Category Archives: 1980s

Leo Shelley in Liberia

Place of Service: Gbarnga (Cuttington University)

Service Type: Education, Libraries

Dates in Service: 1964-1967

Keywords: Education, Libraries, Youth

Accession Date: July 27, 2023

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 0.01 linear feet (located in small collections)

Document Types

  • Publications

Finding Aid:

  • Two articles about Shelley’s service; 1967, 1986
  • Liberia IV training materials, 1964

Daniel Buck in Peru

Places of Service: Puno, Chucuito

Service Type: Cooperative Farming Assistance, Agriculture

Dates in Service: 1965-1967

Keywords: Agriculture, Community Development

Accession Date: May 26, 2023

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 0.01 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Reports

Finding Aid:

Box 1

  1. Documents, c. 1965-1987
    1. Correspondence, undated, 1965-1967
    2. Training Materials, 1965
    3. Peace Corps Papers, Reports, and Report Drafts, undated, 1966-1967
    4. Papers from work with Peace Corps organization, 1967-1969, and ACTION, 1979-1980; undated, c. 1967- c. 1987
  2. Photos, 1965-1967
    1. Photos, 1965-1967

Robert T. K. Scully in Kenya

Place of Service: Bungoma (St. Mary’s Kibabii Secondary School)

Service Type: Education

Dates in Service: 1964-1966

Keywords: Education, Youth

Accession Date: March 23, 2023

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 3 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Reports
  • Publications
  • Film/Video
  • Sound

Related Items in Other Repositories:

Oral History Interview [Kennedy Presidential Library]

Finding Aid:

  1. Box 1: Peace Corps Experience and Connections, c. 1964-2001
    1. Correspondence
      1. Peace Corps Correspondence, 1964
      2. Peace Corps Correspondence, 1965
      3. Peace Corps/Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, 1966 undated, January-June 1966
      4. Peace Corps/Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, July-December 1966
      5. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, 1967-1968
      6. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, 1970
      7. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, c. 1971-1972
      8. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, c. 1973-1979
      9. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, 1980-1987
      10. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, c. 1994-2001
    2. Peace Corps Journal, 1964-1966
    3. Training Materials and Information
      1. Peace Corps Training Papers, 1964
      2. Peace Corps Training Notebooks, 1964
      3. Peace Corps Kenya Information, 1964
    4. Mary’s Kibabii Secondary School Materials
      1. Kibabii Student Essays, 1965 (1 of 2)
      2. Kibabii Student Essays, 1965 (2 of 2)
      3. Kibabii Student Essays, 1966
      4. Kibabii School Student Papers on Local History, 1966
      5. Kibabii Chronicle, 1966
      6. Box 2: Drama Society Script Drafts, c. 1966
      7. Kibabii Student Reunion, 1995
    5. Publications
      1. Scully’s Kenya-Related Publications, 1969-1979
      2. Scully’s Thesis, “The Elgon Bantu Before the Coming of the Europeans,” 1970
      3. Scully and Kibabii Publications, 1970-1995
    6. Miscellaneous
      1. Congregation of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Utrecht Yearbook, 1966-1967 [in Dutch]
      2. Ticket Books, 1966-1968
  2. Later Trips to Kenya with Students, c. 1970-1993
    1. Fort Sites
      1. Bukusu- South Mateka Fort Sites [Lumboka], 1970
      2. Bukusu- Seritanga Area Fort Site, 1970
      3. Bukusu- Chwele Area Maps and Fort Sites, 1970,
      4. Bukusu- Sangalo Maps and Fort Sites, 1970
      5. Chetambe Hill Project, Bukusu, Kenya, c. 1970
    2. Notebooks
      1. Numbered Field Report Books,1970-1971
      2. Unnumbered Field Notebooks, 1970-1971
      3. Scully’s Kenya Student Trip Reports, 1974 (1 of 2)
      4. Scully’s Kenya Student Trip Reports, 1974 (2 of 2)
    3. Publications and Assignments
      1. Scully’s Kenya Student Trip Reports: Related Correspondence and Publications, c. 1974-1993
      2. Dean Cowen 1974 Student Trip Report, “The History of Kibabii,” 1974
      3. Box 3: Bukusu Clan Papers and Related History, c. 1970
      4. Scully Bukusu Fort publication, 1975
    4. Maps
      1. Bukusu Maps, c. 1970 (1 of 2)
      2. Bukusu Maps, c. 1970 (2 of 2)
  3. Friends of Kenya and National Peace Corps Association Materials, c. 1989-2011
    1. Documents
      1. Friends of Kenya Board Notes and Emails, c. 1996-1997
      2. Friends of Kenya Peace Corps Correspondence, c. 1995-2011
      3. Friends of Kenya Newsletters including “Moto Moto,” c. 1994-2002
      4. Friends of Kenya Notes/Meetings; undated, 1989-2000
      5. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Miscellaneous; undated, 1992-2003 (1 of 2)
      6. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Miscellaneous; undated, 1992-2003 (2 of 2)
      7. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Miscellaneous; undated, 1995-2002 (centered around 2000) (1 of 2)
      8. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Miscellaneous; undated, 1995-2002 (centered around 2000) (2 of 2)
      9. Kibabii-St. Mary’s School Meetings and President Daniel Arap Moi Meeting, c. 1995-1998
      10. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Related Publications; undated, c. 2000-2003 (1 of 2)
      11. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Related Publications; undated, c. 2000-2003 (2 of 2)
      12. Box 4: Peace Corps/Teachers for East Africa Alumni Meeting/ The Carter Presidential Library, c. 1998-2009
      13. Miscellaneous Correspondence, Friends of Kenya, Kibabii, Kenya Programs and Contacts; undated, 1993-1999
      14. National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) Board Notes; undated, 1997-2003 (1 of 2)
      15. National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) Board Notes; undated, 1997-2003 (2 of 2)
      16. Peace Garden Program, 1999
      17. Friends of Kenya-Polio Kenya Program, undated, 1996-1999
      18. Friends of Kenya Miscellaneous Correspondence; undated, 1997-1998, 2000-2002 (1 of 2)
      19. Friends of Kenya Miscellaneous Correspondence; undated, 1997-1998, 2000-2002 (2 of 2)
      20. Friends of Kenya Directory, 1994
    2. Other
      1. Friends of Kenya- Marafiki Tee Shirt, undated
      2. Friends of Kenya and Friends of Milawi Miscellaneous Tapes, 1994-1995
  4. Photos, c. 1964-2000
    1. Peace Corps Kenya Photos, c. 1964-1969 (1 of 3)
    2. Peace Corps Kenya Photos, c. 1964-1969 (2 of 3)
    3. Peace Corps Kenya Photos, c. 1964-1969 (3 of 3)
    4. Chetambe Hill Project Photos, Bukusu, Kenya, c. 1970
    5. Miscellaneous Photos of Circumcision Ceremony, August 1966 (Content Warning)
    6. Miscellaneous Photos, c. 1964-2000
    7. Miscellaneous Negatives, c. 1964-2000

