October 20, 2000 - Nepal News: The peace corp volunteers remember their 40-year-long experiences in Nepal

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Nepal: Peace Corps Nepal : The Peace Corps in Nepal: October 20, 2000 - Nepal News: The peace corp volunteers remember their 40-year-long experiences in Nepal

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 10:20 am: Edit Post

The peace corp volunteers remember their 40-year-long experiences in Nepal

The peace corp volunteers remember their 40-year-long experiences in Nepal

Down The Memory Lane

The peace corp volunteers remember their 40-year-long experiences in Nepal


When Glenda Warren arrived in Kathmandu as a peace corp volunteer from the United States of America in 1962, she had to wait a couple of weeks to fly here. The country's only airfield - Tribhuwan International Airport - was so small and rural.

She recalled how army used second world war Fords and Wills lorries and some old cars roamed the Kathmandu city.

Thirty-seven-years later when Glenda arrived here on her second trip to Nepal last month through a jet aircraft, she could not recognize the place.

The change in Kathmandu and its surroundings was unimaginable for Glenda who remembered the valley as a primitive city with limited electricity and handful of schools and colleges.

"The airport building is so big and there are so many people and so many buildings in the valley. The plane we came in is so big now. Earlier we flew here in a prop plane with less than 20 people," recalled Glenda.

Glenda had worked in Minbhawan teaching home science to the officials who were working at the village development committees. She had come here in September, 1962 and had left Nepal on May, 1964. "Before coming to Nepal, I did not even know the name of this country but after serving two years in Nepal I developed great affection for this country". This time Glenda came here with her mother.

"When I was selected for Nepal, my program manager said that Nepal borders China to the north and India to the South. Afterwards, whoever came to ask me about Nepal, I always told them of the beauty of the mountains and honesty of the people here."

When the first batch of the peace corps volunteers arrived in Nepal, the country was too backward in terms of infrastructures like roads, hospitals and education.

Most of the volunteers had to walk for days to go outside the country. Rolf Goetze, another peace corp volunteer who served in Pokhara to build the Prithivi Narayan Campus, found it hard to recognize Pokhara this time -- " it is too big now".

"When we started to build the college building and playing ground at the river bank of Seti, people were so happy and every one came to help us," said Goetez whose wife, another peace corp volunteer, Julie Goetze taught science at Amrit Science College.

Almost forty years ago, they had come to Nepal when there was no road linking Kathmandu with the outside world. It used to take them nearly a week of walking, flying and riding a lorry from Bhainse to reach Kathmandu.

A group of former peace corps volunteers who served from 1962 to 1964 gathered in Kathmandu last week as a part of reunion program. Altogether 63 volunteers took part in the reunion. The first country director of peace corps and the peace corps volunteers were also present.

The nostalgia of the flavor of Boris restaurant and Royal Hotel, which are now part of the history, haunted the minds of the most of the participants at the reunion.

The peace corps volunteer program was started in 1961 by US President John F. Kennedy and the first batch of peace corps volunteers arrived in Nepal in early 1962. Some even came to Nepal after they got married.

Some dedicated their whole life to Nepal and others went back to the United States to serve in different profession. Many of the peace corps volunteers came back after four decades.

Most of the volunteers served in Kathmandu and some served in Pokhara where there were no hotels at that time

The contribution of peace corps volunteers in laying the foundations of development in Nepal including the most basic areas like education and health will never be forgotten.

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.

Story Source: Nepal News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Nepal; Return to our Country of Service - Nepal



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.