Category Archives: Newsletters

Debby Prigal in Ghana

Debby Prigal

Country of Service: Ghana
Place of Service: Ho
Service Type: Math Education
Dates in Service: 1981-1983
Keywords: Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School, Ho, Volta Region

Accession Date: October 12, 2015, March 31, 2016, April 15, 2016
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 0.5 linear feet

Document Types

  • Application Materials
  • Training materials
  • Passport, WHO card, Peace Corps ID
  • Completion of Service materials
  • Photographs (slides and prints)
  • Letters
  • Talking Drum PCV Newsletters
  • Articles Written About Ghana
  • Sample exams
  • Tape of student chorus
  • Log of photos sent to family with film
  • Resume

Finding Aid

  1. Application Material for the Peace Corps 
    1. Letters and introduction material 
  2. Articles on and by Prigal and Ghana 
    1. Newspaper articles 
  3. Christmas Carols from OLA, Debby’s School 
  4. Close of Service Material 
    1. Certificate 
  5. Identification Cards 
    1. ID Card 
    2. Who card 
    3. Passport 
  6. Letters to Debby 
    1. 1981-1984
    2. Letter from Barbara Bush 
  7. Letters to Debby’s Parents, 9/17/81-5/15/83 
  8. Newsletter “The Talking Drum” July 1982, Aug/Sept 1982, March 1983, July 1983 
  9. Orientation Material 
  10. Photographs (Duplicated from slides), Notes on Photo Descriptions (final version in ‘slides’ folder) 
  11. Response to the Coup D’etat in Ghana, 12/31/1981 
    1. Letter from Peace Corps Director 
  12. School Material Math Examinations Math Exams 
  13. Slides from 1981-1983 (includes list of descriptions for each image) 
    1. Includes slide descriptions 
  14. Visit from Barbara Bush and Peace Corps Director, Loret Ruppe, November 1981 

 

Susan Shepler in Sierra Leone

Susan Shepler

Country of Service: Sierra Leone
Place of Service: Gbendembu
Service Type: Education
Dates in Service: 1987-1989
Keywords: Gbendembu

Accession Date: October 7, 2015
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 0.5 linear feet

Document Types

  • Language learning notes and language manual
  • Peace Corps Sierra Leone newsletter, De News De
  • Swearing in Ceremony Program
  • Volunteers Guide to Freetown
  • Sample exams
  • Gbendembu Secondary School staff list, letterhead and program

Finding Aid

  1. Field Material Math Schoolwork 
  2. Language Materials (Kiro) 
    1. Notes, notecards, language manual 
  3. Material From the Peace Corps (Program, Certificate) 
  4. Newsletter 1988-Monthly “Di News De” (March, July, November) 
  5. Newsletter 1989-Monthly “Di News De” (January, April) 
  6. Recipes 
  7. Volunteer Handouts (Addresses, Town Guide) 

The Peace Corps, Disaster, and the Written Word

"Toucan Times: July, August, September 2002"

“Toucan Times: July, August, September 2002”

One of the official goals of the Peace Corps is to “help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.” Peace Corps volunteers achieve this goal through immersion within their respective communities. Peace Corps volunteers also form and maintain relationships and bonds with each other. Unofficial newspapers created by Peace Corps volunteers help foster community bonds between volunteers. These newsletters contain editorials, poetry, recipes, book reviews, and announcements relevant to volunteers.

One such magazine, the Toucan Times, documented PCVs serving in Belize. In 2001 and 2002, the Toucan Times devoted much space to how PCVs dealt with the effects of Hurricane Iris. Hurricane Iris hit Belize in early October of 2001. The disaster caused approximately 250 million dollars worth of damage and left thousands homeless. Several Peace Corps volunteers, including Alanna Randall, relocated to new homes. Alanna Randall, an environmental education and community development volunteer and one of the editors of the Toucan Times, expressed her emotional turmoil via a newspaper article. She wrote how, “many of the familiar landmarks were missing or moved, I almost didn’t even recognize where I lived…Stepping carefully around scattered pieces of plywood, I spotted my fan lying near a gravesite. Feeling numb and disbelieving, I sifted through the rubble. Random items were unearthed until I felt satisfied that all that could be was recovered.”

"In the rubble of my house"

“In the Rubble of my House”, Toucan Times, April/May/June 2002. 

In a message home, Randall wrote, “I’m officially a refugee of Hurricane
Iris. My peace corps family is sheltering me and searching for funds to get me started again…I’m doing fine. Anyway,”there’s nothing left to
do, but smile, smile, smile.”

The Peace Corps assisted with Alanna’s move to Cristo Rey Village and later San Ignacio. This story highlights the resilience of Peace Corps volunteers in the face of unpredictable hardships. Alanna’s hardships also show how Peace Corps newsletters like the Toucan Times provide volunteers with creative space to express and share their Peace Corps experiences.

“The Comrade Corps”

During a speech at San Francisco’s Cow Palace on November 2, 1960, soon to be President Kennedy spoke of the need for Americans to take action to ensure friendly relations abroad. He told the audience, “Out of Moscow and Peiping and Czechoslovakia and Eastern Germany are hundreds of men and women, scientists, physicists, teachers, engineers, doctors, nurses, studying in those institutes, prepared to spend their lives abroad in the service of world communism… being prepared to live their lives in Africa as missionaries for world communism.” Kennedy therefore proposed, that the U.S. create “a peace corps of talented young men and women, willing and able to serve their country in this fashion for 3 years as an alternative or as a supplement to peacetime selective service.” Even before the election, Kennedy had already a foundation for what would become the Peace Corps.

