1. Brazil The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - Cowboys in Glória

      Cowboys: Every Friday, late in the afternoon, local cowboys sauntered into town on their horses, driving a small herd of cattle in front of them. In Brazil, the cowboys were vaqueiros, but in Glória, they were usually called gauchos.   The gauchos who drove their cattle past our house on a dusty dirt road wore leather chaps and leather jackets. They often had holsters with guns strapped to their thighs and dangerous-looking knifes in leather sheaths on their belts. Their leather gaucho hat...

  2. Brazil On the Skids

            On a Monday afternoon after Brunie and I had spent a weekend in the capital city, we caught a two o’clock bus back to Glória, a trip of 126 kilometers, close to 80 miles. At home, that might have been a 90 minute ride, but in Brazil’s interior, frequent stops on the unpaved road stretched the trip to at least four hours.         Brunie had been in Glória a full year before I arrived. I had been there only four months.         Brunie had explained that many people from the interior, u...

  3. Venezuela Slick work

    Peace Corps volunteers are by nature creative, independent folks who frequently expend energy to delay or avoid altogether aspects of living in the host country that they find distasteful. One such aspect was the required gamma globulin shots that we as Peace Corps physicians were mandated to give to each of them at regular intervals to lessen the risk of acquiring viral hepatitis. Many would dutifully arrive at the medical office in Caracas. Others had to be hunted in their rural...

  4. Colombia ¡BEAKSBAHPORERUBE!

    My coming to terms with Colombian culture began in earnest at Tibaitatá, the Rockefeller Foundation Experimental Farm just outside Bogotá, where my Peace Corps group underwent in-country training. People were engaging, with a certain style and grace. Facilities were basic but adequate; fresh boot-prints on the commode seat did give me pause from time to time but not enough to keep me from going about my business. Food was bland, but the big barrier was Spanish. When we arrived in Co...

  5. Bolivia Finally

    I was a young volunteer having just turned 20 a month into training. Training had been a whirlwind and more exciting than anything I had ever done.  The selection process had taken a toll on our group and we landed in Bolivia with just 22. After days in both the capitol city and provential capitol, assignments were made and we headed for our sites. We left Cochabamba with three couples in a jeep stationwagon and headed out into a sub-valley from the very beautiful provential capitol.  We left...

  6. India Postscript to history

    All the attention to the 40th anniversary in 2009 of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, reminded me of my own peculiar little footnote to this historic event. At the time, I was a Peace Corps volunteer living in the north-central Indian village of Rajnagar (rough translation: Kingston) where I was working, together with my colleague Jagdish Prasad Mishra, a "village level worker" (i.e., an agricultural extension agent), to help the local farmers increase their wheat...

  7. Bolivia Animal Delivery

    Our group worked in conjunction with Heifer Project, now know as Heifer International. I was envolved in the receiving, quarentine, and distribution of donated animals from the U.S. This afforded me the opportunity to see many villages and individuals in two major parts of Bolivia. This photo shows me (in the western hat) and a group of men who have just received purebred sheep.  This was in early 1965 or late 1964 near Torolapa, Cochabamba. There was no local supply of pruebred breeding stoc...

  8. Tanzania Machine Chickens

    I remember the incubator miracle like it was yesterday.  I was an upper primary school teacher in Monduli, Tanzania in 1966.  Among the projects that I was involved in was the development of a flock of chickens both for eggs and for meat.  The project started with 100 eggs from the area agricultural college and a kerosene incubator provided by Peace Corps. A small room was found for the incubator and the project got underway. As the project progressed, I became aware of not only interest...

  9. Peru Curious about the new machine

    This photo exemplifies the differences between the traditional cultures that live off the land and the culture of the sky. The former usually saw airplanes only in the sky; seeing one up close and personal was mystifying.

  10. Ethiopia Peace Corps Pet Vignettes

    I was 22-23 when I was in the Peace Corps and was courted by quite a few Ethiopian gentleman who all knew that I LOVED animals. I received two bunnies from a guy working outside Addis Ababa who lived near a couple who raised bees for honey, which is what we made Tej from, good to drink and yes, you can get tipsy from it. I already had a cat and a dog, and another man saw the bunnies and brought me two big white ducks, thus the need for the duck pond. The Duck Story. Thanksgiving was...

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