Category Archives: Philippines

Ronald F. Chapman in the Philippines

Name: Ronald F. Chapman

Country of Service: Philippines

Service Type OR Service Project Title: Education

Dates in Service: 1964-1966

Keywords: Education

Accession Date: January 7, 2019

Access: No Restrictions

Collection Size: 6 inches

 

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Reports
  • Publications

After the Peace Corps

Once a volunteer’s service has ended, they have to decide what to do after the Peace Corps. Some volunteers extend their service, some go on to graduate school, and some simply come home to the states and resettle into daily life.

The following are stories of what some volunteers did after their service.

When Alanna Randall was preparing to leave Belize in 2003 she was deciding between graduate school and joining Americorps, a Peace Corps-type program in the U.S. To help with her decision, Alanna used a chart that her local PCV magazine published.

Alanna Randall, Belize, 2001-2003. This chart is from the PC Belize Magazine “Toucan Times” Oct/Nov/Dec 2001

She eventually decided to join Americorps and served in Tuscon, Arizona as a Team Leader for Youth Volunteers. She then went on to pursue a Masters Degree in Teaching Spanish at the School for International Training in Vermont.

 

Tina Singleton started her service in Benin in 1992 and extended it two years to 1996. Even though her family encouraged her to serve another year, Tina decided she was ready to leave. However, she was debating between finding a job, taking courses in Community Based Rehabilitation, or applying to graduate schools. She eventually decided on graduate school in London.

Tina Singleton, Benin, 1992-1996. This postcard was sent to her parents from England while she was preparing to start graduate school.

Tina sent this postcard to her parents in March of 1997 and told them: “I managed to get through exams …!! I’m pretty sure I passed . . . now i can sit back (for a few minutes, anyway) and drink tea . . .”

 

Once Lynda Smith-Nehr completed her service in the Philippines in 1964 she traveled the world before heading home. Lynda visited Japan, India, Egypt, Palestine, Italy, Switzerland, England, DC, and New York.

Lynda Smith-Nehr,Philippines, 1962-1964. This was taken on her travels to Egypt after her service ended.

Lynda Smith-Nehr, Philippines, 1962-1964. This was taken on her travels to Greece after her service ended.

As evident from these examples, volunteers have a lot of paths to choose from when their service is over. And their two years in the Peace Corps gives them a lot of experiences to build their new lives with.

Records We Collect; Records That Tell Stories

Throughout the blog, you have probably noticed the various records we use to tell the stories of Peace Corps Volunteers. This post highlights some of the more common types of records that volunteers donate and record their experiences with.

The most common type of record that PCVs donate that tell their story is letters. Volunteers send correspondence back and forth with their family and friends for two years in which they express their accomplishments, frustrations, and describe their everyday life. A letter like the one below, air mail, was a familiar sight for families as it was the fastest and most common way volunteers sent letters.

Joyce Emery Johnston served in the Philippines in Education from 1965-1967.

Similar to correspondence is volunteers’ journals or diaries. These are where volunteers write more in depth about their daily activities and daily thoughts. Diaries are used to preserve memories, and some volunteers even start keeping diaries in the language of their host country as seen below.

David Day served in Kenya and India in Agriculture from 1965-1967.

David Day served in Kenya and India in Agriculture from 1965-1967.

A way that volunteers formally share their experiences is through memoirs. Alan Crew compiled his memoir as a gift to his son upon his graduation from college. In it he details his life in Nigeria and includes pictures of where he worked.

Alan Crew served in Nigeria in Education from 1965-1966.

Along with writing, volunteers also take many photos during their service to show their friends and families where they work and live. While most volunteers take regular digital photos, many early volunteers also used slides.

Patricia Kay served in Kenya in Education from 1966-1968.

Patricia Kay served in Kenya in Education from 1966-1968.

Volunteers also send home postcards when they travel or want to share more photos of their host country.

Tina Singleton served in Benin in Health Education from 1992-1996.

Along with these records, some volunteers also take videos of their service experience. The video below was taken by Brian Adler who served in Suriname with his wife Cindy from 2002-2004. In this clip he gives a tour of where he and Cindy lived, and the video goes on to show a village party, soccer game, and conversations with the villagers.

