2006.11.22: November 22, 2006: Headlines: COS - Romania: Native American Issues: Native Times: To some who knew her as an Oglala Sioux Tribe member and American Indian advocate, Lorna Babby's decision to serve in the Peace Corps in Romania seemed almost like abandonment

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Romania: Peace Corps Romania : The Peace Corps in Romania: 2006.11.22: November 22, 2006: Headlines: COS - Romania: Native American Issues: Native Times: To some who knew her as an Oglala Sioux Tribe member and American Indian advocate, Lorna Babby's decision to serve in the Peace Corps in Romania seemed almost like abandonment

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-135-11-239.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 70.135.11.239) on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 12:25 pm: Edit Post

To some who knew her as an Oglala Sioux Tribe member and American Indian advocate, Lorna Babby's decision to serve in the Peace Corps in Romania seemed almost like abandonment

To some who knew her as an Oglala Sioux Tribe member and American Indian advocate, Lorna Babby's decision to serve in the Peace Corps in Romania seemed almost like abandonment

For the time being, Babby is finding it challenging to share her American Indian culture with a new community. "Most people initially think I'm Italian," she said, but then they are fascinated to learn more about the history of her people. The task of educating the Romanians is sometimes daunting when they believe that everything Babby does is characteristic of American Indians. She is observed like a museum exhibit, and her daily routine becomes a reflection of her Indian upbringing that neglects all American influence. Since itís part of her day, those who meet Babby "assume that all American Indians like to run and eat a lot of vegetables." Without avoiding her culture, Babby teaches her community that Americans (minorities included) are integrated and embrace cultural factions. By living two years among her Romanian community in Vatra Dornei, she has incorporated herself in the way of life and customs of the people she meets.

To some who knew her as an Oglala Sioux Tribe member and American Indian advocate, Lorna Babby's decision to serve in the Peace Corps in Romania seemed almost like abandonment

American Indian Strives to Promote Peace in Romania
In recognition of American Indian Heritage Month, this is the latest feature on a Volunteer making a difference


11/22/2006

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 20, 2006 Ė Lorna Babby cautioned others who share her background: "Be prepared to be asked why you are volunteering overseas when so much work remains to be done on reservations." To some who knew her as an Oglala Sioux Tribe member and American Indian advocate, her decision to join the Peace Corps seemed almost like abandonment. For ten years, Babby, 41, practiced American Indian affairs law to aid causes on her home soil. "I needed a break," said the Yale Law School graduate, "an opportunity to put things in my life back into perspective."

Traveling to the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, Babby found that perspective. She works for the newly established National Park known for its unique geological features and carnivorous dwellers, including bears and wolves. Like her tireless efforts for her tribe, Babby tries to improve the economy of the local communities surrounding the park.

Babby's efforts as a Peace Corps Volunteer mirror her life's goals. She is building a multi-purpose trail that will navigate the wild mountains and, hopefully, bring tourists to boost the economy. In turn, she is creating a trail of her own and making a connector from her previous life to her new one, in which she will have the Peace Corps experience as a backbone for future challenges.

For the time being, Babby is finding it challenging to share her American Indian culture with a new community. "Most people initially think I'm Italian," she said, but then they are fascinated to learn more about the history of her people.

The task of educating the Romanians is sometimes daunting when they believe that everything Babby does is characteristic of American Indians. She is observed like a museum exhibit, and her daily routine becomes a reflection of her Indian upbringing that neglects all American influence. Since itís part of her day, those who meet Babby "assume that all American Indians like to run and eat a lot of vegetables."

Without avoiding her culture, Babby teaches her community that Americans (minorities included) are integrated and embrace cultural factions. By living two years among her Romanian community in Vatra Dornei, she has incorporated herself in the way of life and customs of the people she meets.

Babby's most memorable experiences revolve around public transportation. She describes the hot, crowded trains as gathering places to share food and stories. "Many people board the train with enough provisions to last a week, which they invariably share with everyone in their compartment," she said. Homemade plum brandy and fresh bread are in abundance, as well as the generosity, which is "a way of life in Romania."

That generosity is reflected in Babby's work as an environmental management and education Volunteer. To engage the teenagers, to whom she teaches environmental issues, she plays Jeopardy with them, "which the kids love," she said. And in her tireless efforts to promote the national park, Babby helps out with park visitors from English and German speaking countries or spends days clearing the trail so others can enjoy it to the fullest.

She is so effective in part because she can relate to Romanians, whose problems with economic development and other social issues arising from poverty often mimic those in her own reservation community. Her status as an American Indian Volunteer can bridge the gap between cultures that exist thousands of miles apart.

