Archive - January 26, 2017

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RPCV Patrick McDonough MFA Creative Writing Student Says Why He’s Enrolled(Philippines)

RPCV Patrick McDonough MFA Creative Writing Student Says Why He’s Enrolled(Philippines)

I guess we all want to return back to school for different reasons. I was in the Peace Corps in the Philippines on and off from 1976 to 1984. Five years as an  Agricultural Extension Volunteer then later as a staff member. I worked with the five tribes in the Cordillera Mountains collectively called Igorots. It didn’t take long to realize my agricultural techniques were not going to work in the steep mountains where rice was the main crop grown in inaccessible terraces. I was fortunate to connect with Mother Basille Gekierre, a Belgian missionary there since 1925. Mother Basille was unique among missionaries in that she saw the value of preserving the culture. When I got there she had converted a classroom, in the old brick schoolhouse, which covered the Bontoc Igorot. By a stroke of luck, she was able to get $250,000 to build a new museum. Now . . .

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