How does a journalism student from Philadelphia end up working with the Peace Corps in Swaziland in Africa?
My conversation with Gena Pearson was a bit like listening to tales from “Arabian Nights”. Every other sentence seemed to lead to a new tale, and what was planned as an hour-long interview soon almost spilled over to the two hour mark. After facing initial technical difficulties that forced us to postpone our original interview date, I intuitively knew that this interview would be well worth the wait!
Gena – who took high school Spanish – experienced her first immersion into life outside the United States during a 2-week trip to France and Spain as a sophomore. From high school Gena went on to study journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia. An internship during her studies led to a concrete job offer in publishing; so instead of graduating as planned, Gena became a book editor.
Trading Philadelphia for New York was just a trial run for an eventual move to London, where Gena not only worked in publishing and as a cultural consultant for the mayor’s office, she also went on to earn her M.A. from King’s College.
Listen to Part 1 of Gena’s story and find out more about what motivated and inspired her – and would eventually lead her to Swaziland!