1. Brazil Quadrilha

    For São João (St John's Day) in June, the high school students and other young people performed a quadrilha (square dance) for the citizen's of Glória.  It was a fun event. Everyone dressed up like a Brazilian hillbilly. We took weeks to prepare and practice the moves.   São João was celebrated as the beginning of winter ---the rainy growing season.   My students ranged in age from 12 to 44. The high school had been in existence only 3 years when I arrived. The small girl wearing red tights w...

  2. Kenya They can smell my fear…

    Yes, I think they can smell fear, and no I am not talking about hyenas, or jackals; I am talking about camels. Those damn camels! I love them even though they are being big jerks. I am becoming scared of them. A few weeks ago, a camel was strangely offended by me. He had run towards me, kicking up his heels and tossing his head like a silly, upset horse. I had just stood there, not sure what he was trying to do. It wasn’t until later that I realized that he could have easily kicked me in the ...

  3. 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...

  4. Tonga Holopeka Sunset

    Sunset in Holopeka, Ha'apai, my homestay village for Group 72 Pre-Service Training.

  5. Tonga King's Presentation

    The top student from Tupou College accepts recognition from the King George Tupou V at the Education Day, a special event during the week-long celebration of his coronation in August, 2008.

  6. Tonga Sela's Sea Star

    My host sister Sela is showing me a sea star, while her younger sister, Kalo, is collecting more on the beach below.  This is my absolute favorite picture from my service in the Kingdom of Tonga. 

  7. Uganda The Power of Pineapple

    "What can I do to motivate my students?" I think to myself, as I hastily pack my things one morning before heading to school. "They talk in class, they fail my tests, and even if I broke down and started caning them like the other teachers, they still wouldn't care about physics."   Then suddenly, a revelation: "I'll tempt them with food!"   Bag packed and sandals strapped on, I leave my house—a two-room shop stall at the heart of a rural trading center in weste...

  8. Ukraine Meeting My Host Family

      Within my first six months in Ukraine I lived with threedifferent host families. They were all great and really helped me to get adjusted to life in Ukraine. However that doesn't mean it was always easy to live with them, often it wasn't. I particularly remember when I got to my training site of Rokytne; a town of 15,000 people, three hours south of Kyiv; I was unsure if I'd be able to handle living with my first host family. There was my first impression of four members of that family...

  9. Brazil Flamed

    When I arrived at my Peace Corps site and discovered I would be living without electricity or running water, it seemed like my life there would be much like a two-year-long camping trip. I had been a Girl Scout. I was prepared ---or so I thought. I admit that it was fun for a while, using my Girl Scout skills and learning new ones to get along in the harsh environment, but after a while, I missed many of the conveniences of home. On one occasion, forgetting that things didn’t work in Glória t...

  10. Brazil Glória 1967 and 1969

      The Praça da Bandeira in the middle of Glória changed significantly over the two years I served there.   In the first photo, less than a month after my arrival, students marched in the 7 de Setembro (Independence Day) parade.  The concrete poles (you can see the ends of them stacked in the town square) were there in anticipation of full-time electricity that would be powered up before I left Brazil.   In the second photo, taken just a few days before my departure, my student Idalecinho sits...

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