1. Brazil Fest de Sao João

    Saints' feast days are always celebrated with a big parade in the village.  This is the feast day of St. John in Jaciguá.

  2. Brazil A Completed School

    This school was built by the School to School program sponsored by USAID.  Students in the U.S. woulc raise up to $1.000 to build a school in an underdeveloped country.  The locals were obligated to provide 60% of the cost including materials and labor.  My job was to facilitate the construction, take pictures and send reports back to the students in the U. S. and to USAID.

  3. Brazil A School in Construction

    This is a picture of a school in construction near one of the villages in my area.

  4. Brazil Hand Washing

    When I first arrived in Glória, the girl on the left would come to our house once a week to carry our clothes to her mother who would wash them in the dam outside of town (cleaner than ponds that were closer.) We insisted she iron everything, even underwear, more to kill micróbios than to make them look crisp. When I moved to a house that had a cisterna to collect rain water, I invited her to work in my back yard with water even cleaner than the dam and she would not have far to walk carrying...

  5. Brazil Market Day Vegetables

    Each Saturday, vendors set up shabby wooden booths with canvas canopies to shelter themselves and their vegetables from sun or rain. Buyers chose the best of the onions, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and yams. The seller weighed them on his balance scale using brass weights and placed purchases in baskets, rope bags, or pails the buyers took with them to the market. 

  6. Brazil Market Day Pottery

    A vendor had covered her designated area with a tarp to display her hand-made pottery which had many uses ---from scooping water from a pond to holding eggs or fruit. Although not pictured here, she also sold four-foot high ceramic jugs ----the kind used to store water in nearly every home in town that didn’t have a cisterna in the back yard to collect rain water.

  7. Brazil Market Day

    Each Saturday, before dawn, overloaded trucks roared past our house, sending billows of dust through the shutters that covered our glassless windows. Each truck was loaded with goods to be sold at the weekly market and with paying passengers, either those arriving to sell their wares or to buy goods for that week. In the afternoon, the trucks would carry vendors back home with anything they hadn't sold, plus their own purchases. Buyers would be loaded down with bags of beans and rice and othe...

  8. Brazil Powerless

    "Technology gives us power, but it doesn't make us happy." ---one of my husband's insightful observations.   When I lived in the small interior town of Glória during my Peace Corps service, a generator, known simply as “a máquina” (the machine) provided electricity in my section of the sertão (the Brazilian hinterland.) Zé (short for José) ran the máquina. He was of the same political party as the mayor, perhaps a relative. I understand that for several years before I arrived, while...

  9. Brazil Festa de São João

    In Glória on June 24th, we celebrated the Festa de São João, St. John's Day, celebrating John the Baptist. Like many religious holidays, the celebration had little to do with religion. This festival has been celebrated in Portugal for more than 600 years. It has sacred roots but is also mixed with pagan traditions. In Glória, it was sort of a cross between Sadie Hawkins Day and Trick or Treating. The ginásio (high school) where I taught sponsored a quadrilha, which was similar to square danci...

  10. Chile Peace Corps Was The Start Of A Long Road

    I arrived in Chile in September of 1966, in the middle of the annual Independence Day celebrations.  My group was trained in Albuquerque, NM, to work with credit co-operatives.  My first post was the town of Quillota, a quiet agricultural town about 80 miles from Santiago, the capital. My first months were spent making tentative attempts at doing my job, reading books from my book locker, riding my bicycle around town, and taking the train to the port of Valparaiso to take Spanish lessons an...

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.