Diary of a Peace Corps Volunteer
By Jack Maisano (Korea 1971-73)
$8.88 (Kindle); $9.98 (Paperback)
It was a serendipitous day when I found my diary from my Peace Corps days in Korea. I was in the Peace Corps from the end of 1971 to the end of 1973. Somehow my diary – an old, red, five-by-eight inch, lined book, filled with addresses, phone numbers, stamps, and poems – had followed me…for nearly 50 years. It was filled with two years of youthful prose describing my life as a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea and a few years beyond. And now here it was, sitting accusingly on my desk, practically daring me to record it in print. The first task was to read it, something I had never done before. With some trepidation, I started on page one…and the memories came flooding back. It is more than a record of daily activities. It is a journal of unfiltered ideas and observations, the unfettered musings of a mid-twenties raw youth abroad. It reminds me why I joined the Peace Corps, why I wanted to go overseas. It contains views on the world I didn’t know I’d ever had. I decided to revive it, to preserve it as a record of myself in my 20s, my feelings, my awakening, for whoever might want to read it – and also to record some thoughts about the amazing people of Korea.
Jack is the moderator of Sandhills Writers a small, informal group of 14 writers who meet monthly to share their work and encourage one another. He grew up in New Jersey and after the Peace Corps in Korea he worked in the newspaper and magazine business for 30 years. He has published two books of poetry, a memoir, and a cookbook, among other works.