Brattleboro, Vermont holds shared history event of SIT, World Learning, and Peace Corps

 

Commemorative Marker Dedication

Honoring the shared history of SIT, World Learning, and the Peace Corps

 

Saturday, August 13, 2:00 p.m.

SIT & World Learning Campus

1 Kipling Road

Brattleboro, Vermont

 

You are invited to celebrate the shared history and missions of SIT (School for International Training, World Learning, and the Peace Corps. Join us as we dedicate a historical roadside site marker denoting the Brattleboro campus as one of the original National Peace Corps Training Centers.

 

Hosted by World Learning CEO Carol Jenkins and SIT President Dr. Sophia Howlett. Keynote speaker to be Peace Corps CEO Carol Spahn.

 

4 Comments

Leave a comment
  • Good to hear about the commemoration at Brattleboro. A beautiful setting with dedicated staff.

    Peter McDonough
    Bangladesh {East Pakistan), 1961-63

  • Our Peace Corps group (Dominican Republic #5 spent an enjoyable and informative two months training in Brattleboro in late 1962. While DR#5 was meant to help develop cooperatives in the DR, it also included the Peace Corps’ first blind volunteer destined to work in a school for the blind in Santo Domingo. She became the subject of extensive media coverage both in the USA and the DR. Her life story and winning personality was a bonus for training staff and volunteer candidates alike.

  • I am interested in giving a short 5 minute talk on my time training in one of the last groups (India) to train at SIT. Here is that talk:
    I arrived at SIT in March of 1969 for Peace Corps training. Our group of some 20 or so was one of the last to train here. We were to teach primary school teachers in Tamil Nadu in south India.
    That first full moon night some of us walked down to Putney Road in the crisp air. The snow banks alongside the road were well over our heads.
    We settled in to a packed schedule: 6 hours of Tamil, 2-3 of teaching English, then Indian culture. The males of the group all lived in “Red” house on the other side of the big hill, and we walked up and down to get to and from Carriage House.
    One day early on, I went tabagoning down the hill from the president’s house with two friends. We hit the drainage ditch. Hard. I was taken to the Brattleboro hospital with a cracked vertebrae and I thought in despair that this was it—all over before it started. But that night at midnight the Peace Corps physician, Dr. Backus, came to my room and reassured me that I would still be able to go. I still remember my relief and gratitude for him.
    One evening we attended a viewing of the film Pather Panchali, a luminous, funny, heartbreaking story on Bengali village life. When we came out of the building, too overwhelmed to speak, we looked to the north at the most magnificent disply of the northern lights I have ever seen in Vermont in my 30 years of living here.
    April came. We were bused to Montreal to practice our teaching techniques on workers in a French speaking hospital.
    Then May. The language teachers directed us to build an Indian temple out of cardboard boxes, put on Indian clothes and parade around the grounds in imitation of temple festivals that we would soon be witnessing.
    One night we were sitting around talking with Earl Choldin, a returned volunteer from north India, when he said, “During your time there you may be tempted to wear Indian clothing and become very involved in Indian culture and religion. Just remember that India has enough Indians already and doesn’t need any more.” Later I understood: Peace Corps volunteers learn just how much they are products of American culture as they learn about the culture of their host country.
    Finally we graduated and flew off into the unknown. As our plane descended into the 100 degree Delhi heat, we looked to the left where the sunrise was painting the massive peaks of the Himalyas. When we landed, there were people covered in white sheets sleeping alongside the runway. Pilgrams I realized later on the Haj. Then we got off the plane and walked to the airport and were greeted by the Indian atmosphere, a mixture of smells and sounds we had never experienced and which we would be a part of for the next two years.
    The real adventure had finally begun.

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2022. Peace Corps Worldwide.