January 3, 2006: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Older Volunteers: MetroWest Daily News: Donald and Diane Crosby are simply not ready to retire, leave Friday for a two-year assignment with the Peace Corps in Thailand

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Peace Corps Thailand: The Peace Corps in Thailand: January 3, 2006: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Older Volunteers: MetroWest Daily News: Donald and Diane Crosby are simply not ready to retire, leave Friday for a two-year assignment with the Peace Corps in Thailand

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Donald and Diane Crosby are simply not ready to retire, leave Friday for a two-year assignment with the Peace Corps in Thailand

Donald and Diane Crosby are simply not ready to retire,  leave Friday for a two-year assignment with the Peace Corps in Thailand

"We feel so lucky to have this opportunity. A lot of people have this dream, but we were able to bring it to fruition," Diane said during a telephone interview yesterday.

Donald and Diane Crosby are simply not ready to retire, leave Friday for a two-year assignment with the Peace Corps in Thailand

Local couple joins the Peace Corps

By Theresa Freeman/ Daily News Staff

Wednesday, January 4, 2006 - Updated: 09:41 AM EST

Hovering around age 65, and with successful careers behind each of them, Donald and Diane Crosby are simply not ready to retire.

The Crosbys leave Friday for a two-year assignment with the Peace Corps in Thailand, far from their Falmouth home, and far from their native MetroWest.

While their specific assignments are still unknown, they know they will be living for the next three months somewhere in or around Bangkok.

"We feel so lucky to have this opportunity. A lot of people have this dream, but we were able to bring it to fruition," Diane said during a telephone interview yesterday.

Donald, 69, and Diane, "over 50, but younger than" her husband, have lived in Bellingham, Ashland and Natick during their 45 years of marriage. They moved to Falmouth in 1995.

Donald, who would rather be the behind-the-scenes member of the couple, said they decided to join because they believe in the idealism of the 1960s -- that Americans should promote their image as peacemakers.

"Today, I think itís just as important," said Donald. "Weíre a peace-loving nation, and if Diane and I can bring some of the skills we have gained, then thatís a blessing."

The Peace Corps, a federal agency, has been sending U.S. citizens overseas since 1961 to "promote world peace and friendship." According to the organizationís Web site, about 8 percent of all volunteers are older than 50.

"I feel young," said Diane. "I have a lot of energy. I know I have a lot to do still."

A Natick native, Diane was a nurse for more than 25 years at Leonard Morse Hospital -- before it became MetroWest Medical Center -- on the "med-surg" surgery recovery floor and with the substance abuse program.

As a Peace Corps community-based organizational development worker, Diane could be working with a child daycare or medical program or in some other way. "A lot is still unknown right now," she said.

Donald, who grew up in Framingham, previously taught at Dover-Sherborn Regional Middle School. His Peace Corps assignment will be as a teacher collaborator and community facilitator helping Thai instructors make learning more student-centered and less by rote.

Both might also need to draw on their business experience while in the Peace Corps. The Crosbys ran The Village Green Inn bed and breakfast in Falmouth for nine years, before selling the business two years ago.

"I just hope I can live up to their expectations. Iím going to give it my all," said Diane. "I feel like itís such an opportunity for me to grow."

The couple will also go through a cultural shift. They must learn to speak Thai, and possibly live without hot water. Warmer temperatures, lush food and a predominantly Buddhist population await them.

"Itís a wonderful way to travel and to do good at the same time," said Diane.

In early 2004, during a plane trip back from Costa Rica, the couple spoke with a man who had worked with the Peace Corps in Haiti. Soon after, while visiting a Catholic church in Florida, the priestís sermon inspired them to do something more with their lives.

"Then we didnít know what we wanted to do, but we knew we wanted to do something," said Diane.

After a lengthy application process -- including written essays, interviews and medical exams -- they were accepted by the Peace Corps.

The Crosbys fly to San Francisco on Friday to receive their inoculations and to meet up with the 60 other Peace Corps volunteers in their group. Then it is off to Bangkok for three months of training before receiving their final assignments.

Theyíve been spending much time bidding farewell to their friends. Diane said she plans to visit the shopkeepers in downtown Falmouth today to say so-long.

"You donít know how many friends you have until you have to leave," said Diane. "Everyone has been supportive and wishing us well."

Friends Jack and Pauline Westcott of Hopkinton visited the Crosbys last weekend.

"Theyíre a little excited and a little nervous," Pauline explained. "Itís a huge undertaking."





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Story Source: MetroWest Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; Older Volunteers

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