Interview with a volunteer: Jenn Ambrose
By Anna Cowell
Hometown: Great Falls, Montana
Languages: English, French, Kinyarwanda
Favorite Kinyarwanda saying: Ntakibazo
Has been to: Guinea, Morocco, Tunisia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Senegal, Uganda and France
Wants to visit: Southeast Asia, Brazil, Turkey and (starting May 5, 2012) Congo, Burundi and
Favorite view in Rwanda: Her front porch
Best thing about Rwanda: Label of "serious" or "not serious" – it’s descriptive and makes complete sense
What she’ll take home with her: The resourceful-ness and creativity that are common in Rwanda.
Jen Ambrose was inspired to travel as a child when she heard the stories and experiences of friends from church who had served as missionaries in Guatemala, and a friend’s cousin who was a PCV in Gabon. Her interest in other countries led her to study international relations at Claremont McKenna College in southern California. Her sen-ior year of college she decided to apply to Peace Corps.
Jen appreciates the fact that as PCVs we live on our own in communities. She feels that since she speaks Kinyarwanda she really has the opportunity to get to know Rwandans in a way that most foreigners don’t. This independence helps us to
avoid "the muzungu bubble," and lets her develop relationships with her neighbors and community members that she wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to have. The friendships she has been able to make are particularly important to her. She feels there are a handful of people in Nyagatare who really like and value her as an individual, not just as a muzungu. She also appreciates the perspec-tive Peace Corps has given her on international de-velopment work. This experience has
improved her ability to think critically about aid and Western involvement in Africa.