DURING A BRIEF PERIOD in the 1970s the Peace Corps accepted families as Volunteers. Frances and Paul Stone eagerly made the decision to sign up for the program as a way of serving their country overseas for two years. They were among the first families to join, and were assigned to the Philippines with their four children to share their expertise in agriculture and education while keeping up with their energetic, enthusiastic youngsters.
Frances Stone’s (Philippines 1971–73) Through the Eyes of My Children: The Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer Family, published this month by Peace Corps Writers, is a delightful read for young adults from middle school age on up who are interested in true life adventures about young people. This is the story of a family of six who all become Peace Corps Volunteers, and it is told in the voices of the children.
Daniel the oldest sees it as a grand adventure, Nancy sees the many ways we are the same but different, Peter has lots of fun — but finds it just plain too hot, and Matthew at three years is along for the ride holding up under
affectionate cheek pinches.
It is these four children who tell about living in a third world country as Peace Corps Volunteers. The friends they make, the adventures they have, and how they adjust to another culture. They tell of the things they had to cope with, the things they had to learn to live with, and do without. What was it like to eat dog meat? What was it like not to have good water to drink? What was it like to be the different one? But most important, while learning about all the differences, they learned about all the ways as a people we are all the same. The experience of learning about, living within, and
identifying with another culture, would help prepare them to become citizens of the world.