Bryan and Cynthia Adler in Marchall Kreek 

For volunteers who either could not write home or found this method easier, they recorded audio tapes. This audio clip is from Richard Holmquist to his fiance Ann. In the full recording, he discusses his work as a professor at UMBC, how he met Ann, and what he did in Nigeria from 1966-1968. In this clip he discusses a need in Nigeria for lifeguards.                                           (play button is on the far left).

 

Along with these personal records, Peace Corps Volunteers also donate some of their official Peace Corps paperwork. These include certificates of training and service completion, letters of service acceptance, and volunteer ID cards like Debby Prigal’s below.

Debby Prigal served in Ghana in Education from 1981-1983.

The Peace Corps Community Archives holds many other different types of records such as architectural drawings, posters, newspapers, training materials, correspondence from the Peace Corps and various governments, and much more. But the handful of records highlighted here are the main forms of learning about what a Peace Corps Volunteer experienced while abroad.

 

Peace Corps Week

On March 1, 1961 President Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps. He asked Americans how many of them would be willing to serve their country and the cause of peace by living and working in the developing world. Thousands answered the call in 1961 and 750 were chosen to serve in 13 nations.

Throughout the summer of 1961 volunteers took tests for selection and were trained for service.

By the end of the summer groups had already begun serving, the first groups went to Ghana and Colombia, or were preparing to leave.

As volunteers were preparing to leave they were given travel itineraries, packing tips, and even guidelines for dealing with the press. Along with formal congratulation letters from Governors and Senators, volunteers were also featured in local newspapers.

Once training was over and all the packing was done, volunteers were sent on to their designated countries. The first groups served from 1961 to 1963.

Maureen Carroll served in the Philippines from 1961-1963 in Education.

After two years of service, they were all welcomed home.

 

While some things have changed since 1961, the life of a volunteer is still very much the same with training and living abroad. 58 years later the Peace Corps is still meeting Kennedy’s challenge of serving the U.S. and the cause of peace.

 

Every year, to celebrate this anniversary, the Peace Corps holds Peace Corp Week which “celebrates all the ways that Peace Corps makes a difference at home and abroad and renews its commitment to service.”

This year, Peace Corps Week is February 25 – March 3 and the theme is “Highlighting Home: What does home, family, and community look like in your Peace Corps country?” You can attend a Peace Corps event near you or vote for the best video in the Video Challenge.

 

What We Collected in 2017

The Peace Corp Community Archive accepts many types of records of volunteers from every decade, every country of service, and every type of service job. Though we did not accept donations for part of 2017, we added 6 unique collections to the archives that include a wide range of Peace Corps experiences. We featured some of these collections in previous posts but here you can learn about them in detail.

 

Phillip L. Scholl

Phillip served in India from 1965-1967 in Health Education. India faced many health crises in the 1960s and its government requested help from the Peace Corps. Philip’s group, India 20A, received training in public health and assisted India’s Primary Health Centers, which provided health care services throughout the country. Phillip donated a video about his travels through India.

You can watch the video here: India 20A Video
Visit the groups website here: India 20A Website
And see a previous highlight post about this collection here: India 20A Post

 

Jan and Leslie Czechowski

Jan and Leslie decided to volunteer after they retired at the age of 64 and are two of the oldest volunteers in the collection. They donated a booklet that contains, in chronological order, their blog posts and emails from their service. The couple served in Moldova in 2012 in Community Development. Leslie’s main job was helping with the Global Libraries project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They enjoyed their time in Moldova immensely but had to cut their service short because Leslie became ill. A number of Peace Corps Volunteers end their service early for a variety of reasons.

Jan and Leslie – June 22, 2012

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 – Sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers

 

Delwyn and Claire Ziegler

Delwyn and Claire, with their two daughters, were among the first Peace Corps Volunteer Families. They served in Colombia from 1970-1972 in Community Development and Education. They donated a manual entitled, “Guide to Small Business Consultation,” which was compiled by Delwyn, and a 500+ page diary consisting of correspondence, notes, daily updates, and other writings from their service. The Ziegler’s were one of only two families that stayed the full two years and said “it was the best two years of our lives.” The Peace Corps discontinued the families program after a few years.

