The meeting broke up, the volunteers scattered to take advantage of one final night stateside. I know what orchids mean — and no." Things do move fast in the Peace Corps. What might take six months to develop under normal conditions might, in the Peace Corps, happen in six days. But Janice questioned any romantic feelings toward him.
Glen asked Janice if she wanted to go with him to see an orchid exhibition at the botanical garden. "All I could think about was, can't do it, sorry, and I'm certainly not going to go see any orchid exhibit," recalls Janice. "You don't know this person, they're not meeting your family," she says.
"And I thought, that's not going to be me." Janice joined the Peace Corps to work on environmental projects abroad. Then at her orientation in Washington, DC, Janice was handed a slip of paper with the name of a random country. The instructions: find the volunteer with the corresponding capital of that country and introduce them to the group.
She helped to develop the first recycling program in our town of Ramnicu Valcea. Someone named Glen Harrison had that corresponding capital city.
"Through the skirmish when we were looking around I heard out of my ear someone say Thailand," says Glen.
"I tapped this person on the shoulder…and it was Janice." For Glen, if it wasn't love at first sight, then let's just say he was really interested.
Not only did Janice have to trust Glen, says Fisher. When you leave everything and everyone behind, your brain is hardwired to rebuild a daily life with another human being, according to Fisher. She says change triggers an increase of dopamine in the brain.
"You start to think to yourself, can I trust this person? " For Janice it came down to: "I have to trust this person because this is the only person I got." Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and love researcher — yes, love researcher!— is not surprised that people in the Peace Corps fall in love.It turns out she was just as surprised at the mention of love at her Peace Corps orientation."I don't remember a percentage being put on it, but I thought a large majority," she says.
The idea was that after graduation I would join the Peace Corps, and do the toughest job I'd ever love.In 2002, I arrived in Washington, DC for orientation to teach in Romania.