June 18, 2003 - Free Lance Star: Patricia Lillicotchr returns from Peace Corps service in the Ukraine

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ukraine: Peace Corps Ukraine : The Peace Corps in the Ukraine: June 18, 2003 - Free Lance Star: Patricia Lillicotchr returns from Peace Corps service in the Ukraine

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 8:35 am: Edit Post

Patricia Lillicotchr returns from Peace Corps service in the Ukraine

Read and comment on this story from the Free Lance Star on Patricia Lillicotchr who recently returned from Peace Corps service in the Ukraine at:

Fredericksburg woman returns from Ukraine*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Fredericksburg woman returns from Ukraine

Fredericksburg woman returns from Ukraine


Underneath the lush fields and picturesque churches lurks a poverty so severe that women vie to become mail-order brides to aged American men.

This is one of many memories a former Fredericksburg woman brings back with her following her Peace Corps mission to the Ukraine.

Patricia Lillicotch, who recently returned from a two-year assignment to the Ukraine, says because of wars and immigration, women outnumber men by 9 to 1, and therefore rally to become mail-order brides to U.S. men.

"The men come to get women who will cook and clean," she said. "The women say to themselves, 'I need to get out of this country [because of the poverty] and the only way to do that is to get married to an American.'

"And the women are very smart about it. They make themselves beautiful. They have nothing at home, but they have made-up faces and beautiful clothes," Lillicotch said.

Lillicotch, who attended elementary school in Stafford County and later worked for a cable company in Fredericksburg, taught in the Ukraine in 2001 through 2003.

She worked with university students eager to transform the Ukrainian economy from communism into one of free markets.

Lillicotch learned to respect the Ukrainians--their work ethic and their will to survive.

"The best thing about the experience was the people," Lillicotch said. "They don't have anything, but somehow they make do."

Lillicotch taught conversational English and everything and anything about American culture.

She worked in the industrial city of Kremenchug, which has 250,000 people.

"I didn't know where the Peace Corps was going to send me, and I didn't have any expectations," she said. "I just wanted to help people."

Lillicotch received a bachelor's degree in marketing from Bellevue University in Nebraska. She was working for Warren Cooper Cable in Fredericksburg when she joined the Peace Corps.

She had intended to teach business when they sent her to the Ukraine. But they needed her to teach English.

In a country with one of the richest soils in the world, residents face the task of creating a transportation system to turn these goods into cash. That's why they are working so hard to learn more commonly used languages, such as English, so they can attract international companies, Lillicotch said.

In the Ukraine, residents speak either Ukrainian or Russian. So Lillicotch had to learn some Russian to survive.

"I'm still learning it," she said. "I did learn enough to buy groceries and get around my town."

She said she was happy to help Ukrainians learn English and dispel many of the misconceptions about the United States spawned by TV shows like "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Melrose Place."

Ukrainians were surprised to learn all Americans were not rich nor were they thin.

Being away from home, though exciting, was also difficult. "I did feel very isolated and I suffered from depression," she said.

But she met some "good friends" there, too, including three she still e-mails.

Lillicotch doesn't know about her future, except that she plans to earn a master's degree.

Sara Johnston, a Peace Corps spokeswoman in Washington, said Lillicotch is actually just one of many Fredericksburg residents who have served in the Peace Corps.

"The Peace Corps is alive and well in the Fredericksburg area," she said.

Roughly 60 people from the area have served the corps and six now volunteer in Latin American, Africa and Asia.

"We are a group of people trying to make a difference overseas," Johnston said.

The Peace Corps was established in 1961 and now has 165,000 volunteers serving in 135 countries. In fiscal 2002, it had a $275 million budget. But that's likely to change.

"It's growing," Johnston said. "[President] Bush wants to double its size."

Peace Corp volunteers, though not paid, are provided a living stipend, insurance and about $7,000 when they complete the service.

Date published: 6/18/2003

Click on a link below for more stories on PCOL

Main Sections
PCOL Magazine
Breaking News
One World
Peace Corps Library

Directory Sign Up

Volunteer Directories
RPCVs by State
RPCVs by Interest
Recent Headlines
A PCV reports on Mauritania coup attempt 15 June
Sargent Shriver: A Champion of Life 14 June
Peace Corps Bill passes House Committee 12 June
Bridgeland discusses "Volunteers for Prosperity" 9 June
Proposed Bill expands Americorps 5 June
PC announces Franklin H. Williams Awards 4 June
Peace Corps welcomed back to Botswana 2 June
Peace Corps did not close program in China 29 May
RPCVs fight deportation of former Somali ally 28 May
Volunteer finds Uzbekistan safe during war 27 May
Thomas Tighe honored at Hobart and Smith 27 May
Portland RPCV builds Multi-cultural Art Center 26 May
Special Sections
Bulletin Board
Local RPCV Groups
Lost RPCVs
Master Index
Return to COS
Safety of PCVs
Speaking Out
The Third Goal
US Peace Corps
USA Freedom Corps
PCOL Magazine - June 2003 Issue
Protest at the Peace Corps
Returned Volunteers honor Jack Vaughn
Alcohol Abuse a big issue for PCVs in Central Asia
Peace Corps to add 1,000 AIDS/HIV volunteers
Op-ed: The Future of the Peace Corps
Marine Sergeant says PC is "truly hardcore"

Recent Feature Stories
Bill Moyers talks about America’s Future
RPCV is wheelchair basketball champion
Watch Director Vasquez on web tv
Presidential Candidate calls for 25,000 Volunteers
Shays says aid organizations curtailed in Iraq
Op-ed: US has obligations in Iraq says RPCV

Special Reports
Exclusive: How RPCVs organized anti-war Ad
Improvements needed in Volunteer Support
From Russia with Love
Health Concerns: The Controversy over Lariam
GAO Reports on PCV Safety and Security
The Digital Freedom Initiative
PC/Washington: Senior Staff Appointments at PC HQ
PC Expansion: The Numbers Game?
Op-ed: Why Peace Corps needs Shriver's 4th Goal
When should PC return to Afghanistan?
RPCV Spy dies in Moscow
Op-ed: The Case for Peace Corps Independence
Preservation of an Independent Peace Corps

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ukraine



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.