March first was the fiftieth anniversary of the Peace Corps. President John Kennedy began the program in nineteen sixty-one. The Peace Corps sends American volunteers to provide technical assistance in education and other areas in developing countries. Amanda Pease is one of almost forty volunteers serving in rural schools in Sierra Leone.Ms. Pease teaches science at Saint Joseph’s, a high school in eastern Sierra Leone. She studied chemical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. She decided to serve for two years in the Peace Corps after she finished her degree. Peace Corps volunteers left Sierra Leone in nineteen ninety-four because of civil war. But now they are back. Science teachers are in especially short supply. Efforts in Sierra Leone to get more children through primary school have led to crowded high schools. Amanda Pease is the only chemistry and physics teacher at her school. She says she has to work hard to get students more interested in learning. She says what she loves best about her experience is the magical moment when students understand a chemical process or ask her for more exercises. More than eight thousand Peace Corps volunteers are currently serving around the world. Volunteers become part of the community where they work and live. Travis Bluemling from Pennsylvania teaches English in a rural Indonesian community. He says learning English and at least having some knowledge of the language can help people when they look for a job or meet people. Mr. Bluemling’s family expressed concern for his safety in a country where Islamic militants have sometimes attacked Westerners. But what concerned him, he says, was the thought that leaders in his village might not welcome him. But,he says, he could not have been more wrong. They have permitted him to enter their homes. He joined them in their Muslim meetings. He joined them while fasting and he has even entered the mosque.In addition to Indonesia, Peace Corps volunteers in East Asia serve in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Mongolia and the Philippines. For VOA Special English, I’m Carolyn Presutti.