January 21, 2005: Headlines: COS - Guatemala: COS - El Salvador: The Post: Brian Straight served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala and El Salvador

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Guatemala: Peace Corps Guatemala: The Peace Corps in Guatemala: January 21, 2005: Headlines: COS - Guatemala: COS - El Salvador: The Post: Brian Straight served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala and El Salvador

By admin (pool-141-157-13-244.balt.east.verizon.net - on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 10:08 pm: Edit Post

Brian Straight served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala and El Salvador

Brian Straight served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala and El Salvador

Brian Straight served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala and El Salvador

Stories of foreign travel entertain, educate: Life abroad prepares grad student for job with the DEA

by Erin McCarty
For The Post

Caption: Brian Straight, a graduate student and assistant resident director in the Sargent-Wilson complex, shares his experiences from his childhood in Asia, his stint in the Peace Corps and a run-in with Chinese soldiers. Jake Mecklenborg / Photo Editor

The Virgin Islands, China and El Salvador are only a few of the countries where Brian Straight has lived. His numerous travels have supplied him with a plethora of stories.

Currently assistant resident director of the Sargent-Wilson complex, Straight regales his Residence Life friends with his tales.

"We invite him along for the stories," said Beth Henke, the resident director of Pickering Hall.

Henke said Straight's stories move beyond entertainment and inspire her to more closely consider problems in Latin America and around the world.

As a military child, Straight spent his youth moving around the globe. His first experience in another country came when he was seven and his father, a U.S. Marine, was stationed at Misawa Air Base in Japan. After a two-year residency, the family was re-stationed in South Korea.

Straight said one of the best lessons he learned from his childhood was adaptability -"You make friends really fast."

Eventually, Straight's family moved to Quantico, Va., where he joined Witch Hunt, a heavy metal band, at age 15. Convinced he was going to make it in the music business, he planned to attend the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., but only until the band made a big hit. But by the age of 21, he felt a need for a change and left the band.

In 1999, he graduated from the university with a degree in Spanish and joined the Peace Corps. In order to prepare for his two-year residency in Guatemala he spent three months in Antigua, Guatemala, with a non-profit organization. Since the Guatemalan War had just ended two years before, his mission was to find homes for orphaned children or reunite them with their parents.

During his stay in Guatemala, Straight visited a city in El Salvador, which was a five-hour bus ride away. With no idea where he was going to stay the night, he happened to meet a woman on the street who invited him to stay with her family.

"The whole country would take his or her shirt off for you if they thought it would make you happy," Straight said.

Because he enjoyed his experience in El Salvador, Straight feverishly lobbied to be placed in there for his two-year stint with the Peace Corps. His fervor was rewarded when he was stationed in the small town of Jocoaitique, El Salvador.

For two years, he worked to improve the conditions of the town and taught health and sanitation at the local schools. He held lectures for single mothers about the importance of using contraceptives and seeing a gynecologist. He also addressed the issue of domestic violence.

The subject of domestic violence has to be approached cautiously because violence is a typical El Salvadorian method to solve issues, Straight said.

He learned many career and language skills. He can understand and speak every accent in Latin America. Through his interaction with the leaders of the town, many who were former guerillas, he became adept at politicking.

"I got a lot more from my community than they got from me," Straight said.

After the Peace Corps, Straight went to Wuhan, China, for six months to teach English. Aside from his horrible teaching experience because of conflicts with management, Straight said his stay in China was exhilarating, especially an unusual encounter with the authorities.

While setting off fireworks, Straight and his friends accidentally caused one to explode near a Chinese military post. Immediately soldiers with AK-47s surrounded them. It took repeated apologies, but the night ended with the soldiers taking Straight and his friends out to drink.

Straight taught Spanish at a private school in Frederiksted, Virgin Islands, for a year before returning to the United States in 2003, when he began graduate school at Ohio University in Latin American studies.

After graduate school, Straight plans to work for the government.

"I'm pretty sure I'm going to be hired by the D.E.A. [Drug Enforcement Administration], but I still have some more steps to do," Straight said.

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

January 15, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 15 2005 No: 375 January 15, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Bellamy finishing term - Veneman to head Unicef 15 Jan
230 RPCVs volunteer for Crisis Corps 14 Jan
Peace Corps Fund needs silent auction items 12 Jan
Matt Gould in one-man Peace Corps show in Hollywood 12 Jan
Taylor Hackford's "Ray" Nominated for Golden Globe 12 Jan
Ambassador Johnson shares memories of Thailand 11 Jan
Senator Dodd suggests PC return to Venezuela 11 Jan
Ambassador Hull wants PC to return to Sierra Leone 11 Jan
Poiriers unhappy with PC investigation of missing son 10 Jan
Emile Hons reflects on the Deborah Gardner murder case 10 Jan
Judge Paul A. Bastine criticized for stalling Divorce 6 Jan
Volunteer Patricia D. Scatoloni dies in Macedonia 4 Jan
more top stories...

Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.
RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

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Story Source: The Post

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Guatemala; COS - El Salvador



By German Paulo (190-49-78-79.speedy.com.ar - on Sunday, June 04, 2006 - 6:36 pm: Edit Post

Hello, my name is German Paulo from Argentina.
I met Brian Straight (the long haired Brian) in Quantico High School back in the year 1993. We became good friends with him and his brother Ben and I was one of the first supporters of Whitch Hunt. I actually have their demo tape!
It was awesome to see him after so long in this site. I'd appreciate it if you send me his e-mail address I would love to contact him. Thanks
Architect German G. Paulo

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