Archive - May 25, 2010

1
What They Wrote About Michelmore, Part 8
2
Christmas with Eva
3
PCV Aubrey Brown Shows Them How, Part 7

What They Wrote About Michelmore, Part 8

Segments of the U.S. Press were all over the postcard incident. The U.S. News and World Report wrote, “From the moment of its inception, despite laudable aims, the Peace Corps was bound to run into trouble.” They condemned the naivete of the entire concept and claimed, “this is only the first big storm.” Commonweal wrote in an editorial “The problem involved is really bigger than the Peace Corps for it reflects the gap that exists between the wealthy U.S. and most of the rest of the world. Given this fact, incidents like the postcard affair are bound to happen.” Former President Eisenhower added his two cents, saying the “postcard” was evidence of the worthlessness of Kennedy’s new idea However, columnist James Weschsler of the New York Post came to the aid of the Peace Corps and Marjorie. “Nothing in the card was sinister. It contained the instinctive expression of horror . . .

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Christmas with Eva

by Peggy Raggio (Poland 1991–92) First published on the blog of PeaceCorpsWriters.org on February 14, 2006 • ON DECEMBER 22, 1991, we took a smelly bus from Suwalki to Warsaw. Marzena, another teacher and I chatted and snacked on sandwiches and hot tea as we rode south for seven hours, through the chill and snowy countryside of Northern Poland. We saw farmers guiding their furry plow horses and wagons through the streets, loaded with silver milk jugs, cabbages and crates of chickens. A long-legged stork landed on her nest on the roof of a farmhouse. After a booster shot at the Peace Corps office in Warsaw, I rode a streetcar to the Marriott Hotel in the center of town for coffee (kawa pronounced “kava”). Violins and a grand piano played on a balcony over the lobby that gleamed festively with bird of paradise in blue and gold jardinières, plush oriental . . .

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PCV Aubrey Brown Shows Them How, Part 7

Nigerian PCV Aubrey Brown, who had had training and experience in non-violence resistance in the late fifties, led the Volunteers, and the Nigerian students, out of this confrontation over the postcard by the end of October, 1961. The PCVs had continued to take some meals and sleep in the dormitories, but they were isolated and shunned by the Nigerian students. Then Aubrey told the Nigerian students in his dorm that he would not eat if they would not eat with him. The Nigerians began to bring him dinner trays to his room but he refused to eat. And soon they invited him to join them at meals. Other Volunteers and students did the same. Slowly, a dialogue began between the students and the Volunteers, which was, as Murray recalls, “more valuable than if the incident had not taken place.” Other Nigerians came to the help of the PCVs. The Nigerian-American . . .

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