My Time: Area RPCVs mark Peace Corp’s birthday Lifestyle ( )

Paul Murphy, who taught business practices for a farmers' cooperative as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malaysia in the early 1970s, and his wife, Marjorie, hosted a group of RPCVs, spouses, and parents of a current volunteer at their Sherwood Forest home. The attendees represented Peace Corps service in Colombia, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, India, Kenya, Morocco, Niger, Peru, Senegal, and Yemen. (They are referred to as "returned" because, according to the late Sargeant Shriver, first director of the Peace Corps, "there is no such thing as a former volunteer.")

While enjoying a potluck supper, the group traded stories of their widely varied volunteer experiences: the challenges of promoting eggs, not normally part of the local diet, as part of a poultry project in India; setting up a secretarial school and a cultural center, and meeting famed medical missionary Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Gabon; having to hike into one's site, and then having to build a latrine once arriving there, in Colombia; living in a city apartment and traveling the country producing exhibits for agricultural shows in Kenya; promoting more fuel-efficient stoves to lessen the need for cutting wood in Niger; explaining about the other side of the world to people unfamiliar with a globe in Yemen.

Funny, serious, poignant, everyone had memories to share of what all agreed was one of the best things they have ever done.

There will be a number of commemorative events throughout the year to mark the 50th anniversary. A major one will showcase Peace Corps as one of the featured participants at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, held each year on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in late June-early July.

In late September, the National Peace Corps Association, the nation's leading nonprofit organization supporting RPCVs and the Peace Corps community, will hold a multi-day anniversary celebration in Washington. That event will also include a nationwide service day.

In the 50 years since its inception, more than 200,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in 139 countries around the globe. There are currently more than 8,600 volunteers in 77 countries.

Volunteers range from age 18 on up; there is no upper age limit. Seven percent of current PCVs are over 50.

For further information on Annapolis area RPCVs, contact Paul Murphy at 410-849-5591.

– Sandy Greenberg…


About rictandag @rictandag @LVHelpGro Returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Republic of the Philippines 1979-1980; Financial Management training Program [FMP], G.E., Appliance Park, Louisville, Kentucky 1981-1982 Champion [two days] Jeopardy 1986 Attorney, Los Angeles, CA 1989-1995 Disabiility Rights Attorney,, Las Vegas 1998-1999 Immigration Asylum Attorney, throughout the State of Kansas 1999-2001 Supply Logistics Specialist, UPS Las Vegas, 2006- present [business] advocate for: [Gawad Kalinga, tagalog for "to give care"]
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