April 20, 2003 - Examiner: El Salvador Peace Corps volunteers Katie and Bryan Wood enjoy holiday back in U.S.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: El Salvador: Peace Corps El Salvador : The Peace Corps in El Salvador: April 20, 2003 - Examiner: El Salvador Peace Corps volunteers Katie and Bryan Wood enjoy holiday back in U.S.

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 11:11 am: Edit Post

El Salvador Peace Corps volunteers Katie and Bryan Wood enjoy holiday back in U.S.

El Salvador Peace Corps volunteers Katie and Bryan Wood enjoy holiday back in U.S.

Peace Corps volunteers enjoy holiday back in U.S.

The news at Poo Corner

Roberta Coker
the Examiner

Seeing their families was the best Christmas present for Katie and Bryan Wood who are on their way back to El Salvador. The young couple are members of the Peace Corps and live in Texuzin Chirizo.

They returned to this area Dec. 20 to spend the holidays with their parents Dr. Charlie and Karen Cockerell and Gary and Kathy Wood. Other welcome treats were traditional food, ice cubes, and carpet on the floors.

Chirizo is a village situated among coffee plantations in the mountains an hour and a half walk down the mountain from public transportation. About 350 people, including 200 children, live there without electricity or major water system. The village is on the side of a mountain, which requires walking uphill or downhill to get anywhere. Villagers earn about $70 per month when work is available.

Bryan and Katie's Peace Corps responsibilities include teaching English to fifth through eighth graders, which is the highest level most will be able to attend. Some students walk up to an hour just to get to school.

They work with Agape, a program to irradicate child labor, and efforts to develop alternatives such as day care and safer environments for the children while parents work. Their time also goes to the local community development group helping to raise money for projects such as fixing the dirt road that provides the only access to the village. Katie and Bryan are not there to change the culture, but to assist in forming projects that are desired.

They live in one of the nicest homes with a floor and brick walls. Their only possessions are two large duffle bags they brought with them. The people are most generous, and because they appreciate the Woods' assistance, share their meager crops, a few bananas, or a plate of soup. Both have been honored by having newly born children named after them.

They will complete their Peace Corps commitment in May 2004. They became interested in applying for the Corps after spending their honeymoon in Belize, Central America. Additionally Katie had spent time there studying Mayan archaeology.

The fifth annual Preservation Renaissance of Independence, Inc.'s progressive dinner brought 60 members together Saturday. They began at the home of Joe and Shirley Vanriette, where fondue, fruit, and bruschetta were served. The Vanriettes purchased the home, built in 1910, from Shirley's parents Blanche and Zygmund Rondomanski and have remodeled the house and property, adding a garage. Blanche continues to make her home with her daughter and son-in-law.

The home of Susan and Doug Walter was decorated lavishly with bows, garlands, and trees of all sizes. Their Victorian brick residence was built in 1887 and was the home of the late author Pearl Wilcox. The Walters purchased the home from Pearl in 1994. Dinner, catered by Cuisine, featured grilled dijon chicken and roasted red potatoes.

Jack Berg's home was the final stop where cheesecake and chocolate-chocolate layer cake were served. In the front vestibule of his home, built in 1888, is a plaque listing all previous owners of the home.

Roberta "Poo" Coker is active in many community organizations. Poo encourages readers to provide her with story ideas or society news. You can e-mail her at pcoker@examiner.net or write to her in care of The Examiner, P.O. Box 459, Inde pen dence, MO 64051.

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Story Source: Examiner

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - El Salvador; Married Couples



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