February 21, 2004 - Democrat and Chronicle: Peace Corps member J.R. Hil to teach in Nepal

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Nepal: Peace Corps Nepal : The Peace Corps in Nepal: February 21, 2004 - Democrat and Chronicle: Peace Corps member J.R. Hil to teach in Nepal

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Peace Corps member J.R. Hil to teach in Nepal

Peace Corps member J.R. Hil to teach in Nepal

Peace Corps member to teach in Nepal

By Maeleeke J. Lavan
Staff Writer

(February 21, 2004) — ONTARIO — When he arrives in Nepal next week, J.R. Hill will be rich.

But that’s by Nepalese standards. Receiving a stipend of $108 a month (American), Hill would be considered wealthy in that mountainous Asian nation where the average annual salary is about 18,750 rupees, or $250.

But Hill isn’t going to Nepal to live a wealthy lifestyle. He’s going to use his teaching skills to help improve the lives of Nepalese children. The Ontario, Wayne County, resident will be teaching them English for two years through the Peace Corps. He leaves today.

“I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than work there,” said Hill, 22, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Canisius College in December.. “I didn’t get to study abroad in college and I really regretted that. I want to be able to see a part of the world I haven’t seen before.”

Though he’ll be teaching English, one of Hill’s biggest challenges will be learning to speak Nepalese — not to mention learning the culture, customs and traditions of a foreign country.

“It’s going to be 180 degrees different from the life I’ve known,” he said. “I’ll learn fast, but it’ll be quite the experience.”

For the first three months, Hill will be in training with about two dozen other Peace Corps members. They’ll learn about the Nepalese and exactly what they, as Americans, will be doing there.

Since 1961, the Peace Corps has enabled volunteers to travel to and live in developing countries, completing a variety of tasks including educating, building and providing awareness to residents of other countries around the world.

Even though the Hill family plans to visit J.R. in Nepal, it still isn’t easy to see him go. J.R. is the oldest of three children.

“Now we don’t see J.R. a lot,” said his mother, Lisa Hill. “But at least I know I can pick up the phone and call him. … Now I’m not going to have the ability to do that.”

Traveling halfway around the world is quite a bit different from traveling to Cradle Beach Camp in Angola, Erie County, to work as a camp counselor with AmeriCorps. But J.R. said that experience was so worthwhile that joining the Peace Corps was a natural progression.

John Hill, J.R.’s father, said the time apart won’t be easy, but will help take him back to the way most people used to communicate — writing letters.

“I’m excited because it’s a really good opportunity,” said J.R.’s sister Leah, 15. “I know he wants to help people.”

J.R. said he’s worried about wanting to remain in Nepal. After two years of adjusting to a new place, he said, he may go through culture shock all over again when he returns.

“I’m missing out on two years,” he said. “People change. Whatever happens to me over there I have control over.”


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Story Source: Democrat and Chronicle

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



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