December 27, 2003 - Jonesboro Sun: Daniel Marlay returned home Tuesday after spending two years in the South American country of Suriname as a volunteer with the Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Suriname: Peace Corps Suriname: The Peace Corps in Suriname: December 27, 2003 - Jonesboro Sun: Daniel Marlay returned home Tuesday after spending two years in the South American country of Suriname as a volunteer with the Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-232-99.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.232.99) on Monday, December 29, 2003 - 1:28 pm: Edit Post

Daniel Marlay returned home Tuesday after spending two years in the South American country of Suriname as a volunteer with the Peace Corps



Daniel Marlay returned home Tuesday after spending two years in the South American country of Suriname as a volunteer with the Peace Corps

Road to service runs through Suriname

By LeAnn Askins

A love of volunteering and the desire to help others led one Jonesboro resident on the experience of a lifetime.

Daniel Marlay returned home Tuesday after spending two years in the South American country of Suriname as a volunteer with the Peace Corps.

Marlay said when he was in college he was active in volunteer work, and he knew that after graduation he wanted to be involved in helping others.

Marlay said the Peace Corps offered him the perfect opportunity to do just that and at the same time visit another country and experience a different culture.

"I looked at the Peace Corps and decided this would be a good program for me."

After applying and being accepted into the program, Marlay left for Suriname in June 2001, just three weeks after graduating from Trinity University in San Antonio.

Marlay isn't the first in his family to be involved with the Peace Corps.

"My parents were both Peace Corps volunteers also," he said. "My parents had been in the Peace Corps and had had a good experience with it," he said of considering the option.

Marlay said, however, that ultimately the decision to join did not involve his parents, but his desire to help others. Suzanne and Ross Marlay served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines from 1967-1969.

"Going into another country that is different from your own is going to have a big impact on you," Marlay said. "It's life-changing to be a part of another culture."

While in Suriname, he lived in Moengo and worked at two middle schools. Marlay spoke with students in English to help them practice their English skills and helped in renovating the schools, he said.

He said school hours were from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., with the school and most of the town shutting down from 1-4 p.m. because the sun was so incredibly hot that it was almost impossible to accomplish anything during that time span. Usually residents take a long lunch and then a nap, he said. Activities resume after 4 p.m.

Suriname is located in northern South America. Formerly known as Dutch Guiana, the nation gained its independence from The Netherlands in 1975.

In addition to working with students, Marlay also was involved in numerous cultural activities, including attending a carnival. He said it was nice to do interesting things, meet interesting people and be in interesting situations.

"(As) part of being an American in the Peace Corps, you have to roll with the punches," he said.

Marlay said it was beneficial being a part of the program and that everyone in Suriname with whom he came in contact was grateful for the help of Peace Corps volunteers.

Although he is now back in the United States, Marlay said he plans to remain linked with the people he met in Suriname and that several volunteers who also served in the country have started a Friends of Suriname organization.

"I would like to see about finding funds (for the schools)," Marlay said. "I do intend to go back to Suriname eventually. I would like to go back and visit my old friends there.

"These two years have been an incredible experience," he said, adding that he would advise anyone interested in helping others to join. "You can see the world," he said.

Marlay, a philosophy major, is now looking for a job and has applied for work in both the regional and national Peace Corps offices. He said his main goal is to find a job in the humanitarian field and attend graduate school.

Marlay would like to continue his involvement in the Peace Corps, and even if he's not working for the Peace Corps, he will always be a part of it, he said.
Copyright © 2003, Jonesboro Sun




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Story Source: Jonesboro Sun

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

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