“To The New Volunteer:” Helpful Letters in a New Place

Starting Peace Corps service has often been a time of unknowns for volunteers. They are living in different countries, often speaking languages that are new to them, and adjusting to cultures that they are unfamiliar with. Such was the case for Jessica Vapnek, who served from 1985-1987 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Zaire). She taught high school English, music, and girls’ health classes in Kirumba, a remote small town in the northeast of the country. [1] While her living conditions were well-off compared to her neighbors, her small house had no electricity, and Vapnek was the only Volunteer in Kirumba. However, she did have one unexpected guide.

Guidance From Previous Volunteers

Within her first few days of living in Kirumba, Jessica Vapnek found two lengthy letters in an envelope titled “To The New Volunteer in Kasando” (a name of a tiny town near Kirumba).[2] Two authors wrote these letters: Sheila Kemper, who served in the town from 1979-1981, and Carol Buffum, a Peace Corps Volunteer that likely served between 1981-1983. They were probably left by the volunteer who had served in Kirumba before Vapnek, from 1983-1985. The letters contained key information that an incoming Volunteer to Kirumba would have been unlikely to know. Kemper’s letter was typed (with some handwritten notes from Buffum) and contained information about the Volunteer’s house, buying food, communicating with the Peace Corps, medical care, and more.[3] Buffum’s pages of handwritten notes contained updates and advice about getting along with other teachers, students, and townspeople.[4] Such information would have been a lifeline for any Volunteers who read the letters, since they were in the process of adjusting to a town and a routine of living that they were incredibly unfamiliar with.

The envelope of the letter packet that Jessica Vapnek found. American University Archives, Washington, D.C.

After her service, Vapnek took the letters home with her because the Peace Corps closed her volunteer post when she left. She planned to send them to the next volunteer in Kasando if the post reopened.[5] However, the Peace Corps closed its Zaire programs entirely in 1991, so Vapnek held on to the letters until she donated them to the archive.[6] Jessica Vapnek also received an additional private letter from another Kasando Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and the two wrote letters during part of Vapnek’s service.[7]

The first page of Sheila Kemper’s letter to future Volunteers. American University Archives, Washington, D.C.

