers who loved their experiences in Peace Corps, but often they couldn't remember or didn't know the answers to a lot of my questions. As I kept track of my questions throughout the process, I tried to answer them as best as I could so I could share those answers with others. This resulted in a short guide through the application experience which was printed by my university and made available for free to students.
Peace Corps, I started realizing I had only moved from one part of the Peace Corps experience to another: the questions only got harder and the answers became even more important. How can I best prepare for service? What makes a Peace Corps Volunteer successful? Why are the happiest Volunteers happy? Again I was very fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly talented and wise people, including some of the best friends and best Volunteers that I know, who shared their advice and experiences with me. It has made all the difference in my service and I have continued to write for almost four years because I wanted to share that advice with others. A paragraph or two a month, I have been writing this handbook for my entire service. Together I hope we can all keep writing it. The beauty of the Unofficial Handbook is that it will never be completed - it will always be collecting thoughts and experiences from Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.