As people in Westmoreland County were watching the newscasts and pictures unfold on TV of Typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines, former local resident Josh Flickinger was seeking shelter from the typhoon known in the Philippines as Yolanda that was headed right his way.
Flickinger is the son of Scott and Cindy Flickinger. He graduated from Washington and Lee High School in 2006 and from Virginia Tech in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Systems Engineering: Land and Water Resources Management.
Following graduation, Flickinger applied for the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps placement process attempts to match applicants to countries of service based on their background and experience. Flickinger’s degree led him to be placed in the environment sector, which operates in select countries in Africa, South America, and Asia, including the Philippines. Flickinger arrived in country in 2012 and at his permanent site, Romblon Province, in September of that year.
Along with the exciting opportunity to work with the Peace Corps, Flickinger is also having the chance to fully immerse himself in a different culture. Although she hasn’t been able to see her brother in over a year and a half, Flickinger’s sister Sara says that he seems to be having the time of his life. “He is not only working but getting to experience the culture of the Philippines.” His parents also described Josh’s work with the Peace Corps as the experience of a lifetime and said that it is something he began talking about before he even graduated. Like Sara, his parents find it hard with him being so far away, but said, “we know this was his dream and he seemed to know how it would fit in his life plans.”