Volunteers Helping Each Other

This series of letters greatly assisted Jessica Vapnek and the Volunteers who served before her. It also demonstrates the kindness and solidarity of the Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Kirumba over the course of nearly a decade. While none of them met, they made each other’s lives less stressful in new situations by adding or preserving key information for a new Peace Corps Volunteer. Vapnek thought the idea was fantastic and found the packet and her correspondence to be incredibly helpful.[1] As such, the letters are a very inspiring read. They lead me to the question: What are ways that you and I can help people in new environments?

 

 

[1] Bruce J. Cohen. “Description of Peace Corps Volunteer Service.” July 23, 1987. American University Archives, Washington, D.C.

[2] Jessica Vapnek in discussion with the author, February 14, 2023.

[3] Sheila Kemper memo to new volunteer, 1981. American University Archives, Washington, D.C.

[4] Carol Buffum to new volunteer, c. 1983. American University Archives, Washington, D.C.

[5] Jessica Vapnek in discussion with the author, February 14, 2023.

[6] “Countries,” Peace Corps, 2023, https://www.peacecorps.gov/countries/.

[7] Jessica Vapnek in discussion with the author, February 14, 2023.

[8] Jessica Vapnek in discussion with the author, February 14, 2023.

[1] Jessica Vapnek in discussion with the author, February 14, 2023.

Evelyn Higa in Senegal

Service Type: Education

Dates in Service: 1979-1981

Keywords: Education

Accession Date: August 4, 2022

Access: No restrictions on research. No deed of gift as donation through third party.

Collection Size: 0.5 linear feet

Document Types

  • Photographs
  • Publications

Related Items in Other Repositories: Christine Pearson Musa’s oral history with the JFK Library mentions Higa.

Finding Aid:

  • PCV Booklets, 1979-1980
  • Teaching Materials, 1973, 1978
  • Photos, c. 1978-1981
  • Large Photos, c. 1978-1981
  • Tamba Kaimondo campaign poster [in Oversize Collections]

Rosemary (Morris) Yaco in Togo

Country of Service: Togo

Place of Service: Dapaong and Sokodé

Service Type: Education

Dates in Service: 1983-1986

Keywords: Education

Accession Date: July 19, 2022

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 1 linear foot

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Publications
  • Sound

See Also: Rosemary Yaco’s four mystery novels, which were inspired by her time in Africa.  The Peace Corps Community Archives website also features a blog post about the first novel, Murder in the Peace Corps.

Finding Aid:

  1. Papers (Box 1)
    1. Correspondence
      1. Specific Correspondence, dated, 1983-1986
        1. Specific Correspondence, 1983
        2. Specific Correspondence, 1984 undated, January-May 1984
        3. Specific Correspondence, 1985
        4. Specific Correspondence, January-June 1986
      2. Specific Correspondence, undated
        1. Specific Correspondence, undated, c. 1983-1986 (1 of 3)
        2. Specific Correspondence, undated, c. 1983-1986, 1984-1985 (2 of 3)
        3. Specific Correspondence, undated, c. 1983-1986, 1986 (3 of 3)
      3. Specific Correspondence, undated, unsure if Peace Corps-related (Box 2)
        1. Specific Correspondence, undated, unsure if Peace Corps-related (1 of 3)
        2. Specific Correspondence, undated, unsure if Peace Corps-related (2 of 3)
        3. Specific Correspondence, undated, unsure if Peace Corps-related (3 of 3)
      4. General Correspondence, c. 1983-1986
      5. Postcards
        1. Postcards, dated, 1983-1986
        2. Postcards, undated, c. 1983-1986
      6. Correspondence to Rosemary Yaco, undated, 1983-1986
      7. Letters to Sonia Yaco, 1984-1985
    2. Other Papers (Box 3)
      1. Educational Materials
        1. Created or Utilized Educational Materials, c. 1966-1986
        2. Georgetown University Class Materials, Summer 1985
        3. Originally labeled, “R. Yaco Writing Course, W F Class” [Educational publications and papers, c. 1984-1985]
        4. Submitted Assignments by Teachers, c. 1983-1986
      2. Creative Writing
        1. Hopwood Award-Winning Poetry, c. 1951
        2. Creative Writing, 1984, undated
      3. Other Papers
        1. Fulbright Application [includes description of Peace Corps Work], c. 1985
        2. General Papers, c. 1983-1985
        3. Newspaper and Journal Clippings, c. 1983-1986 (also digitized)
  2. Photos and Audiovisual Materials
    1. Dated Negatives and Photos, 1983-1986 (Box 3)
    2. Photo Slides, c. 1984-1985
    3. Photos, undated
    4. Large Photos, undated
    5. Labeled and Unlabeled Negatives, Undated
    6. Photos and Negatives from Unlabeled Packet 1, undated
    7. Photos and Negatives from Unlabeled Packet 2, undated
    8. Photos and Negatives from Unlabeled Packet 3, undated
    9. Photos and Negatives from Unlabeled Packet 4, undated
    10. Miscellaneous Tapes, undated
    11. Photo Albums (Box 5)

