Archive - May 24, 2010

1
Marjorie Confronts William Sloane Coffin, Part 6
2
PCVs Make Their Decision, Part 5
3
Aïssa

Marjorie Confronts William Sloane Coffin, Part 6

At Idlewild Tim, Ruth, and Betty convince Margorie to go to Puerto Rico. Michelmore agreed to go for a ‘few days’ and Tim informed Shriver, telling Sarge he would keep in touch. He boarded the plane with Ruth Olson and Marjorie, thinking that once he was on the plane to Puerto Rico, he’ll be okay. Tim was wrong. On the plane, Adams recognized Carl Mydans. At the time Mydans was a famous photojournalist, one of the giants for Life Magazine. Adams thinks: this is not a coincidence. With Mydans was a beautiful young woman reporter, Marjorie Byers. They are in first class. Of course, this is Life Magazine. When they are airbourne, Carl walks back from first class to talk to Tim who is riding in coach. [Of course, he works for the Peace Corps.] “Carl is such a gentlemen,” Tim says, “I finally relented and we were able to . . .

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PCVs Make Their Decision, Part 5

Meanwhile back at Murray Frank’s home, the PCVs had assembled and were trying to understand the intense reaction of the Nigerians. Nigeria, newly independent, was surrounded, as Murray put it, “with the visages of the colonial period, including and especially white people who symbolized a colonial past.” What had quickly emerged in Nigeria was a self-image based on their new freedom, especially among the young intellectuals. These students, and others, were asking: how could the Americans help us if they were writing letters home about them? While many of the new PCVs had experienced student protests in the U.S. they were still unprepared for what was directed at them. Could they survive the postcard? They didn’t know. They began to ask themselves: why stay when so many students wanted them to leave? Other PCVs said. We know Nigeria needs teachers. We can teach. We are not imperialists, nor CIA agents, . . .

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Aïssa

by Margot Miller (Niger 1972–74) First published on the blog of PeaceCorpsWriters.org on October 12, 2005 • UNDER MY MOSQUITO NET, I’d barely slept an hour when I stirred awake. I heard soft footsteps and the sound of scraping near the wall. I pulled the mosquito net up and looked around, disoriented. My clock was gone. I took myself indoors where it was too hot to sleep. The next night I moved back outdoors, locking the front door and putting the key under my pillow. Perhaps I should report the incident to the police. I remembered that I had been told something about the Chief of Police living across the street. When I found the time to go across the street, at the doorway, I clapped to signal my presence. A tall, slim young woman came to the door. She had warm brown eyes and beautiful, straight white teeth that . . .

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