February 12, 2004 - Peace Corps: Jayne and William Runyan serve in Suriname

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Suriname: Peace Corps Suriname: The Peace Corps in Suriname: February 12, 2004 - Peace Corps: Jayne and William Runyan serve in Suriname

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-42-145.balt.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 5:59 pm: Edit Post

Jayne and William Runyan serve in Suriname

Jayne and William Runyan serve in Suriname

Jayne and William Runyan
Suriname 2001 – present
Rural Community Education
Hometown: Easton, Maryland

Jayne and William Runyan
After early retirement and between semesters of continuing education, Jayne and William Runyan felt is was a good window of opportunity to do something unique. Feeling like they had something to offer, the Runyans decided to join the Peace Corps. In June 2001, the couple arrived in Suriname, South America, and were assigned to teach in two secondary schools in the Commewijne district to develop computer resources and improve water supply for the schools - good placement matches for a computer science major and a civil engineer.

Two years later, there was a new computer center at each school and more than 40 teachers and 300 students were introduced to computer technology. Water system technical evaluations and improvements were completed for one of the schools and a nearby boarding house for disadvantaged students. None of this would have happened without a lot of hard work and dedication by the people locally responsible for the facilities. Jayne and William extended their service into a third year, not only to see their projects to fruition, but also because they “really like Suriname.”

“It is a beautiful little country, and the people and food are absolutely terrific. At this point, we are a part of our neighborhood, just as we would hope to be if we had moved in America to a new, strange place. Yes, the people, culture and language – Dutch -- are decidedly not American, but we’ve concluded that there are many more similarities than differences. Most people in Suriname try the best they can, everyday, to live a decent life, make a living and take care of homes and children. And that is pretty much the bottom line anywhere in the world. We’ve had our share of difficulties and hardships, though nothing insurmountable, and being married has helped us in uncountable ways. We also think being older and maybe a little more life seasoned has been a big plus. Overall, our Peace Corps experience has been irreversible, one we would never retract if given the chance and one we will learn from for the rest of our lives. “

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Story Source: Peace Corps

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



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