You can find their diary here: Diary of the Zieglers in Colombia

 

Lynda Smith-Nehr

Lynda served in the Philippines from 1962-1964 in Education. Her collection consists of the many slides she took during her service. The slides show pictures of the villages she worked in, the people she worked with, and the places she traveled. Lynda experienced a lot during her service.

April 1963 – My Junior Class – Mt. Apo

Davao Mt. Apo School – April 1963

 

Thomas J. Hassett

Thomas served in Nepal from 1965-1966 in Community Development. His fellow volunteers described him as easy to get along with and perfect for the Peace Corps. However, Thomas’s time in the Peace Corps was cut short by an unfortunate fall on his way to visit a friend. At the age of 22 Thomas passed away and was buried in Nepal. Included in his collection are letters to and from his family and friends, condolence letters to his parents, and photos of his work and burial service. Tom’s parents paid for a memorial for him and visited his grave in 1966.

“Thomas J. Hassett, Russian novelist phase – June 1966”

“L to R: ?? Sam Myqatt (partially hidden) by another in front of Bill Hanson. Blond is Cail Hoshicka. Father Moran, Minister.”

Tina Singleton

Tina served in the Central African Republic and Benin from 1992-1996. She worked in Health Education with a focus on Benin’s disabled community. She traveled to the first African Special Olympics in 1992. Tina enjoyed her time so much she stayed twice as long as a normal service tour. Tina’s collection itself consists of numerous letters to her family and many (many) photos that illustrate her time in Africa.

Tina’s school class, she is second from the left.

1992 – First African Special Olympics

 

As you can see from just this small group of collections, a Peace Corps Volunteer’s experience can vary greatly. Every year new collections are donated to the Peace Corps Community Archive that add to these stories.

Homemade Greetings for the Season: Christmas Abroad

While abroad, Peace Corps Volunteers like to stay connected with their families and friends, especially during the holidays when it’s not always possible to travel home. As a continuation of this earlier post, Sending Seasons Greetings: Holiday Cards from Abroad, we will look at more holiday cards that volunteers sent and received.

While it was easy to find and buy cards to send, it was often common for volunteers to make their own holidays cards.

Margie Tokarz, while serving in Antigua from 1967-1968, found time to make this card to send home.

She mentions in the card that being away from home is making her “find a happiness of Christmastime on a different level. I have to focus instead on its essence,” instead of its commercialism. But she writes to her family that she misses them terribly and that a great part of her will be with them on the holidays.

 

Claire Pettengill, who served in Morocco from 1978-1980, got started early on her cards, mentioning in a December 3rd letter that she was designing them and planning on making cookies as well. She says “Christmas is fast approaching and making me homesick. Oh for stockings, presents, and the radiators humming away in the night.” She made two cards to send her family. The first was all pictures with a framed palm tree and hanging stockings, colorful Christmas and New Years wishes and Arabic translations of those holiday wishes.

 

Her second letter looks much the same. Except in this one she included a holiday greeting to her family.

 

It was also common for volunteers to send letters to each other. This one Charlotte Daigle-Berney received from her friends while serving in Uganda from 1966-1968.

 

 

Every year, PCVs also receive seasons greetings from the director of the Peace Corps. Early volunteers including Maureen Carroll (Philippines, 1961-1963) received holiday wishes from Sargent Shriver, founder and first director of the Peace Corps.

 

Even though volunteers could not always see their families during the holidays, they could still keep in contact and send them warm wishes and updates about their lives abroad.

 

 

Peace Corps Celebrates Halloween and Local Festivals

While Americans celebrate Halloween with crazy costumes, haunted houses, and trick-or-treating, people all over the world have been observing a variety of festivals. Peace Corps Volunteers, as temporary residents of various nations around the world, experience these celebrations.

Volunteers have one of three experiences:

1) They don’t celebrate at all.
Halloween is sometimes an easy holiday to overlook so either the volunteer forgets, they are too busy to celebrate, or there are just no celebrations. Bobbe Seibert, who served in Honduras, notes that she just carried on with her day.

Bobbe Seibert, Honduras, 2000. “Tuesday Oct 31 Halloween – not that anyone noticed here. I think tomorrow is day of the dead here too but am not sure. Up at 6:30 – swept & washed up 7:30 at the corredor.

