2007.08.15: August 15, 2007: Headlines: COS - Belize: New Brunswick Home News Tribune: Eric Saltzman serves as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Belize: Peace Corps Belize : Peace Corps Belize: Newest Stories: 2007.08.15: August 15, 2007: Headlines: COS - Belize: New Brunswick Home News Tribune: Eric Saltzman serves as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-135-11-10.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 10:10 am: Edit Post

Eric Saltzman serves as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize

Eric Saltzman serves as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize

"I am currently living in a Kriol-speaking village called Lucky Strike, which is made up of about 300 people. I am training here for six weeks with four other Peace Corps trainees. I have been here about three weeks now. I work six days a week, planning programs for the children of Lucky Strike and implementing them, and learning the Kriol language four hours daily. The programs we conduct are Reading Buddies, arts, computers and 4-H, a recreational and community service club, and we work with a youth group in Belize City."

Eric Saltzman serves as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize

Peace Corps volunteer eager to learn the language, culture

Home News Tribune Online 08/15/07


Caption: Peace Corps volunteer Eric Saltzman stands between his host mother and host sister in Armenia, Belize. Photo: Eric Saltzman

For the first 2 1/2 weeks, my training group and I were staying in a Spanish-speaking village called Armenia. It is of a moderate size, made up of about 1,000 people. I lived with one other volunteer in a small shack in back of my host family's home. I had a host mother, a 17-year-old host sister, a 3-year-old host sister, and a 20-year-old host brother.

The conditions were pretty modest: latrines and bucket showers. Nonetheless, we had electricity, refrigeration, and access to some of the products of home. Six days a week, I traveled by public bus to the Peace Corps office in the capital, Belmopan.

My Spanish was getting real good because my host mother, Joaquina, only speaks Spanish, but alas, the Peace Corps decided I was to learn the dying, yet surviving language of Belizean Kriol. It is a hilarious language for someone that has never spoken it to learn, which originated in slave times in the Caribbean. The slaves spoke in many different tongues and dialects and, in order to have a common language that the slave owners could not understand, the slaves created Kriol; hence, it is based on English and West African languages. Much of the language sounds like what Americans may think Jamaican sounds like, but with a slightly different accent and rhythm. But the grammar is quite different, and because it has other influences — Spanish and West African languages — there are many words that do not resemble English at all.

The Kriol people are very fun-loving, and they joke about sex using innuendo often. They are very much into their own proverbs, and they have a saying for just about everything. One easy one is: Haad eyaaz pickiney goh maakit too tyeemz. Translation: A child who doesn't listen goes to the market twice. This obviously is used when a child isn't listening to what someone has said to him or her. Some fun words in Kriol that I like are shitninz (diarrhea), bad (good), wicked (good), you dah gel (roughly, you're cool), and any word with a "th" — such as "thing" — which gets changed to "ting."

Around three weeks ago, my training group was all broken up around the country for the six weeks that remained of training. The bulk of training is known as community-based training, meaning that it all takes place with us being immersed into a community. This is opposed to the first 2 1/2 weeks when I lived in Armenia, but took part in center-based training, which took place at the Peace Corps office daily.

I am currently living in a Kriol-speaking village called Lucky Strike, which is made up of about 300 people. I am training here for six weeks with four other Peace Corps trainees. I have been here about three weeks now. I work six days a week, planning programs for the children of Lucky Strike and implementing them, and learning the Kriol language four hours daily. The programs we conduct are Reading Buddies, arts, computers and 4-H, a recreational and community service club, and we work with a youth group in Belize City.

My living conditions have changed dramatically, and — as you will soon find out — do not reflect a normal host family situation, nor home in general, in Belize. The house I moved into in Lucky Strike for community-based training for the next six weeks is, frankly, ridiculous. The other places in this town are what you'd expect in a Third World country, but mine is, well, quite different. I have my own very large room with a bed, hammock, and private bath with hot showers. The house has a wraparound porch around its enormous body and is on about 20 acres of land, which my host father tends to keep himself busy, more or less.

They're really into organic food, so all of the livestock and crops are tended accordingly. All of the food and drinks we consume, such as pineapple, mangoes, melon, eggs, chickens, rice, corn, and cucumbers are from the farm. It's mango season, and Belize has a ton of variety of mangoes. In my house, it's pretty much all-you-can-eat mango, avocado and fresh eggs.

