Carl Murry has published THE G-K PROJECT: A PEACE CORPS EXPERIENCE
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!
The G–K Project: A Peace Corps Experience
Carl Murry (Pakistan 1962–64)
A Peace Corps Writers Book
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PCV “Pioneer” Carl Murry provided, with the “Look Inside” feature of his Amazon book page, the opportunity to read a generous portion of his engaging book, which is an autobiographical account of the his and the Peace Corps’ activities in a less known, written about, and understood part of the world, at a time leading up to regional war and the 1971 creation of a separate Bangladesh state. The text is warm and lively storytelling, and with a successful balance of background detail, narrative, and dialogue. The author makes the foundational aspects of early Peace Corps service come emotionally alive, such as the tense end-of-training selection/elimination process. History and geography are embedded throughout. For example, “Pakistan, a nation separated into parts by over a thousand miles of India.” The author offers a variety of relevant comparisons between volunteers and locals, such as the residents’ lifespans being almost half that of the volunteers who have arrived to assist them in implementation of a UN irrigation project. To pull history, geography, local color, and Peace Corps and volunteer experiences together in an engaging narrative is a grand achievement. And, the book is priced right to encourage us to read and enjoy it. Thank you, Carl!