Seattle, Washington (Home)
North Carolina Take Back Our Republic Coordinator
After graduating high school in the Seattle, Washington area and being given an academic scholarship to attend the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Jacob Argue, being a young man who loved the outdoors, accepted the opportunity and in 2019 graduated from the U of U with degrees in Economics and Mathematics.
Upon graduation from university, Argue joined the Peace Corps and made his way in July 2019 to a remote village, Kilosa, Morogoro in central Tanzania where he taught secondary school physics to about 450 students using a combination of English and Swahili.
“The writing on the blackboard is in English,” said Argue, the North Carolina Take Back Our Republic Coordinator. “And then the explanation is in Swahili.
He said the students and schools were still established and set up on the old colonial British system where he explained there is Form 1-A, or Top students, all the way down to Form 1-D. Each of these were set up so he would teach 90 students at a time.
Argue had spent three months with 50 other Peace Corps volunteers in Pre-Service Training, “learning Swahili, how to teach effectively, how to stay safe and healthy, and how to respect local customs.” After a celebratory swearing-in ceremony with his cohort and all their host families, he boarded a bus and traveled seven hours to the village of Kilosa, where he was set to begin his Peace Corp service.
“You begin to think of distance as in the time of bus rides,” he said. “In how long it takes to get from place to place.”
Argue would be the first Peace Corps Volunteer to serve in Kilosa, and that came with some challenges. For example, the house he was set to move into was not ready when he arrived. He spent the first couple weeks with the school’s headmaster, known in Swahili as the “Mkuu.”
“It was a constant battle to get little things done on the house. It was exciting though because it kept me on my toes.” said Argue
Argue said he was pleased with the choice he’d made in joining the Peace Corps and in being in Tanzania and working with the students and people of that nation. “Honestly I can’t remember when we first started hearing about Covid,” he said. “It had shown up in a couple of the country’s tourist spots, but it wasn’t that common. And really, you see a lot worse things there every day than Covid health-wise.”
It was March 2020 when, as Argue puts it, “We got an email from the Peace Corps director in DC saying all volunteers worldwide would be evacuated to the US because of the pandemic. Monday morning we got the order, and Friday morning I was on a plane. It was very sudden. At first, I thought it would be something where I might be home for a month and then able to go back, but we’ve all seen that’s not been the case.”
Upon returning home, Argue decided to apply to graduate school, ultimately settling on a Master of Public Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy in Durham, North Carolina.
“That’s how I got involved with Take Back Our Republic,” he said. “Democracy needs to be fixed first. Our problems all stem from a system which is unresponsive to the people. Real change is only possible when politicians are responsive to the people.”
And yes, Argue does plan on going back to Tanzania. He has applied for an internship at the American embassy in Dar Es Salaam for the summer. “I have so much more I wanted to do. I’d love to see my students and my colleagues again. And of course, the Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro are in Tanzania, so if nothing else I’ll go as a tourist when I get the chance.” He keeps up on Swahili with near daily WhatsApp communication with his friends in Tanzania.
You can reach Argue and Take Back Our Republic by going to TakeBack.org or call 334-329-7258.