McQuestion has since worked for the World Health Organization and at Johns Hopkins University as a professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Peace Corps has shaped his world view.

"I always found that the poorest countries were the most interesting places to be," he said. "You're not just trying to save lives, you're building institutions."

Some of his Peace Corps training still comes out in his organizing of ciclovias that close southbound Roland Avenue to motorists on occasional weekend mornings so that people can ride bicycles, walk and skateboard. He is trying to expand ciclovias through Baltimore.

"Every Peace Corps volunteer becomes a community organizer," he said. "Otherwise nothing gets done."


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Carneal, 45, graduated from American University in 1989 with a degree in international business.

"I realized I really enjoyed the international part of my studies, not the business (part) so much," she said.

Carneal, who minored in French, served in the Peace Corps from 1990-91 in the French-speaking Central Africa Republic. Her job was to help teachers make their health lessons more focused and interesting. But teachers constantly went on strike her first year, because the Ministry of Education fell behind in providing books and paying salaries.

"It was kind of frustrating," Carneal said. "Nobody got credit for school that year."

HIV and AIDS ran rampant.

"One teacher I knew actually died that (first) year," Carneal said. "It was a tough and challenging year."

Carneal's own health suffered. She came down with giardia, an parasitic infection of the small intestine, and scadies, a skin infestation caused by mites. She said she left the Peace Corps after 20 months due to illness. A month after she got home, she came down with malaria.

But Carneal said she wouldn't trade the experience and the self-confidence it gave her to be her own boss in unfamiliar surroundings and situations. She has since worked for Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore and is now an education development officer in the Middle East bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development, known as USAID.

Carneal met her husband, Jack, at the wedding of a friend and former Peace Corps volunteer.

"The Peace Corps has created a lot of pathways in my life," she said.

But Carneal hasn't taken much notice of the upcoming Peace Corps Week, if only because for her, every week is like being in the Peace Corps.

"Every day, I go to work, I'm working with developing countries," she said.

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