Peace Corps Volunteer Alice Carter, 87, Doesn't Plan On Quitting

Photo via NPR

Photo via NPR

Alice Carter has traveled a long road to get to where she is today. Morocco, that is. Carter, 87, is the oldest current volunteer in the Peace Corps. She says she's been interested in the world for a long time.

This isn't her first adventure. Even in her earlier life, she had more experiences than most. She was involved in the civil rights movement and protested the Vietnam War. She's lived in many places, and she had six children along the way.

She wanted something different than the standard slow life for those in their twilight years. So a year ago, at the age of 86, Carter began serving as a volunteer for the Peace Corps in Morocco.

"It was like a little blip," she says of deciding to volunteer for the organization. "Like when you fall in love with somebody and that little blip — that click goes off, and you say, 'That's for me.'"

NPR: On being in the public view in old age

Alice Carter: I like being very active, I like being with people, and my whole life has been forming relationships. And so, that has to continue. You can't quit. I've been told that it's hard to make friends as you get older. I have not found that to be true.

NPR: On the physical demands of the work

AC: I think that for people who are thinking about it who are our age, there's some specific concerns and one of them would be health. You kind of have to tinker with your body as you get older, so it's wonderful to have a supportive Peace Corps medical staff, which we have in Rabat.

So that's one thing. Energy is another. When I first came, the head of the Dar Shabab, the youth center, wouldn't let me work more than four hours a week — he was afraid I would just tumble dead if he pushed me further. But then I kept picking up more and more kids and doing more and more, and he saw that I was going to live through it. So he eased up. 

via NPR