Rosemary Casey in Micronesia

Country of Service: Micronesia

Dates of Service/Place of Service/Service Project:

  • Education Volunteer, Rota Island in the Northern Mariana Islands (June 1969-May 1971)
  • Peace Corps Contract Trainer and Coordinator of Language Curriculum Development Projects in Peace Corps/Republic of the Marshall Islands, Peace Corps/Micronesia (Federated States of Micronesia and Palau), and other assignments with Peace Corps/Philippines, Peace Corps Pacific countries of Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Western Samoa and Tonga; (June 1987-November 1989)
  • Associate Country Director and Program and Training Officer, Peace Corps/Micronesia (Federated States of Micronesia and Palau), August 1989-March 1992.

Keywords: Education, Peace Corps Staff, Peace Corps Training

Accession Date: November 5, 2021

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 2 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Publications

Related Items in Other Repositories

Finding Aid:

Box 1

  1. Documents
    1.  Correspondence
      1. Correspondence (1 of 4)
      2. Correspondence (2 of 4)
      3. Correspondence (3 of 4)
      4. Correspondence (4 of 4)
    2. Other Documents
      1. Washington, D.C. Staff Training, 1989
      2. Application Materials
      3. Continental Air Micronesia Airline Magazine Map of the Pacific
      4. “Life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Palau,” 1991-1992
      5. Newsletters and Reports, 1969-1975
    3. Publications
      1. Micronesian Reporter, 1969-1970
      2. Peace Corps Times, 1987, 1991
    4.  Photos and Related Materials (Box 2)
      1. Solomon Islands
      2. Xavier High School Weno, Chuuk/FSM [Federated States of Micronesia], Site of Several Peace Corps Trainings
      3. Republic of Palau
      4. Personal Peace Corps Service 1969
      5. Kosrae State, 1989
      6. Yap Staff/FSM
      7. Chuuk
      8. Chuuk 1990
      9. Yap Outer Islands 1989
      10. Washington, D.C. Staff Training 1989
      11. Xavier High School Pre-Service Training, Weno/Chuuk FSM
      12. Peace Corps Micronesia Staff 1991
      13. Pacific Regional APCD Conference, Pohnpei 1991
      14. Pohnpei 1991
      15. Yap
      16. Departure from PohPei/FSM, March 1992
      17. 25th Anniversary, Palau Peace Corps
      18. Yap 1990 Pre Service Training
      19. Close of Service Training Yap/Palau
      20. Certificates
      21. Pre-Service Training Pohnpei 1989
      22. Mid-Service Training Guam 1989
      23. Mid-Service Training 1991
      24. Pre-Service Training Pohnpei 1990
      25. Peace Corps/FSM Palace Staff
      26. Peace Corps/Micronesia
      27. Peace Corps Pacific Associate Country Directors Conference Fiji 1987
      28. Chuuk Language Project 1987-1988
      29. Micro- Gen’l
      30. Pohnpei 1989-1992
      31. PC/Washington staff
      32. Samoa
      33. Storyboards
      34. (Box 3) Pohnpei, FSM 1987
      35. Republic of the Marshall Islands
      36. Pohnpei Summer 1988
      37. Philippines Contract, 1988-1989
      38. Papua New Guinea
      39. Fiji, c. 1988
      40. Rota pictures
      41. Tonga, May 1987-May 1989
      42. Micronesia Close of Service Training, c. 1989-1991
      43. Mid-Service Training, 1991
    5. Box 4- Other
      1. Three T-Shirts

Processed by Rebecca Kaliff and Emily Messner

Jessica Vapnek in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire)

Country of Service: Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire)

Place of Service: Kirumba

Service Type: Education

Dates in Service: July 1985-July 1987

Keywords: Community Development, Education, Health, Youth, Judaism

Accession Date: December 6, 2022

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 0.1 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Reports

Finding Aid:

Box 1

  1. Papers
    1. Peace Corps Placement Paperwork, 1984-1985
    2. Zaire Peace Corps Handbook, 1985
    3. Friends of Peace Corps Symposium, 1985-1986
    4. IDs, Papers, and Certificates, c. 1985-1987
    5. Correspondence, 1985-1987