While serving in Africa, several Peace Corps volunteers worked alongside what one American termed “the Comrade Corps.” This organization consisted of teachers and volunteers the Soviet Union sent to developing countries, the same men and women Kennedy spoke of in his speech at the Cow Palace.

In 1965, Ray Silverstein, a Peace Corps volunteer, wrote to the Tilley Lamp, a Nigerian Peace Corps Volunteer newsletter, chronicling his encounter with these Russian volunteers. He told readers, “One has to seek them out. Once this is done, many of them will open up, eager to socialize and talk English with someone “who can correct” them…One girl that I met acknowledged the West’s superiority in twist music and rock n’roll, and mentioned that the Charleston is the rage in Russia now.”

Elizabeth Cobb Hoffman discusses Russian volunteers and PCV relations in Ghana in her 1998 work All You Need is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960s, “The volunteers’ attempts to be friendly towards the Russian youth would…prove the intention of the United States to wage the Cold War peacefully…The Peace Corps teachers, who shared accommodations with volunteers from other countries, reported that the Russians returned their sociability (Hoffman, 162).”

Despite Cold War tensions, Russian and American youth workers shared cultural experiences and perspectives with each other during their respective service across the world.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Northeastern New York

RPCV Northeastern New York
Date of Materials: 1986-2004

Accession Date: October 9, 2014
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 0.5 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Membership lists
  • Minutes
  • Newsletters
  • Newsletters from other RPCV groups

Duane H. Hudson in Nigeria

Duane H. Hudson

Country of Service: Nigeria
Place of Service: Apapa
Service Type: Science Education
Dates in Service: 1963-1965
Keywords: Nigeria, Apapa, Science Education, United Christian Secondary Commercial School, Tilley Lamp

Accession Date: September 23, 2014
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 0.25 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Reports
  • Publications
  • Newsletters

Finding Aid

  1. Community projects for garbage disposal (Oct + Dec, 196(?)), and home for handicapped children (Aug-Sept, 1964) 
    1. Project notes 
  2. Farewell poem upon occasion of Bill Saltonstall’s departure from Nigeria, by Sally Cyton (Nov, 1965) 
  3. Teaching in Nigeria training materials and Peace Corps Volunteer directories (1963, 1965) 
  4. Peace Corps in Nigeria news items and letter of protest (1964-1965) 
  5. The Tilley Lamp, Peace Corps Nigeria newsletter (1964-1965) 
  6. Nigeria travel and cultural materials 
  7. Correspondence from Nigerians, (1964-1968, 1970, undated) 

Norm and Jan Heise in Nigeria

 

Country of Service: Nigeria
Place of Service: Jos (Northern Nigeria)
Service Type: Education at Toro Teaching Training College
Dates in Service: 1963-1965
Keywords:  Education, Youth

Accession Date: December 21, 2010; Friends of Nigeria Archive
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: Two items

Document Types

  • Photographs
  • Publication (Peace Corps Chronicle)

Finding Aid

  1. 1963-1965: An Experience in the Peace Corps & A Peace Corps Archive 1963-1965 (CD-Rs) 
    1. 1963-1965: An Experience in the Peace Corps. A Peace Corps chronicle with accompanying pictures by Norm and Jan Heise volunteers Toro Teacher Training College, Northern Virginia (CD-R) 
    2. A Peace Corps Archive 1963-1965. Accompanies “An Experience in the Peace Corps” a chronicle by Norm Heise (CD-R) 

Alanna Randall in Belize

Alanna Randall

Country of Service: Belize
Place of Service: San Ignacio
Service Type: Environmental Education
Dates in Service: 2001-2003
Keywords: Education, Environment, Placencia, Cristo Rey Village, Chaa Creek Natural History Center, Cornerstone Jumpstart English Program

Accession Date: August 12, 2013
Access: no restrictions
Collection Size: 0.25 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence (including printed email messages)
  • Photographs
  • Publications (The Toucan Times 2001-2003)

Finding Aid

  1. Photographs 
  2. Correspondence, etc. 
    1. Emails and writings 
  3. Toucan Times 
    1. Oct 2001 – Dec 2002 
  4. Toucan Times 
    1. Jan 2003-Dec 2003 

Brian Adler and Cynthia Elliott in Suriname

Brian Adler and Cynthia Elliott

Country of Service: Suriname
Place of Service: Marchall Kreek
Service Type: Non-Formal Rural Community Education
Dates in Service: 2002-2004
Keywords: South America, Education

Accession Date: September 26, 2012
Access: No Restrictions
Collection Size: 0.25 linear feet

Document Types

  • Letters from volunteers who did not complete their service
  • Training – schedules, handouts
  • Leave requests
  • Swearing In Ceremony program
  • Project Information such as lesson plans, activity agreements, etc.
  • Correspondence – Peace Corps Staff
  • Reports
  • Newsletters
    • HoneyDipper – created by PCVs (unofficial, humor)
    • The Skinny– official PC newsletter –written by PC staff (third year volunteer)

Digital Surrogates

See Also:
Brian Adler’s Flickr Photo Stream