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1000 E University Ave

Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines

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Phone: (307) 766-2379

Fax: (307) 766-6729

Email: uwmktg@uwyo.edu

UW Profiles

The Hardest Job He’ll Ever Love

Alumnus Logan Armstrong is making the most of his time in the Peace Corps.

By Micaela Myers

Alumnus Logan Armstrong is having the greatest adventure and the challenge of his life. “I joined the Peace Corps because I wanted to explore the world [and] because I thought that I needed practice putting to use the life skills I learned in high school and college,” says Logan, who graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2011 with his degree in biology.

“I started my service in February 2013 in Zambia,” he continues. “I was trained as a rural aquacology specialist—essentially I help train villagers to keep, grow, breed and harvest fish for both a food source and money-making activity. I help farmers build standardized fish ponds, explaining to them the importance of things like sloping walls for a wide temperature range [because] fish only breed in very selective temperatures. I hold workshops and teach at cooperative meetings, covering things like feeding methods, creating good algae blooms, ways to maintain dissolved oxygen in the pond's water and overall maintenance of the fish pond. I give advice on what to do to protect against predators and invasive species that will lower fish harvest yields, and I make house visits to offer advice on farmers’ fish farming setups.”

Armstrong, who grew up in Pine Bluffs, Wyo., is making the most of his time by also taking on many other tasks. “We are given freedom to do things we find our villages lacking,” he explains. “I have taken up teaching eighth-grade environmental science at the primary school. I am working on a grant from the U.S. Embassy to get money for a peanut oil press, which turns raw peanuts into cooking oil. I have started a girls’ club for female empowerment and HIV/AIDS education and a boys club focusing on similar topics. I take weekly language lessons in the local language, Ichibemba (or Bemba for short), and I have a letter correspondence with my hometown's second-grade class.”

These accomplishments are not without their challenges, however, including a language barrier and no running water or electricity. “Dealing with living in the bush means that I have to ride a mountain bike hours on rocky terrain in order to get to civilization,” Armstrong says.

Many of Armstrong’s fellow Peace Corps volunteers face student loan debt when they return, something he says he’s lucky to have escaped because of UW’s affordability and the scholarships he received. “UW offers so much for the money you spend. I really feel that UW's affordability for all it offers sets it apart from other colleges. … I almost paid nothing for my bachelor’s, and when I talk to my fellow Peace Corps volunteers, most of whom have loads of student loans still to pay off, I feel so blessed to not have to deal with that.”

That lack of debt will make it easier to return to school for an advanced degree after his service, something Armstrong is considering. For now, however, his focus is on helping the villagers of Keyaya, where he’ll be until 2015.

“I have found that the best part of my service so far is simply this experience: this once-in-a-lifetime experience that is hard, and is trying, and is a struggle every single day,” Armstrong says. “The Peace Corps calls it ‘the hardest job you'll ever love,’ and I think that will about sum it up.”

 

One of the 10 Cowboy Ethics adopted by UW is “Do what has to be done.” Logan Armstrong demonstrates this principle by taking on additional leadership roles to maximize his impact during his volunteer service in the Peace Corps.

Logan Armstrong

Photo courtesy Logan Armstrong
“I have found that the best part of my service so far is simply this experience: this once-in-a-lifetime experience that is hard, and is trying, and is a struggle every single day.”

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University Public Relations

1000 E University Ave

Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2379

Fax: (307) 766-6729

Email: uwmktg@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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