Life After Tv News

Ernie Bjorkmant spent 35 years delivering the news on Denver Television. 

Now, he's about as far away from TV news as he can get. 

Ernie and his wife, Sue, are in Ethiopia. Not as tourists, but as peace corps volunteers.

"We were thinking of what the next chapter in our life would be," Ernie and Sue said via email from Ethiopia. "We thought first about just 'vagabonding' across the U.S., then we thought of traveling overseas indefinitely, but we realized we wanted our travel to have some kind of purpose."

The Bjorkmans said while they were researching possibilities, they came across the Peace Corps.

"[We] looked at each other and immediately knew that was the perfect blend of passion and purpose," Sue wrote. "As fate would have it, the same day we realized this, there was a Peace Corps informational event at CU."

They said they came away inspired and resolved to get the process going.

When asked where they wanted to serve, the Bjorkmans said their preferences were the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and South America.

"And here we are in Africa," they laughed.

 Ethiopia is big change from Ernie's life as TV news anchor on Channel 7 and Channel 2 in Denver.

However, even back then, he was serving the community by hosting charity events.

In 2009, Ernie Bjorkman was downsized from TV and became a veterinary technician.

"A lot of people don’t realize, but the 50 plus age group is a growing sector in the Peace Corps," the Bjorkmans said. "They are encouraging older Americans to look into serving because they have more experience."

However, it's not easy.

"It is intense," they said. "Learning a new language can fry your brain sometimes and it is definitely a 'hardship' lifestyle, so just know those things going in. It is a unique opportunity to totally immerse yourself in another culture, though."

On Facebook they wrote, "Everyday we find ourselves saying 'We are in Africa!' It still amazes us."