Erin O’Halloran grew up watching Peace Corps commercials on TV which featured footage of volunteers serving in Africa and young children in grass hut houses. Even though the images were somewhat romanticized, the pull toward a life of service was always strong for her, and she always knew it was something she wanted to do.

Even so, she didn’t throw caution to the wind until she was in her early 30s when, around the time that President Obama was elected, she sensed a significant positive cultural shift toward, “Yes we can make a difference.” From that, she was inspired to leave her job and join the Peace Corps.

romania.jpg?t=1491434304381&name=romania.jpg&width=320She specifically requested to serve in Eastern Europe because she wanted to continue pursuing a career as a Behavior Analyst working with individuals affected by autism, and there weren’t many countries that were actively addressing autism or developmental disabilities because so many undeveloped nations are still so focused on ensuring basic infrastructure needs like health and water sanitation.

After what seemed like an eternal application process, with a long period of checking her mailbox for her assignment, she was thrilled to be sent to Romania, a serendipitous placement because she quickly discovered Romania was not only very volunteer-focused, but it would also allow her to continue her work with individuals affected by autism.

stray_dogs.jpg?t=1491434304381&name=stray_dogs.jpg&width=320Once in the country, in one of her strongest initial impressions, O’Halloran recalls being put on a bus in the middle of the night to go to her first site where she would do an initial 11 weeks of training. Looking out the window, she could see large numbers of wild dogs running in packs....

Read the full post or listen to the audio interview on Pacifica Post

Bonnie Bright, Ph.D., Founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, is a Transpersonal Soul-Centered Coach certified via Alef Trust/Middlesex University, and a certified Archetypal Pattern Analyst®, via Assisi Institute. She earned Master’s degrees in Psychology from Sonoma State University, and in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she also finished her Ph.D. She completed a 2 1/2 year training in Indigenous African Spiritual Technologies with West African elder Malidoma Somé, and has has trained extensively in Holotropic Breathwork™ and the Enneagram. Bonnie’s path to soul began with a spontaneous mystical experience in 2006, and she continues her quest for awakening each day with a sense of joy, freedom, and gratitude at the magic afoot in the world. She continues to live into her gift and calling by helping others find their path to soul, and to learn to do the same for others.