New Grad ‘Ecstatic’ with Peace Corps Posting to Mozambique

Posted: July 15, 2013 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: July 17, 2013 at 7:11 am

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By Beth Pullias

Thomas Lee chats with. Photo courtesy of Thomas Lee

Thomas Lee converses with his host “mother” and a language instructor after sampling a traditional Mozambican meal. Photo courtesy of Thomas Lee

Passion about their personal goals drives many George Mason University students and alumni. For some, it’s taking a dream job in the Washington, D.C., area. For others, it’s moving across the world to invest their time and energy in volunteering.

Thomas Lee fits into the latter group.

Lee, BS Conflict Analysis and Resolution ’13, now lives in Mozambique, where he will be working for the next two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. After he graduated from George Mason in May, he packed up his life and moved — fulfilling his passion — to serve in the health sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The Peace Corps chose Mozambique for my assignment after I expressed a desire to work in the field of public health, particularly in Africa. I was ecstatic with my assignment,” says Lee.

After he received his official invitation to join the Peace Corps in January, he spent two months going through an intensive medical clearance that included physical exams, doctor’s visits and multiple vaccinations.

Lee shows off a Mozambique flag during his farewell party. Photo courtesy of Thomas Lee

Lee shows off the flag of Mozambique during his farewell party. Photo courtesy of Thomas Lee

Lee will find out about his specific site placement on July 18. In the meantime, he is studying Portuguese in an intensive language training program. He’s also learning about the health issues of the region, security, safety, culture, history and techniques for building community in the area he will be working in.

Lee has been practicing the language and learning more about the Mozambican lifestyle while living with a host “mother.”

“The food has been absolutely delicious, and the people are so hospitable and welcoming,” Lee says. “Above all, the landscape and views are breathtaking. I’m so excited to learn what my site placement will be in a few weeks and explore more of the country.”

Lee’s student experiences helped prepare him in many ways for his Peace Corps assignment. He was the president of the Class of 2013; a member of the Student Government for four years; a brother of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, for three years; and a resident assistant for the Office of Housing and Residence Life during his senior year. Lee is also a member of the Golden Quill Society through the Office of Alumni Affairs.

And that was just his involvement at Mason.

Off campus, Lee worked as an intern for the ONE campaign and as a counselor and workshop instructor at Legacy International’s Global Youth Village.

“Mason provided me with top-level academics that helped shape and develop my global competence,” says Lee. “The diverse student body and the wide array of cross-cultural experiences helped me to become an open-minded global citizen.”

Follow Lee’s adventures in Mozambique at his personal blog.

Write to Beth Pullias at bpullias@gmu.edu

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