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Daniel Maginot's Educational Adventures Continue as Peace Corps Teacher in Cameroon

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Daniel Maginot with three African children.

Daniel Maginot with members of his host family in Cameroon

Leaving the comfort of the American Midwest for a two-year journey to the African nation of Cameroon is providing alumnus Daniel Maginot with opportunities to immerse in a different culture, expand global perspectives, and share his love of science before pursuing a career in medicine.

The 2014 biomedical engineering graduate who hopes to become a physician recently started a volunteer assignment with the Peace Corps, an organization that sends Americans around the world to help others by sharing their skills and knowledge.

Maginot is living in Ebolowa, a community nestled in a shallow valley that's surrounded by tree-covered rolling mountains. There are many breathtaking views as he walks to work each day.

Ten weeks of training are currently preparing Maginot for the challenges of teaching general science, biology, chemistry, and physics at secondary schools this fall. He's learning about medical, safety, and security issues, expanding his knowledge of local language and immersing in the country's culture.

Maginot also is learning to appreciate that teaching takes patience, with each student understanding concepts in different ways, no matter how seemingly simple the concept.

"I believe I can bring students a different perspective," he remarked before leaving the United States in late May. "I will be different from any teacher they have ever experienced."

Daniel Maginot

Daniel Maginot

Maginot's interest in becoming a Peace Corps volunteer came before graduating from Rose-Hulman, where he was involved in a variety of student organizations. He had to complete an extensive application, several telephone conversations, and a personal interview. It was then determined that there were four countries with special needs that could use his skills: Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

The fact that French is Cameroon's main language provided a natural fit for Maginot, who had studied the language in high school, and studied abroad in Paris for six weeks after his freshman year at Rose-Hulman.

"It all began with curiosity," Maginot says of his interest in becoming a Peace Corps volunteer. "After reading about many different volunteer experiences, I desired to have similar experiences. I wanted to know what it is like to live in another country, without any distractions, and expand my awareness about what's important in life. This is the right thing for me to do."

Maginot plans to provide journal entries and pictures throughout his journey in Cameroon at www.maginotpeace.com.