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Stories by region, country, object, and author

Africa

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  • BOTSWANA
  • CHAD
  • ERITREA
  • ETHIOPIA
  • KENYA
  • LESOTHO
  • LIBERIA
  • MADAGASCAR
  • MALAWI
  • NAMIBIA
  • NIGER
  • SIERRA LEONE
  • SOMALIA
  • TANZANIA
  • THE GAMBIA
A Famous Wood Carver

My wife Lois and I served with the first contingent of Peace Corps volunteers to Liberia in the interior town of Tappita. The local people …

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A Simple Tool

When I came home, she was there – waiting for me. If I let her, she would nibble on my neck while humming her little …

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African Charm

Some villagers brought medications with instructions in English, Russian, French or German. They could read none of these languages, so I translated them as best …

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African Sunset

I was ready to leave my magical, down-to-earth home at Bwiru Boys’ Secondary School, near Lake Victoria. On a map, the lake looks like a big …

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Balzac’s Saddle

I purchased a camel, named Gunther, for the equivalent of $40. I parked Gunther next to Balzac in my zanna-mat courtyard. Balzac and Gunther were …

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Bare Basic Mugs

I saw two kinds of volunteers in Botswana back in 1980.Some were endlessly resourceful and went about improving their comfort with ingenuity. They found painstaking …

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Asia

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  • MALAYSIA
  • PHILIPPINES
  • THAILAND
Ghost Festival Awakening

Before arriving in Dansai, I naively thought that I knew something about Thai Buddhism and how this war affected its neighboring countries. In Dansai, my …

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Maria Clara Gown

I was overwhelmed by kindness and generosity. I was twenty-two years old. There was no internet, no one had cellphones, few people travelled to far-flung …

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New Teacher Arrives

“The New Teacher Arrives” oil on canvas, 22×28″ This painting is based on my own experience as a Peace Corps  Volunteer Teacher in upriver Sarawak …

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Songket Cloth

I was assigned to teach Kimia dan Fizik (Chemistry and Physics) in Kedah on the northwest coast of Malaysia. The state of Kedah often is called the rice …

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Thai Temple Rubbing

Cultures often define their uniqueness by creating epic poems or stories.  Ancient Greeks had the Odyssey and the Iliad; Germans had the Nibelungenlied; and—let’s face it—America’s Baby Boomers …

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EASTERN EUROPE AND
CENTRAL ASIA

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  • AFGHANISTAN
  • GEORGIA
  • INDIA
  • IRAN
  • NEPAL
  • SLOVAKIA
  • TURKEY
  • UKRAINE
A Brass Hookah

I asked if he owned the hookah.  I didn’t understand his answer, but decided to risk seeing if I could buy it.  This time I …

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Chapan Coat

Early in my first Peace Corps assignment, I was an architect without a home.  In 1968, after summer training in a Colorado migrant labor camp, …

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Closets

Upon my arrival in Ukraine in 2004, the Peace Corps staff advised me not to tell my host family or my Ukrainian friends that I …

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Mystical Music

 He said the Sufi worship services were secretive, but described ecstatic ceremonies where music and dance were central elements. Shah Mohammed and I climbed out …

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Natanz Ceramics

After living in two relatively cosmopolitan cities during my first four months in Iran, the Peace Corps office transferred me to Natanz, (نطنز ), a remote …

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Properly Dressed for the Party

I love costume parties! But when my husband George and I were invited to a costume party in our town of Martin, we had no …

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LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN

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  • BOLIVIA
  • BRAZIL
  • COLOMBIA
  • COSTA RICA
  • ECUADOR
  • GUATEMALA
  • PERU
  • ST. LUCIA
Alpargatas – Footwear of Need or Choice?

Perhaps the simplicity of the sandals, or the fibers in their composition, caught my eye. I remember being totally intrigued from the first time I saw alpargatas in …

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American Immigrant

audio: Poem reading Land of the free and home of the brave, Built on the backs of others – the poor and the enslaved.Supposedly, meritocracy …

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Bargaining in Ayacucho

I was left in tears as he walked away with my statue under his arm. This was the type of insensitive behavior that Peruvians had …

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Bolivia’s Cholitas

The Aymara women came down from the cool highlands of the Altiplano of Bolivia. They came because the government provided their families with new farm …

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Carved Artesania

The last day of service in my community—Juan Montalvo, Province of Carchi—was one of the most heartfelt and well attended of my three years in …

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Fishing with Dynamite

Many of the fishermen had only one hand. They were called mochos. In my coastal community of Albornos and throughout rural Colombia, a machete is …

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NORTH AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

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  • MOROCCO
  • YEMEN
Jebel Sabir Dress

I loved seeing their intricate embroidery, their flashes of gold—and their open faces and confident gazes, even while I bargained with them at the market …

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Non-buyer’s Remorse

A friend once told me that non-buyer’s remorse is worse than buyer’s remorse, and I think it is true.  I served in small business development …

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Treasures of Morocco

I savored the friendships, flavors, and unique customs of a lifestyle I came to respect and appreciate. My travels to produce Ministry of Agriculture films …

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PACIFIC ISLANDS

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  • MICRONESIA
  • VANUATU
A Family Connection

I clearly remember this as the moment I met Fia, the first person I fell in love with in the island country of Vanuatu.  A …

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Coconut Bird

“The main thing is to listen to people before you start a program, and then to work at their level.” These words from my wife …

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Sleeping Mat

As recently as 2019 scientists found that some of the northern islets were as “hot” as Chernobyl. In much of the world, people take their …

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Click Explore to navigate Google Earth

  1. Navigate the Globe: Zoom around the globe and search for authors by locations.
  2. Review Author List: Click on the list of authors’ names on the left panel.
  3. Useful Tips:
    1. To move any direction around the globe, hold the left-click button down as you move your mouse.
    2. View a story by clicking on the symbol near an author’s name & years of service.
    3. Close a story by clicking in upper right corner of the story panel.