2) They celebrate local festivals.
Claire Pettengill notes in a letter home that she was given a holiday to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, the “sheep-killing” holiday, which honors the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son at God’s command. She also had some time off for a Moroccan national holiday.

Claire Pettengill, Morocco, ’78-’80. “We get a long vacation for the sheep-killing holiday — 7 days beginning Oct. 30. I’m going to Berkane to see my adopted family for one day, then probably will head south to Marrakech with Amy. Haven’t had much time to travel.”

Claire Pettengill, Morocco, ’78-’80. “We have Monday off because of a national holiday (La Marche Verte–when Spain, in cooperation with Algeria, returned the Spanish Sahara to Moroccan control, in 1970-something, there was a huge peaceful march to that area, which is one of the biggest patriotic holidays each year) and Amy has gone to Taza, a Moroccan town.”

Both Winifred Boge in India and Al & Anne Briggs in Malaysia celebrated the Hindu Festival of Deepavali (Diwali). Also called the Festival of Lights it “spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair,” where people light and place candles all over their home, as Winifred mentions in her letter.

Winifred Boge, India, ’65’67. “Speaking of Christmas – Halloween passed with nary our indication of such – but week before we had Deepavali with candles outside.”

Al & Anne Briggs, Malaysia, ’64’66. “Today we had a holiday for the Hindu festival of Deepavali, but of much more importance to us, of course, are the elections at home. You will be voting while we are asleep.”

3) They celebrate American traditions.
Even though volunteers are far away from home, they are still able to share American customs with their communities.
Margaret Fiedler had a party with her students in Guatemala where she served from 1985-87. She introduced them to bobbing for apples.

That’s Chavez in the tree – in the other end of the rope is another boy – they jerk the rope so the kids can’t break the pinata right away. Notice the girl blindfolded with the big stick – it really gets exciting – the kids can’t wait to pounce on the candy as it spills out.

Lynda Smith-Nehr and fellow volunteers dressed up in costumes while they were in the Philippines.

Lynda Smith-Nehr, Philippines, 1962-1964. “Halloween, Lorrie & me.”

Lynda Smith-Nehr, Philippines, 1962-1964. “Halloween, Mrs. Pamplona.”

Halloween may not be an international holiday, but there are many different ways that people all over the world celebrate this time of year.

 

 

Photographing the Firsts: Maureen Carroll in the Philippines

 

Maureen Carroll served in the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers to the Philippines from 1961-1963. Carroll served as an English Teacher in Castilla, Philippines. Carroll previously worked for AT&T, who paid H.A. Figueras of Black Star Photography to come to her town in the Philippines and follow her around for a day to capture every angle of her life there.  The photos show her housing, her transportation, in the classroom, in the market, at church, at the beach, and around town.

 

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Carroll lived in Castilla with three other PCV roommates in the home pictured above on the left. The home had a tin roof and was raised on poles above the ground. There were three rooms, a sala or living room with a kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom.

 

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Pictured here is the community library Carroll and her roommates fashioned out of the former store attached to their home.

 

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Carroll and other Volunteers regularly used the local bus which also transported neighbors and their animals. Pictured here, Carroll and another PCV wait for the bus to arrive.

 

pcca_carroll_0004Maureen Carroll lived with three other roommates, Gloria Paulik, Hope Gould, and Anne Wilson. Here, Carroll and her roommates enjoy lunch in their living room.

 

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Pictured here, Carroll prepares her English lessons for her students. She co-taught with local teachers across multiple classrooms at Milagrosa Elementary School.

 

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Carroll and her fellow PCVs taught local Filipino students both English and Science.

 

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Peace Corps Volunteers in the Philippines purchased provisions from the local businesses. Carroll purchased rice from the market and canned corned beef, candles, soap, salt, and other small sundries from the sari-sari stores.

 

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Like other PCVs, Carroll’s connection to family and friends back in the United States came in the form of mail. Pictured here, Carroll checks with the local mailman for her letters.

 

For more information on Maureen Carroll’s service, read her article “Not For Girls like You: A Jersey Girl’s Journey,” in Answering Kennedy’s Call: Pioneering the Peace Corps in the Philippines.

 

For more information, please visit the Peace Corps Community Archive website. To use the collections or make a donation, please contact the AU Archives at archives [at] american.edu.