September 23, 2004: Headlines: COS - Ukraine: Springfield News Leader: Seth Jaeger will leave the Ozarks Sunday with his guitar strapped to his back, his laptop under his arm and one suitcase in tow and head for the Ukraine to serve in the Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ukraine: Peace Corps Ukraine : The Peace Corps in the Ukraine: September 23, 2004: Headlines: COS - Ukraine: Springfield News Leader: Seth Jaeger will leave the Ozarks Sunday with his guitar strapped to his back, his laptop under his arm and one suitcase in tow and head for the Ukraine to serve in the Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) (151.196.185.151) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 3:33 pm: Edit Post

Seth Jaeger will leave the Ozarks Sunday with his guitar strapped to his back, his laptop under his arm and one suitcase in tow and head for the Ukraine to serve in the Peace Corps

Seth Jaeger will leave the Ozarks Sunday with his guitar strapped to his back, his laptop under his arm and one suitcase in tow and head for the Ukraine to serve in the Peace Corps

Seth Jaeger will leave the Ozarks Sunday with his guitar strapped to his back, his laptop under his arm and one suitcase in tow and head for the Ukraine to serve in the Peace Corps

One suitcase, and a desire to teach
Peace Corps veterans give SMS grad a sendoff to Ukraine.

Ellen Gardiner, who served in Poland in the Peace Corps during the mid-1990s, talks with Seth Jaeger on Tuesday evening.

Caption: Ellen Gardiner, who served in Poland in the Peace Corps during the mid-1990s, talks with Seth Jaeger on Tuesday evening. Christina Dicken / News-Leader.

By Steve Koehler
News-Leader Staff

Seth Jaeger will leave the Ozarks Sunday with his guitar strapped to his back, his laptop under his arm and one suitcase in tow.

He's not heading off for vacation or college. The 23-year-old will embark on a 27-month tour of duty as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Jaeger, who grew up in Ozark and graduated from Southwest Missouri State University in May with a teaching degree specializing in history, will teach English in a rural western province of Ukraine.

"This is a good opportunity for me. It will give me a chance to learn from them as well as them learning from me. I can help myself practicing the craft of teaching while teaching them English and some history," he said.

Jaeger got an unofficial sendoff Tuesday night at the home of Ken Rutherford, professor of international studies at SMS, where more than 30 former Peace Corps workers gathered to talk about their time as volunteers and to offer Jaeger some advice.

"I want to rub elbows with the people and hear their stories of what it's like," Jaeger said.

Ellen Gardiner of Springfield, who worked in Poland from 1994 to 1996, recalled what the experience did for her.

"Living in an Eastern European country made me appreciate my freedoms. Women in Poland and other Eastern European countries were very traditional. They were very much like women in the 1940s and '50s here. They never saw anyone like me. I had to bite my tongue a few times," she said.

Jaeger and Gardiner agreed that it's important that Peace Corps workers remember they are guests and to follow the traditions and cultural habits of the country.

Jamie Diatta, a recruiting officer from the Peace Corps' Chicago office who attended Tuesday's gathering, said the popularity of the Peace Corps started in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy is rising as students pick it as an alternative to military service. Enrollment is up 19 percent over last year, she said.

"It's a way to improve our image abroad. We help people with development of their standard of living while also teaching them aspects of the American spirit," said Diatta, who spent two years in Senegal.

"I personally gained more than I gave. It was a wonderful education experience."

Laura and Warren Valenti of Lebanon went to El Salvador in 1973. They returned with a daughter, Francesca, now 28, who was born in El Salvador. They later adopted a son, Ricardo, now 26, from El Salvador.

They also adopted two other Hispanic children from Kansas City Lisa, 27, and Emmanuel, 25.

While in El Salvador, the Warrens found themselves in the midst of that country's civil war, but Laura Warren said she felt safe.

"It was wonderful in the village. The people took care of us. They were very protective," she said.

Jaeger's father and stepmother are confident their son will be safe in Ukraine.

"Safety was one of my concerns," said Shirley Jaeger. "But they said they wouldn't put him in harm's way."

Jim Jaeger said he will miss his son.

"He told us a year ago that he was going through the process to be picked but he didn't know where ... About one and half months ago he told us he was going to the Ukraine," he said.

"We're very excited for him."

Seth Jaeger said he was only taking his guitar, laptop and one suitcase of clothes for the 27 months. Diatta said Jaeger will be paid whatever the local economy pays for teachers (In Senegal it was $200 a month) but everything else (housing, food, health care) is provided for free.

"The money they get is basically spending money," she said.

Rutherford, who served in Africa from 1987 to 1989, said the Peace Corps is one of the country's best "non-violent diplomatic tools."

He said Africans were hungry to learn and talk about America.

Rutherford learned the native language and was stunned to hear what the topic of discussion was among a group of Africans when they all took a taxi together.

"They didn't know I spoke the language but they were all talking about how Jesse Jackson had won the Michigan primary," Rutherford recalled.

"Imagine, American politics being discussed in an African taxi cab."





When this story was posted in October 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention
Governor Schwarzenegger praised the Peace Corps at the Republican National Convention: "We're the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children." Schwarzenegger has previously acknowledged his debt to his father-in-law, Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, for teaching him "the joy of public service" and Arnold is encouraging volunteerism by creating California Service Corps and tapping his wife, Maria Shriver, to lead it. Leave your comments and who can come up with the best Current Events Funny?
 Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and can you come up with a Political Funny?


Read the stories and leave your comments.






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: Springfield News Leader

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

PCOL13973
30

.


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.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: