March 1, 2003: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Third Goal: PC Day: North County Times : RPCV Fred Marinello remembers a mission of Peace in the Philippines

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Philippines: Peace Corps Philippines: The Peace Corps in the Philippines: March 1, 2003: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Third Goal: PC Day: North County Times : RPCV Fred Marinello remembers a mission of Peace in the Philippines

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RPCV Fred Marinello remembers a mission of Peace in the Philippines

RPCV Fred Marinello remembers a mission of Peace in the Philippines

Remembering a mission of peace
Candice Reed
For the North County Times

CARMEL VALLEY --- President Kennedy had just created the Peace Corps when Fred Marinello joined as a volunteer and found himself in the middle of the Philippines jungle without even the basic necessities. x25 Ad

Don Boomer/Staff Photographer
Grapevine Elementary School teacher Terry Armstrong asks which students would like to ask a question of a Peace Corps worker who were on the phone calling from China on Friday morning.

"It was 1963 and the Peace Corps was brand-new," he told a group of Torrey Pines students Friday. "Think five degrees worse than living in Tijuana."

Marinello, an art teacher at the high school, and two of his colleagues at the school fondly shared their personal experiences with the students as, across the country, thousands of other former volunteers who have served in more than 100 countries did the same. The talks were in celebration of National Peace Corps Day.

In the four decades since Kennedy first asked Americans to help in other countries, more than 165,000 people have volunteered to teach English, work in business development, the environment, agriculture, health and community development, technology, and programs in HIV/AIDS. Marinello had such a life-changing experience that he stayed for three years instead of the usual two.

"I guess I joined because at the time the world was changing so much," he said. "The way of the beatnik changed to hippies and yippies. I loved the hell out of being in the Peace Corps."

The art teacher not only helped build homes but he was part of the process of planning a new university and learned different methods of ethnic art.

"The training was inadequate in those days but that was what was great about it," he said. "We were pragmatic about it. If you were an idealist you didn't last. The poverty and the ignorance in these countries was like no place on the earth."

As Marinello spoke, the students hung on his words, trying to visualize living in a setting without MTV or microwaves.

"Some of the things I'm hearing are pretty crazy," said Rouzbeh Parvin, 15, of Del Mar. "But I think I would like to travel and help people. It would be interesting to learn about other cultures."

Social science teacher Peter Evans mesmerized the students with his stories of teaching days in Somalia ---- a country that has been racked with turmoil.

"Things were a lot different when I was there in the '60s," Evans said. "When I was in the Peace Corps, I learned a lot about the culture and about myself."

Students wanted to hear about living conditions, pay, different cultures, how to join and most important, why would you give up television and cars for two years.

"A lot of people join for different reasons," said Lori Killpatrick, a Torrey Pines math teacher who served in the African country of Benin from 1993 to 1995. "I wanted to teach, to travel and to give back to the community. I managed to do all three."

Killpatrick found herself in Africa teaching math in French ---- a language she hardly knew.

"I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning," she said as she showed a video of her temporary home in Africa. "But it worked out great in the end. I would say I satisfied all of my goals."

For the students, Peace Corps Day may have changed a few lives and Marinello suspects a few of the students who listened to the teachers speak about their experiences may sign up for their own adventures a few years down the road.

"I've had a lot of students join the Peace Corps and they've always come back to tell me about it," he said. "Everyone's experience is different. As for me, I'd do it again in a heartbeat."

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

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Story Source: North County Times

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Philippines; Third Goal; PC Day



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