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of service for a volunteer is around two years and because many volunteers work in an education setting, the exact time served is determined by how many academic semesters, or years, are in the host country. He noted that, because the Peace Corps is voluntary, some volunteers can leave early if they decide it’s not the right choice for them. On the contrary, others may choose to extend their time in the host country for a third year. When Tielke applied for the Peace Corps, he applied in the general field, with a wide variety of volunteering opportunities. One or two others at Concordia College also applied for the Peace Corps, but not anyone that he knew. He recalls his trip to the unfamiliar country, first flying into San Francisco for two days to join around eighty other volunteers, all complete strangers to him. “That was also an exciting part about it. Moving to a new country and moving with 80 people who you’ve never met before,” the adventurous young man recalls. Tielke was the only volunteer from South Dakota in the group. Though it was a difficult choice for him to be away from his family for so long, they supported him in his decision. Venturing Abroad Tielke and the other volunteers spent the first three months in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province. It was here that he and the volunteers took part in training, learning China’s language and culture, how to teach English as a foreign language, and various rules, regulations and safety precautions. Basically, he explains, it was a crash course on how to provide service in China. Volunteers lived with host families during this time and Tielke felt fortunate that his host family lived close enough to the training sessions that he could walk there. Because the parents of his host family were both professors, they had a car and drove him to any other places he needed to go. What Is a Hernia? A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia. The most common types are inguinal (inner groin), incisional (resulting from an incision), femoral (outer groin), umbilical (belly button), and ventral (upper stomach). After training, his destination was Chongqing, right outside the capital city, where he resided for the remainder of his service. He taught students at the Chongqing Vocational Institute of Engineering, where they were working toward the equivalent to an Associate’s Degree. “That’s what makes it really scary,” he states, explaining how volunteers often have no background in the host country’s language. He learned and studied the Chinese language while he resided there and is continuing to study the language. He was still able to communicate in English while abroad, explaining, “Most of my conversations were with my students, so I’d try and speak half Chinese and mostly English, so I was never fully emerged into Chinese.” Adapting to Challenges He feels that the most challenging aspect of volunteering in China was learning their language and relying on others for necessities. “When I got into China, everything kind of goes back to square one. Having to learn how to order and buy food, buy things, ask for directions, be self-sufficient,” he states. It was challenging for him to depend on others around him so much, as he was very independent in college. He remembers arriving in Chengdu the first night and feeling hungry and thinking, ‘I don’t know how to buy food, I don’t know how to get food or even order food.’ Unlike living in Chengdu with a host family, he lived by himself in Chongqing. Relying on public transportation, much more common in China than the United States, served to be more inconvenient because of the large amount of people and traffic. Taking a taxi was costly, so he often took a bus or the metro. If he wanted to meet up with other volunteers from his group, it would take him about an hour and a half just to get there. vTIELKE continued on page 18 What Causes Hernias? Hernias are caused by a combination of pressure and an opening or weakness of muscle or fascia. The pressure pushes an organ or tissue through the opening or weak spot. 1. What are Hernia Symptoms? Symptoms may include: bulge on or near your abdomen, abdominal pain, or groin pain, bloating, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. A physical exam is often enough to diagnose a hernia. Most hernias require surgical repair. If you have symptoms or would like more information, call our office today. 2525 Fox Run Parkway, Suite 204, Yankton www.yanktonsurgical.com Kynan C.Trail, MD, FACS NO REFERRAL NECESSARY Independently Owned 605.668.9670 HISVOICEvJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018v17

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