The G-K Project is chronological account of my personal experiences in choosing to serve in the Peace Corps, my selection, training and placement in the beginning years of 1960 to 1964 as the new institution evolved via trial and error and added depth to the term “flexibility.” It also includes an introduction to the highly populated Islamic nation of East Pakistan before its independence to become Bangladesh.
For many years I have wanted to write about events that were special in my life but found it easier to work on my small ranch, travel, backpack, and enjoy my family and friends. Now, at age 81, COVID-19 has provided me an opportunity to sort through my journals, letters, records, mementos and try to summarize and explain their significance before dumping them.
The Ganges-Kobadak (G-K) Project is a large-scale irrigation plan developed and implemented in cooperation with the United Nations. The Peace Corps provided sixteen volunteers to assist the extension program in demonstrating irrigation skills and promoting improved agricultural practices.
The interactions of working shoulder to shoulder, sharing frustrations, differences in cultures, common needs, and occasional successes led to understanding and friendships. Overcoming preconceived ideas, naivety, misconceptions and expectations were hard but valuable lessons in my personal growth and awareness.
The “shoestring” travel adventures I had built my confidence in being able to follow interests, without elaborate planning and resources, and maybe entertaining and providing a different perspective to readers.
The concept of “A One-Town World” is evident as we face tsunamis of humanity seeking refuge around the world. The inequalities in our communities and our world are challenges that we all face and require our attention and action. The Peace Corps has been providing us the opportunity to take action for sixty years! Happy 60th anniversary!