Nigeria

1
A Writer Writes: Apocalypse Then, Part I
2
A Writer Writes: My Peace Corps Report Card
3
Karen Joan Keefer (Nigeria 1966-68)

A Writer Writes: Apocalypse Then, Part I

Apocalypse Then by Bob Criso (Nigeria & Somalia 1966–68) • Part I Ishiagu: July, 1967 EAGER FOR NEWS OF THE WAR, I huddled with my students many evenings around a transistor radio and a kerosene lamp listening to Radio Enugu. Refugees were returning from the North with stories of Igbos being hacked into pieces, pregnant women being cut open and children screaming inside burning homes. There was a report on the radio about a train filled with bloody body parts that were sent down from the North “as a warning.” I was skeptical about that one until I saw a woman returning to the village carrying the head of a man. She said she had retrieved it from the train. Several weeks earlier, Ruth Olsen, the Nigeria Peace Corps Director in the East, had given me a van as part of an emergency evacuation plan. I was supposed to pick . . .

Read More

A Writer Writes: My Peace Corps Report Card

My Peace Corps Report Card by Bob Criso (Nigeria & Somalia 1966–68) A FEW MONTHS AFTER RETURNING to the States in 1968 I got a letter from the Peace Corps  stating that I had “satisfactorily” completed an intensive nine week training program in the Virgin Islands and then served “satisfactorily” as a Volunteer in Nigeria and Somalia. The letter briefly described my teaching responsibilities and community projects. At the time I wasn’t sure if “satisfactorily” was a judgment on the quality of my performance or if it was just a standard form letter. Later I learned that the Peace Corps doesn’t comment on how the job was done, nevertheless I wondered how I would have graded myself. I was the third PCV teaching at St. John Bosco Secondary School in Ishiagu, Nigeria. The first Volunteer was talked about with such reverence and admiration by the principal, the students and the . . .

Read More

Karen Joan Keefer (Nigeria 1966-68)

Monday, November 21 6:45 pm MY SINGULAR, most meaning-ful experience in life occurred in my Peace Corps service. Before the Peace Corps …I was not. During my service……I emerged and became. Ever since…………I have been and am. Today, I thank all who let me be. Thank you John F. Kennedy, for being you and opening doors for others to be. Thank you America, my native land, for having freedoms that let us be. Thank you Peace Corps, for supporting us in a framework in which we can come to be. Thank you Nigeria, my homeland, for teaching me what being is and helping me become. Thank you my family in Offa, for bearing me and for bearing up with me and loving me in my becoming. Thank you my Peace Corps family, in knowing the importance of being through you own experience making explanations unnecessary. Thank you all citizens of . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.