By Gavin Elliot, Contributing Writer
“I’ve always have been interested in serving my country, but I’m not a military person. So I knew if I wanted to, I had to find a way without carrying a gun around,” said Danny Marshall as he leaned forward.
Marshall, originally from Auburn, Maine, will be graduating from UMF in 2018 with a degree in Philosophy and Religion. Just a few weeks later, he will be flying to Mongolia to co-teach English in the Peace Corps. The process of him applying to the Peace Corps started in the Spring semester of 2017. After talking to a Peace Corps representative, he decided to fill out the “send me anywhere” application.
“When I told my family that I had started the application process, they thought it was unlike me at first,” said Marshall. “But, I questioned my maturity and I felt the need to actively seek out responsibility.”
Like many others in college, Marshall undergoes many adulthood norms, but still doesn’t always feel like one. “Even though I pay rent, have a job and go to school full-time I don’t really feel like an adult,” said Marshall.
He also saw the Peace Corps as an opportunity to travel and immerse himself in another culture. “I’ve always wanted to travel, but I don’t want to be a tourist. I want to be a part of the community. I don’t like the idea of just going to some place, taking pictures and doing touristy things like buying a t-shirt,” he said chuckling.
After Marshall received confirmation that he was accepted into the Peace Corps and traveling to Mongolia, his family’s mood changed. “When I told them I was going to Mongolia, they were happy,” he said.
Setting his sights to his move in May, Marshall is unsure of what it will be like without running water, electricity, and other commodities. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t worried about how I will adjust to new living conditions, let alone a complete new country. I believe that I will do pretty well for myself,” said Marshall with a smile. “I don’t think it will be hard to take what I have learned from my Philosophy teachers and apply it over there.”
However, he knows that what he’s learned in his time here at UMF won’t be quite enough. “This is my last semester. So, during the spring semester, I will be doing as much research about the Mongolian language and traditions I can, while dealing with nerves and excitement,” said Marshall. “I’ll be the most nervous while anticipating my flight. The combination of it being my first flight and a big change will probably be the worst. But until then, I will have to try to relax and get some sleep.”