1. Micronesia Dengue Fever in Micronesia, 1974

    Dengue Fever in Micronesia, 1974   Letter from Karen Knudsen to her mother describing husband Greg Knudsen’s bout with dengue fever during their Peace Corps service as teachers in Truk (Chuuk), Micronesia, in 1974. Karen later came down with the fever, too.   November 10, 1974 Dear Mom,             Boy, I hope you never get a letter as miserable as this from me again. Right now everything is so bad! Things are just falling apart.             The major issue at hand is “sicknesses!” Peace Corp...

  2. Ivory Coast learning a language

    Terry and I took the same bus to school each day, he teaching at the university, I as an English instructor at the Teacher Training College of Abidjan. We both spoke French fluently, and had been placed in a dioula class during training, resulting in our enjoying chatting, both in French and dioula, in the bus with the regular early-morning passengers. As we got to know our fellow commuters a bit better, they took an interest in us and began to teach us some local slang. When someone asked if...

  3. Tonga Cooking Pans in Paradise

    One of my earliest, vivid memories was being dropped off at the beautiful Ala Moana Hotel in Waikiki and being herded into the elegant lobby by Soane Harrell... all twenty-some new Volunteers destined to become Tonga Viii. There we were in this elegant, upscale hotel carrying our backpacks, cooking pots and pans hanging and clanging from the straps. Lots of camouflage peace symbols, and scruffy beards in this Vietnam era. Cooking pans in Paradise? We had completed our training in Hilo, on the...

  4. Iran I Am Expressions

    I Am Expressions   My training for Peace Corps Iran was held in a small town south of Tehran.  This was in 1973. I remember some of those days very well.  Other days I remember only being less than well, spending a lot of time on squat toilets.  Some things I don’t need to remember. Some memories just reappear in the oddest ways. One of the training exercises was to test our level of Farsi Language learning.  I think it was also a test to help us discover for ourselves if the Peace Corps exp...

  5. Guatemala Carol Ventura talking to La Jacaltequita members

    Officers of La Jacaltequita and I visited weavers in outlying villages twice a year. Here I’m discussing hair sashes with some of the members of the local chapter. The long hair of the Jacaltec women is wrapped with the same backstrap-woven hair sashes that they sold through the cooperative. American friends accompanied me on this trip to Limonar (a 6 hour walk from Jacaltenango) in 1979, including Anne Mulbry Cordon, the photographer.  

  6. Brazil Apodi, Rio Gande do Norte

    May 1976

  7. Morocco A Humble Gift That Meant So Much

    We lived in Marrakesh, Morocco, a centuries old phantasmagorical city on the edge of the Sahara Desert in North Africa. Because of its snow-capped peaks from the High Atlas Mountains on the horizon,  the ubiquitous palm trees, and all the buildings painted the same shade of dusty pink, this town looked like a Hollywood movie set.   It was spring, 1972. We were Peace Corps English language teachers in local high schools. The singing group, Crosby Stills and Nash, of Woodstock fame, had made t...

  8. Philippines Beergin Coke

    “Beergin Coke”   It was, I don’t remember how many, but not many days after I arrived in country, that my co-newbie & I were invited to go out for drink by a local.   Tom, (10 years my younger but partner in mischief) and I had been known to have a drink.   We were in training at a mold-loving hot springs spa in a college town about an hour south of Manila. We were to be housed, in pairs, for a week, with local families.   I also don’t remember the Baranguy Captain’s name, to my great re...

  9. Iran My landlord

    My landlord was a haji originally from Yazd.  He was also the nafti, meaning he sold kerosene in an open vat on the first floor. The smell of kerosene permeated my apartment. i would carry twelve liters of kerosene up three flights of stairs to my apartment.  It had an ab o bargh number , i.e., water and electricity number, but no street address number since it had failed to pass the licensing inspection for safety.  The bricks were of low grade with insufficient cement and too much granualr ...

  10. Yemen Shopping at the mall Yemen 1976

    1976 Shopping in "Souk", Covered Marketplace, near Mokha, Yemen where Mokha coffee was originally exported to Europe in 17th century.

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