CC 22: South Africa | Alan Toth
I recently spoke with Alan Toth, a South Africa RPCV, who has just completed a documentary called "Posh Corps." The film looks at the lives of Peace Corps volunteers in South Africa, and the challenges they face as volunteers in another country. We talked a great deal about the film, but we also talked about Alan's own experiences in the Peace Corps. What I liked about Alan was that he came from a somewhat "non-traditional" background, in the sense that he didn't study international relations, or medicine, or agriculture, or any of the subjects you would typically expect from a Peace Corps volunteer. Yet somehow, he was able to use his background and combine it with his Peace Corps experience to create something for people to enjoy.
Each year during the last week of February, the Peace Corps community celebrates Peace Corps Week, to commemorate the establishment of the Peace Corps by President John F. Kennedy. It seems fitting, then, that our episode this week features an RPCV who is doing a great job of promoting the Third Goal.
Alan Toth was a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa from 2010 to 2012. One of the challenges of serving in Peace Corps South Africa is the extreme disparity between the "first-world" cities in South Africa, and the "third-world" villages. Most of the time, Alan experienced what most Peace Corps volunteers might consider a traditional Peace Corps experience, but development was slowly making its way even to his remote site, and he did have to go to the cities from time to time. The constant adjustment from first to third-world takes it's toll on every volunteer in the country. Alan wanted people to know the story of volunteers in a rapidly developing country. So he returned to South Africa after ending his service and shot a documentary about the lives of volunteers in South Africa.
About Posh Corps:
Posh Corps is a documentary that focuses on the lives of Peace Corps volunteers in South Africa. South Africa is one of the most modern countries in which Peace Corps Volunteers serve. Through the eyes of volunteers in South Africa, we discover that modernization does not necessarily make life easier. As the third-world slowly becomes the first-world, the struggles of Peace Corps Volunteers in South Africa provide a window into the struggles of volunteers throughout the developing world.