"I think it is extremely important for the Peace Corps to reflect our multicultural society," Babby said. She encourages other minorities to volunteer for the opportunity to gain relevant work experience and skills, if not just for the chance to go through a life-changing experience. She is also keen to note that Peace Corps offers "student loan-related advantages as well."

So, what about all those nay-sayers who question Babby's decision to join Peace Corps? "The answer I give," she said, "is that the experience, knowledge, confidence, and perspective I am gaining as a Peace Corps Volunteer will make me a more effective Indian advocate when I return home."

In 1991, Volunteers began addressing Romania's expressed concern over the lack of English language instructors and business educators, who are needed to teach local youth the skills they need to succeed in a changing work environment. Since then, government has also requested Volunteers provide guidance to the newly emerging social and environmental non-governmental organizations. Over 750 Peace Corps Volunteers have worked in the areas of small business and micro-enterprise development, secondary education, social work, NGO development, and environmental management and education. Currently, 136 Volunteers serve in Romania. To learn more about Romania, please visit the Where Do Volunteers Go? section.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 45-year legacy of service at home and abroad, and a 30-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 182,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 138 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: November, 2006; Peace Corps Romania; Directory of Romania RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Romania RPCVs; Native American Issues





When this story was posted in February 2007, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Subscribe to Peace Corps News Date: January 14 2007 No: 1059 Subscribe to Peace Corps News
Don't miss our new web site, Peace Corps News, for the latest news about the Returned Volunteer community and what is going on with the Peace Corps around the world. Subscribe to our news feed to get Peace Corps news delivered to your desk as it happens. Then visit the Peace Corps Library, History of the Peace Corps, the worldwide RPCV Directory or leave a message for the RPCV community on the RPCV Bulletin Board.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

February 23, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: February 24 2007 No: 1070 February 23, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Hill announces Draft Accord in North Korea Nuclear Talks 12 Feb
Dodd builds connections in New Hampshire 19 Feb
PCVs accused of counterinsurgency activities 19 Feb
Harris Wofford declares support for Obama 18 Feb
Tschetter becomes the first Director to visit Malawi 16 Feb
New Fellows Program at Yale University 15 Feb
Sidney Slover helps start donut production in Honduras 16 Feb
Kevin O'Donnell's Daughter and Granddaughter are PCVs 14 Feb
Joe Krueger helps restore Liberia's timber industry 14 Feb
Peace Corps Hippies 13 Feb
Maryland RPCVs to screen "American Idealist" on March 3 9 Feb
Aaron Kase writes: Moon over Africa 8 Feb
Margaret Krome writes: 'Rogue nations' aren't only threat 8 Feb
Shays says he would Support McCain 8 Feb
A Mistrial for Lieut. Watada 8 Feb
Chris Matthews drops the F-bomb 8 Feb
RPCVs - Believe it or not 07 Feb
White House requests $334 Million for Peace Corps 5 Feb
Carol Bellamy writes: We need an Earth Corps 3 Feb
First Group of PCVs arrive in Cambodia 2 Feb
Mae Jemison wears red for charity 2 Feb
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts 30 Jan

February 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: February 2 2007 No: 1063 February 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Peace Corps Volunteers in Guinea Are Safe in Mali 28 Jan
Lee Wilbur writes: Muslim media images are shocking 31 Jan
Gregory Acker plays African drums for 3rd Goal 31 Jan
"Jimi Sir" now available for free internet viewing 30 Jan
Is Civilian Reserve just another Bush throwaway line? 30 Jan
Tony Hall writes: What North Korea really wants 30 Jan
Paul Tsongas remembered on 10th anniversary 28 Jan
Ben Bell attends Washington march against Iraq war 27 Jan
First Peace Corps Volunteers to Serve in Cambodia 26 Jan
Phil Hardberger sees 'golden years' ahead for San Antonio 26 Jan
Doyle wants smoking ban in Wisconsin 24 Jan
Mark Udall to run for Colorado Senate Seat 17 Jan
Meredith Walsh works with Burmese refugees 16 Jan
Tschetter spends MLK Day with Habitat for Humanity 15 Jan
Robert Buckley founds Himalayan Healers 14 Jan
James Rupert writes: An aging king in Thailand 14 Jan
Michael O'Hanlon writes: A Skeptic's Case For the Surge 14 Jan
Senator Dodd opposes Iraq surge 11 Jan
Pat Waak celebrates 2008 Democratic Convention 11 Jan
Al Kamen writes: The six rules for Congressional Junkets 10 Jan
Bill Moyers slams Bush on global warming 10 Jan
Psychological biases favor conflict rather than concession 1 Jan

The Peace Corps Library Date: July 11 2006 No: 923 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory or leave a message on our Bulletin Board. New: Sign up to receive our free Monthly Magazine by email, research the History of the Peace Corps, or sign up for a daily news summary of Peace Corps stories. FAQ: Visit our FAQ for more information about PCOL.

Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps Date: September 23 2006 No: 996 Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps
Senator Chris Dodd (RPCV Dominican Republic) spoke at the ceremony for this year's Shriver Award and elaborated on issues he raised at Ron Tschetter's hearings. Dodd plans to introduce legislation that may include: setting aside a portion of Peace Corps' budget as seed money for demonstration projects and third goal activities (after adjusting the annual budget upward to accommodate the added expense), more volunteer input into Peace Corps operations, removing medical, healthcare and tax impediments that discourage older volunteers, providing more transparency in the medical screening and appeals process, a more comprehensive health safety net for recently-returned volunteers, and authorizing volunteers to accept, under certain circumstances, private donations to support their development projects. He plans to circulate draft legislation for review to members of the Peace Corps community and welcomes RPCV comments.

He served with honor Date: September 12 2006 No: 983 He served with honor
One year ago, Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya) carried on an ongoing dialog on this website on the military and the peace corps and his role as a member of a Civil Affairs Team in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have just received a report that Sargeant Paul has been killed by a car bomb in Kabul. Words cannot express our feeling of loss for this tremendous injury to the entire RPCV community. Most of us didn't know him personally but we knew him from his words. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. He was one of ours and he served with honor.

Meet Ron Tschetter - Our Next Director Date: September 6 2006 No: 978 Meet Ron Tschetter - Our Next Director
Read our story about Ron Tschetter's confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that was carried on C-Span. It was very different from the Vasquez hearings in 2001, very cut and dried with low attendance by the public. Among the highlights, Tschetter intends to make recruitment of baby boomers a priority, there are 20 countries under consideration for future programs, Senator Dodd intends to re-introduce his third goal Peace Corps legislation this session, Tschetter is a great admirer of Senator Coleman's quest for accountability, Dodd thinks management at PC may not put volunteers first, Dodd wants Tschetter to look into problems in medical selection, and Tschetter is not a blogger and knows little about the internet or guidelines for volunteer blogs. Read our recap of the hearings as well as Senator Coleman's statement and Tschetter's statement.

Peace Corps' Screening and Medical Clearance Date: August 19 2006 No: 964 Peace Corps' Screening and Medical Clearance
The purpose of Peace Corps' screening and medical clearance process is to ensure safe accommodation for applicants and minimize undue risk exposure for volunteers to allow PCVS to complete their service without compromising their entry health status. To further these goals, PCOL has obtained a copy of the Peace Corps Screening Guidelines Manual through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and has posted it in the "Peace Corps Library." Applicants and Medical Professionals (especially those who have already served as volunteers) are urged to review the guidelines and leave their comments and suggestions. Then read the story of one RPCV's journey through medical screening and his suggestions for changes to the process.

The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again Date: July 31 2006 No: 947 The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again
The LA Times says that "the Peace Corps is booming again and "It's hard to know exactly what's behind the resurgence." PCOL Comment: Since the founding of the Peace Corps 45 years ago, Americans have answered Kennedy's call: "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." Over 182,000 have served. Another 200,000 have applied and been unable to serve because of lack of Congressional funding. The Peace Corps has never gone out of fashion. It's Congress that hasn't been keeping pace.

PCOL readership increases 100% Date: April 3 2006 No: 853 PCOL readership increases 100%
Monthly readership on "Peace Corps Online" has increased in the past twelve months to 350,000 visitors - over eleven thousand every day - a 100% increase since this time last year. Thanks again, RPCVs and Friends of the Peace Corps, for making PCOL your source of information for the Peace Corps community. And thanks for supporting the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

History of the Peace Corps Date: March 18 2006 No: 834 History of the Peace Corps
PCOL is proud to announce that Phase One of the "History of the Peace Corps" is now available online. This installment includes over 5,000 pages of primary source documents from the archives of the Peace Corps including every issue of "Peace Corps News," "Peace Corps Times," "Peace Corps Volunteer," "Action Update," and every annual report of the Peace Corps to Congress since 1961. "Ask Not" is an ongoing project. Read how you can help.


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: Native Times

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Romania; Native American Issues

PCOL35237
00


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: