Archive - October 25, 2016

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Marjorie Michelmore Peace Corps, Post IX (Nigeria)
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Marjorie Michelmore Peace Corps Postcard, Part VIII (Nigeria)

Marjorie Michelmore Peace Corps, Post IX (Nigeria)

As for Marjorie. She returned to Peace Corps HQ with Ruth Olson and Tim Adams and went to work with Betty Harris and Sally Bowles to put out the first issue of The Peace Corps Volunteer. It was, of course, an appropriate job, as Coates Redmon states it in her book on the early days of the agency, Come As You Are: The Peace Corps Story, since Marjorie was the first returned Volunteers. In a memorandum to Sargent Shriver–attached to an Evaluation Report on Morocco (1963) done by Ken Love–and written by the legendary early Peace Corps Director of Evaluations, Charlie Peters, Charlie wrote, “Marjorie was as sensitive and as intelligent a Volunteer as we ever had in the Peace Corps.” The lesson that was learned by the Peace Corps was that “even the best young people can be damned silly at times.” According to Gerard T. Rice in his book entitled, The Bold Experiment: JFK’s Peace Corps, “The President’s . . .

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Marjorie Michelmore Peace Corps Postcard, Part VIII (Nigeria)

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 Society, . . .

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