Tag Archives: High School

Teachers Becoming Students: Charlotte Daigle Berney in Uganda

Charlotte Daigle Berney taught at Seibei College in Uganda. Pictured here, students relax outside during lunchtime.

Charlotte Daigle Berney taught at Seibei College in Uganda. Pictured here, students relax outside during lunchtime.

Many Peace Corps Volunteers serve as teachers including English as a Second Language, Mathematics, and Science. Teachers become students themselves when they’re thrown into new environments and cultures. Charlotte Daigle Berney taught in Uganda from 1966-1968, where she learned from her students just as much as she taught them.

In early 1968, Berney collected stories of superstitions from her students at Sebei College, in eastern Uganda. While many of the African superstitions resemble similar Western tales, they also reflect the culture they were created in with small twists. For example, Iteso, or the people of Teso believe, “Some superstitions have proof and some don’t–they are mostly being told by the parents when a child starts to learn things.”

Pictured here are Leopold was Berney's language tutor, Pat, a fellow PCV, and two students Berney taught during her service.

Pictured here are Leopold was Berney’s language tutor, Pat, a fellow PCV, and two students Berney taught during her service.

The superstitions Berney recorded range from the topic of luck to health to fortune. Many of her students remarked on the validity of each tale, with many dispelling the validity of the wilder stories. Each superstition allows a window into the culture it derives from. As Berney collected these tales, she also garnered a deeper understanding of the culture she served as a PCV.

Berney recorded various African superstitions from students like the ones pictured.

Berney recorded various African superstitions from students like the ones pictured.

“I think some of the superstitions were invented just due to ignorance, but also as a way of trying to get the better of everything,” notes the Sebei people of Eastern Uganda, “In our tribe we have many superstitions. According to my mood most of them are completely untrue. But people of my tribe take them to be very important.”

Some of the superstitions and their origins are as follows:

“If you are going for a visit and a black cat or rabbit crosses your path you will probably get trouble there,” Iteso people of Eastern Uganda and Western Kenya.

“Ugly women produce the best children,” Jopadhola or Adhola people of Eastern Uganda.

“When your upper lip shakes, that means you will laugh very much, but when the downer one you will cry,” Acholi people of Northern Uganda.

 

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.

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

 

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

Douglas J. Brady in Fiji

Douglas J. Brady

Country of Service: Fiji
Place of Service: Suva
Service Type: Secondary Education
Dates in Service: 1974-1976
Keywords: The Pacific Islands, Education

Accession Date: June 17, 2013
Access:  No restrictions
Collection Size:  1.5 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Photographs
  • Reports
  • Publications
  • Sound Recordings