|By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 10:15 am: Edit Post|
U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer Teachers, Kenya, 1983
U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer Teachers, Kenya, 1983
U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer Teachers
Welcome (which I guess is redundant) to home page of the Peace Corps volunteer teachers stationed in Kenya beginning in 1983. To find out more about individual 1983 Kenya volunteers, check below.
On 26 September 1983 approximately 70 wide-eyed volunteers gathered in Chicago to begin the training for our 2 year commitment to the US Peace Corps¹ secondary education sector in Kenya, East Africa. We were recruited from all corners of America and most with degrees in some sort of science, math, or English ... possibly the occasional philosophy major!?!? From Chicago we were bused to Mt. Carroll, Illinois ... a small town in the middle of cornfields about 3 hours from the city. Our staging and subsequent six weeks of training was held at Campbell Center on the campus of a defunct college (the name escapes me) in Mt. Carroll. Staging the first five, psychologically tiring days of the training ended on 30 September and after that we got down to the business of learning how to be teachers and how to BE in Kenya ... cross-cultural training.
We spent about 6 weeks there in Mt. Carroll learning, growing together ... and having way too much fun. The extra-curricular activities included music, ultimate frisbee, trips to the nearest bar (again, folks ... what was the name of that place!!?!?), a trip to the Mississippi River (Palisades Park), hackey sac, and an ice cream social in our honor in the town¹s center! We were student teachers in the local schools and many of the group have kept in touch with the students and families they met then.
On 7 November 1983 we were on our way to Nairobi, Kenya ... all of us (now about 65 volunteers) on board a Pan Am plane traveling the grueling route from NYC to Nairobi via Dakar, Monrovia, and Lagos in West Africa. Allison and her comrades kept us all entertained with flipcharts and music. Sara H. slept the entire way ... we are all still mystified by that feat. Upon our arrival in Nairobi we were sent off to the old Grosvener Hotel where we remained for about a week of meetings and training. After that it was off to site visits with established volunteers for another week.
The remainder of our training (from 19 November until approximately 1 January 1984) was spent divided into two groups: Lugari and Iten. The folks in Lugari (farmers training site near Turbo, west of Eldoret) were going to community supported Harambee schools and the folks in Iten (a boys school north of Eldoret) were going to be teachers in government schools. During our training we learned Swahili ... about 5 to 6 hours a day (or so it seemed!!), Kenyan cultural issues, and more teaching skills. The two groups stayed close with back and forth visits between Lugari and Iten as well as weekend rendezvous¹ in Eldoret, poolside at the Sirikwa!!
After our swearing in at the Jacaranda Hotel (now the Landmark Hotel) in the Westlands area of Nairobi on or around New Years¹ Eve 1983 we all dispersed to our new homes for the next 2 (or 3) years. We went to every corner of Kenya, living in lush green hills to stark tan deserts!! The folks who went to the coast believe they were the lucky ones ... Chops had the sea and beach practically at his doorstep and hosted us all for seaside parties. We taught in secondary schools, did secondary projects for the schools or community such as obtaining funding for and constructing labs, dorms, libraries, and classrooms ... teaching and building energy saving technologies (mudstoves, jikos, solar, etc) in the community ... leading wildlife clubs and projects .bringing water tanks to our schools and communities ... and much, much more.
Now we are all 15 years older and pursuing life, education, family, careers in all corners of America and the world. We are now teachers, professors, health care professionals, businesspeople, actors and film makers, parents, lawyers, and writers to name a few of our roles. Our group remains connected via reunions and solid friendships formed during the first few days and weeks of our Peace Corps training.
Peace Corps is one of the most enlightening and meaningful experiences you can ever have ... and recommended by all (well, most) of us to those of you who visit this website. Though some in our group (Eve!!) called it the "toughest camping trip you'll ever love" it really is, as Peace Corps says, the toughest job you'll ever love!!!
Peace Corps in service training at Turtle Bay, Kenya.
Not Shown: (or not identified!)
Greg Bailey, David Boosalis, Renee Bressette, Chops Chaviano, Andy Christensen, Guy Consolmagno, Bob Creed, Bob Eakle, Mike Ernst, Steve Frye, Joanta Green, Suzanne Joy, Steve Klatte, Ben Lauer, Eric Maslen, Bob Mudge, Lisa Sorrentino, Adam Stanford, Heidi Streetman, Natalie Sutkowski, Bob Titus, Joel Walukas, Nora Wilcox, Ed Wilson
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|By Emily Walukas (adsl-221-28-155.rmo.bellsouth.net - 188.8.131.52) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 4:52 pm: Edit Post|
I am Emily Walukas. My father, Joel Walukas, has told me so many stories of Kenya and the beautiful things there. One of the stories was when he was teaching. One of his students thought he could do more push ups than my dad. Joel told the student that how ever many push ups the student did, he would double it. The student did 30 or so. My dad did 83. The student never bothered him again. I really like that story and I never get tired of heard it or any other stories about Kenya. When I get older I would really enjoy being in the Peace Core just like my dad.