2007.01.17: January 17, 2007: Headlines: COS - Armenia: The Third Goal: Portland Press Herald: Barbara Eberhardt returned to Maine this fall after three years in Armenia with the Peace Corps to share her experiences with community groups

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Armenia: Peace Corps Armenia : Peace Corps Armenia: Newest Stories: 2007.01.17: January 17, 2007: Headlines: COS - Armenia: The Third Goal: Portland Press Herald: Barbara Eberhardt returned to Maine this fall after three years in Armenia with the Peace Corps to share her experiences with community groups

By Admin1 (admin) (adsl-70-240-139-254.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 70.240.139.254) on Sunday, April 08, 2007 - 11:01 am: Edit Post

Barbara Eberhardt returned to Maine this fall after three years in Armenia with the Peace Corps to share her experiences with community groups

Barbara Eberhardt returned to Maine this fall after three years in Armenia with the Peace Corps to share her experiences with community groups

Eberhardt was assigned to work with 21 English teachers in the southern city of Goris. She worked with a local nonprofit organization, GUM. Her role was to lead student-centered workshops and help teachers create their professional development plan. The organization created the first newspaper for teachers and was the first nonprofit to institute a non-smoking policy, Eberhardt said. "They want to incorporate as many Western ideas and business practices as they could," Eberhardt said. The organization was financed partly through the Ministry of Education. Eberhardt said teachers have limited resources and work in classrooms with broken windows, no heat, and limited school supplies. Eberhardt said she improved the communication between teachers to identify common problems.

Barbara Eberhardt returned to Maine this fall after three years in Armenia with the Peace Corps to share her experiences with community groups

Peace Corps worker helps Armenian teachers ; Barbara Eberhardt works to improve communication and becomes a 'media star.

Jan 17, 2007

Portland Press Herald

Barbara Eberhardt returned to Maine this fall after three years in Armenia with the Peace Corps to share her experiences with community groups.

In Armenia, a republic of about 3 million people in southwest Asia, Eberhardt was assigned to work with 21 English teachers in the southern city of Goris. She worked with a local nonprofit organization, GUM. Her role was to lead student-centered workshops and help teachers create their professional development plan.

The organization created the first newspaper for teachers and was the first nonprofit to institute a non-smoking policy, Eberhardt said.

"They want to incorporate as many Western ideas and business practices as they could," Eberhardt said.

The organization was financed partly through the Ministry of Education. Eberhardt said teachers have limited resources and work in classrooms with broken windows, no heat, and limited school supplies. Eberhardt said she improved the communication between teachers to identify common problems.

Eberhardt said she used dancing to bridge the barriers of two cultures and build relationships. She learned traditional Armenian dancing and taught them how Americans dance.

"It was great. I love to dance," she said. "They had parties for any excuse to get together and dance. As I got to know them, I taught them American dancing - the tango, waltz, jitterbug, and bumps and grinds. At the end of three years, it was a free-for-all. It was quite a liberating experience for all of us."

Eberhardt, who declined to give her age except to say she was over 60 years old, described the country as mountainous. She said the winters were frigid and she had no heat or hot water. For months, she lived on potatoes, chicken and cabbage, she said.

"It's the lifestyle there and I very much became a part of it," Eberhardt said. "They are used to things not working. It's their way of life and I think that had a major effect on me. .... I am still discovering how it changed me. I am much more flexible, laid back, and willing to let go."

After two years, Eberhardt extended her commitment for a year to produce a television series called "What's UP."

The series consists of seven shows designed to teach Armenian students English. Eberhardt also produced a guide for teachers to use in their classrooms.

In the course of production, she had one old camera, no lights, no set, and two VCRs, she said.

" It was a real community project," Eberhardt said. "I see a big difference in the community. When I walk down the street, kids say, 'What's up.' I was a media star there. I was on TV a lot."

Eberhardt returned to Armenia for a week in November for the baptism of her godchild. She may return again to work in their capitol, Yerevan, and help the local television stations prepare for the election in 2008.

To learn how to have Eberhardt address a community group, call 781-9094.

News Assistant Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

mcreamer@pressherald.com




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: January, 2007; Peace Corps Armenia; Directory of Armenia RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Armenia RPCVs; The Third Goal; Maine





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Story Source: Portland Press Herald

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Armenia; The Third Goal

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