Archive - December 25, 2020

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A Writer Writes — Reflections from a Simpler Time (Philippines)
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Learning the Joy of Giving in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains

A Writer Writes — Reflections from a Simpler Time (Philippines)

Reflections from a Simpler Time By Ted Dieffenbacher (Philippines 1967-69) The covid-19 pandemic has forced people all over the world to change — to simplify daily living, to isolate themselves from friends, favorite places, and gatherings that had always enriched their lives. What follows is an odd COVID comparison, about a time when I had to make a dramatic lifestyle change during my time in the Philippines as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) from 1967 to 1969. Single and 22 when I arrived in Santiago, Isabela, I was suddenly challenged to change not only my daily routine but also my way of thinking (and what language to think it in). Peace Corps gave each PCV a cardboard book locker — a few shelves in a sturdy cardboard box.  Each had about 60 books in it, and because no two lockers had an identical selection, I was able every so often . . .

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Learning the Joy of Giving in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains

This short letter was posted yesterday by Rick Steves on his Travel Blog. It is a perfect Christmas Season Story. The writer is George Gorayeb, a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, and now a realtor in Annapolis. George is an Arab-American Christian whose family emigrated from Syria. _____ Hello Rick,  In this season of gift-giving, I would like to share a personal story about the humblest yet most-appreciated gift that I have ever given to anyone.  Back in the spring of 1972, I was blessed to be serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, high school English teacher in Marrakesh, Morocco, in North Africa. One day, a half dozen of us volunteers went hiking in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. This scenic mountain range separates the city of Marrakesh from the northern edge of the Sahara Desert. For half of the year, these mountain peaks are covered in . . .

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