Friday, June 19, 2009

Blog Feedback from South Africa.

As a result of a press release sent yesterday announcing this blog, I received an inspiring email from a fellow Long Valley Democrat currently serving in the Peace Corps in South Africa. His name is Craig Grunwald and he is a 1999 West Morris Central graduate. With his permission, I am sharing his email:

Mr. Kevin Nedd,

Hello from South Africa where I am completing my second term as a Peace Corps Volunteer. It's always great to receive emails from home -- home being Long Valley -- but it's not every day that I receive an email from a DEMOCRAT from home! Indeed, you and I are a rare breed.

A little bit about me...I grew up in a fiscally conservative, Republican-backing household in Parker Acres but began to identify more with the Democratic Party after running away from Long Valley to Bangladesh in 2005, where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer until our program's evacuation in 2006. (Indeed, the fact that Peace Corps accepted someone like me from a government-is-the-problem-not-the-solution town like Long Valley is still rather astonishing.)

In 2006 I began my graduate studies in Public Administration at Rutgers-Camden, which I completed this year while overseas. From 2007 until now, I have been serving as an HIV/AIDS Community Outreach Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa, where I am currently attempting to initiate an HIV/AIDS and food security program for migrant farm workers living and working on commercial farms along the Mozambican-South African border.

When I finish my Peace Corps service in September I plan to come home for a month or two to spend some time with my family and friends before I get back to work -- hopefully in the international development field. When I'm home I'd love to get lunch or coffee with you at some point to discuss being a Democrat in Long Valley and what a young 28 year old like me can do to help the Democratic Party have a stronger presence in Washington Township.

With that said, thank you for the email about your blog at Keep up the good fight.

Kindest regards,

Craig Grunwald
Peace Corps Volunteer w/
The Rural Action Committee of Mpumalanga Province (TRAC-MP)
HIV/AIDS Farm Worker Support Program

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