Archive - February 23, 2010

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Journals of Peace — Patrick H. Hare (Honduras)
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Sandra M. Greenberg (Kenya 1966-68)
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Meredith Schroeder Green (Ecuador 1967-69)
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Betty Hite Graff (Ethiopia 1963-65)
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Arnold and Annette Finn (Philippines 1964–66)
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Patricia I. Eimerl (Ethiopia 1967-69)
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Jill Diskan (Turkey 1964-66)
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Jackie [McKee] Day (Turkey 1965–67)

Journals of Peace — Patrick H. Hare (Honduras)

Journals of Peace Patrick H. Hare (Honduras 1966–69) Monday, November 21 6:15 pm • ED CALLED WHEN I was gearing up for a business trip and a presentation, cleaning up my desk and my mind for the trip and leaning into it the way the plane would lean into the take-off the next day. Papers for the trip, getting cash, and polishing shoes hurried through my mind like a drive-thru meal. When I knew Ed in the Peace Corps, we made time to talk. Most Volunteers did. Savings and loan co-ops, check dams for erosion-control, and raising money for sewers in my barrio had the same urgency as the trip I was going on now. But the landscape was different in Honduras, and lonely. There were hills with stunted corn and young rocks seeded together up the sides. The hills had trees on top. They were small, unfamiliar, cone-like hills, . . .

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Sandra M. Greenberg (Kenya 1966-68)

Monday, November 21 6:27 pm WHEN LES AND I WENT into the conference we were as discouraged as anybody – the preceding week was not at all a good one in terms of work – we had been told outright that money used for visual aids was money that should be spent on shows – which, of course, meant: no visual aids at all; no educational effort on our part; no fulfilling on one of the – or our – Peace Corps aims to help in education – that all we would have to show for our two years would be having done a bunch of shows, which we didn’t feel were all that important or necessary. We could only hope that we could get them to agree at the start of the next fiscal period that money should be set aside for VAs separate and apart from that used . . .

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Meredith Schroeder Green (Ecuador 1967-69)

Monday, November 21 5:33 pm EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS HOME — NOVEMBER, 1967 The bus trip down from Quito to Guayaquil was like a quick tour of Ecuador. The climate and vegetation changed every few miles during the decent as did the type of housing construction and the physical make up of the people. In the High Sierra, buildings were largely of cement, the population predominantly Indian; half way down the side of the Andes mountains the houses were built of brick, the people looked more Spanish, except for the distinct ethnic group of Colorado Indians and the landscape became green and lush. By the time the bus reached sea level, the tropical heat was oppressive, the bamboo houses with tin roofs gave the landscape a sense of temporariness and the small, dark skinned people spoke a rapid fire Spanish that was undecipherable le to my untuned ears. My emotions went . . .

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Betty Hite Graff (Ethiopia 1963-65)

Monday, November 21 5:27 pm PRESIDENT KENNEDY SPURRED ME to try new adventures. In 1963, Kennedy said Americans need more physical exercise – take a 50-mile hike in 20 hours – I walked twenty. Then Kennedy said, “Join the Peace Corps, serve in a foreign country.” I joined the Peace Corps. I stepped off the plane in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in September 1963 with much awe and trepidation as to what I was about to begin. A new life for me. A new beginning in the most beautiful country with the most beautiful people in the world. I wrote in my journal that day: “What a magnificent view and what a beautiful airport we landed at! Today is the Ethiopian New Year. The women are dressed in white (off white from washing them in the dirty streams) hand woven dresses with colorful trim around the edges. I guess I’ll have . . .

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Arnold and Annette Finn (Philippines 1964–66)

Monday, November 21 3:51 pm DEAR PRESIDENT KENNEDY, My wife, Annette, and I began our senior year at the University of Florida in the spring of 1963. We weren’t old enough to vote for you in 1960, but we thanked those who did. We were marching and ducking stones in Gainesville in the summer of 1963 trying to break the color barrier in the local food establishments, eliminate the white-only restrooms and homogenize the bus seating. You were making a tough decision to press on with the Civil Rights Bill. We all knew that what we were doing was right. We loved you. You were young and dynamic. You spoke of things we could understand, relate to, and support. We trusted you. You spoke the truth and seemed to do so with courage. You drew the best from us, the young idealists who thought that we also had a contribution . . .

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Patricia I. Eimerl (Ethiopia 1967-69)

Monday, November 21 7:15 pm THIS IS OUR SECOND YEAR as Peace Corps Volunteers in Ethiopia. This year we are working in the city of Axum in Northern Ethiopia. Axum is a 2000-year-old city and the center of Ethiopia’s Coptic Christian Church. Ethiopia’s brand of Christianity began in Axum in the fourth century and spread to the rest of Ethiopia from this city. We enjoy exploring the ruins nearby; all the hills surrounding the city have various kinds of ruins, many of them unexcavated. We also enjoy finding different kinds of agates, quartz geodes, and other kinds of rocks in the fields and valleys of Axum. Our work this year is similar to last year, i.e., teaching. We are more experienced this year and so enjoy our teaching and our students even more than last year. We know how to handle the discipline problem better. Pat teaches English to the . . .

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Jill Diskan (Turkey 1964-66)

Monday, November 21 5:21 pm DECEMBER, 1964 Only part of my job as a PCV is to be an English teacher. It’s really not that important, in my eyes, whether some child learns English. What is important is that I am here and that the children and adults of Afyon realize that there is a world beyond Afyon and Turkey. And that they learn that that world is different from Turkey. To me that is my most important reason for being here. I may or may not see any result from my teaching and other projects, but just by being here for two years I shall have accomplished something which in the long run may be more important to Turkey than whether a 13 year old can say “Good Morning, how are you?” in English. MARCH, 1965 Turkey is overflowing with soldiers and the accoutrements of a military establishment. It’s . . .

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Jackie [McKee] Day (Turkey 1965–67)

Monday, November 21 6:12 pm LETTER HOME TO MOM August 1, 1967 Got your letter of July 24 yesterday. It’s so good to hear from you. I worry about you – but at the same time I don’t think that you should worry about me. As far as earthquakes go – Bilecik is one of the best places to be in Turkey. They’ve never had an earthquake here. We feel the shakes from Adapazari, but with no serious effects. It seems funny to us that we’re in the “Earth quake stricken north-western Turkey” as reported on the BBC & VOA. We don’t feel very “stricken.” As a matter of fact, I’m at the moment sitting in bed with some good western music – a cup of tea – feeling quite comfortable and happy. CARE is supplying our several small canning houses with Ball jars for teaching purposes – and every . . .

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