I kind of feel bad about the absurdity of the house, but I, of course, am loving it too. Two of the other four trainees in Lucky Strike with me do not even have a flush toilet, to give you an idea of the separation of wealth in this village of only 300.

I have a younger host brother and sister, ages 4 and 9, respectively; I'm the oldest of three just like at home. My host sister is away a lot, but I've gotten to know Will, my host brother quite a bit. He was adopted about a year ago. He is quite loving, but he will talk your ear off about nothing at all for as long as you let him.

My host parents are both very knowledgeable on the Belize human condition, Belizean politics and history. My host mother here was formerly the financial secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Belize, as well as a doctor of economics. She has a great attitude about life and her laugh is infectious. I have gained quite a perspective already on the problems facing Belize from the passionate discussions that my host father and I often partake in. He claims to be a solitary man, and I agree; he doesn't like to speak in front of audiences — which is a shame — but he is a philosophical man who sees merit in the discussion and analyzing of anything.

Many of our conversations, or his lectures to me, are relating to his frustration regarding the Kriol post-colonial mindset, the resulting economic and social situation for these people, and the intellectual vacuum created in Belize by the prevalence of Belizean migration to the States. Because I am here to improve Belize, this information is invaluable to me; his thoughts give me an insight into Belize that I could only comprehend through the experience of someone who is able to see into the intricacies and nuances of this land.

Of course, I will not be working in the political realm; in fact, I am instructed to remove myself from it as much as is possible. A look into the Kriol way of thinking, however, allows me to think about my approaches in interacting with the youth, equipped with a new perspective, one I could never learn from reading a book or attending a Peace Corps training workshop.

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: August, 2007; Peace Corps Belize; Directory of Belize RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Belize RPCVs

When this story was posted in September 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
Senator Dodd's Peace Corps Hearings Date: July 25 2007 No: 1178 Senator Dodd's Peace Corps Hearings
Read PCOL's executive summary of Senator Chris Dodd's hearings on July 25 on the Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act and why Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter does not believe the bill would contribute to an improved Peace Corps while four other RPCV witnesses do. Highlights of the hearings included Dodd's questioning of Tschetter on political meetings at Peace Corps Headquarters and the Inspector General's testimony on the re-opening of the Walter Poirier III investigation.

Peace Corps News Peace Corps Library Peace corps History RPCV Directory Sign Up

Paul Theroux: Peace Corps Writer Date: August 15 2007 No: 1185 Paul Theroux: Peace Corps Writer
Paul Theroux began by writing about the life he knew in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His first first three novels are set in Africa and two of his later novels recast his Peace Corps tour as fiction. Read about how Theroux involved himself with rebel politicians, was expelled from Malawi, and how the Peace Corps tried to ruin him financially in John Coyne's analysis and appreciation of one of the greatest American writers of his generation (who also happens to be an RPCV).

August 4, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: August 5 2007 No: 1182 August 4, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Peace Corps reopens Guinea Program 19 Jul
China beating US in public diplomacy 4 Aug
Shalala continues fight for wounded soldiers 4 Aug
Sue Hilderbrand's goal is stopping funding for Iraq war 3 Aug
Matthew Barison went from Uzbekistan to Romania 2 Aug
Peter Chilson writes "Disturbance-Loving Species" 31 Jul
An RPCV remembers Texas Tower Tragedy 29 Jul
Daniel Balluff films documentaries on Niger 28 Jul
Renewing the Bond of Trust with PCVs 27 Jul
Carol Bellamy to chair Fair Labor Foundation 25 Jul
Delay in Julia Campbell trial 24 Jul
PCV Brian writes: Secondary Projects - First Priority 23 Jul
Dodd says no easy election for Democrats in 2008 22 Jul
John Smart writes: Bush's palace in Iraq 20 Jul
Bill Moyers eulogizes Lady Bird Johnson 15 Jul
Social Justice ranks high on Dan Weinberg’s agenda 15 Jul
PCV Tait writes: Good-bye to my village 14 Jul
Amy Smith organizes Development Design Summit 13 Jul
Cameron Quinn to head PC Third Goal Office 11 Jul
Josh Yardley brought Red Sox to Burkina Faso 11 Jul
James Rupert writes: Islamabad's Red Mosque 11 Jul
Sarah Chayes writes: NATO didn't lose Afghanistan 10 Jul

Dodd issues call for National Service Date: June 26 2007 No: 1164 Dodd issues call for National Service
Standing on the steps of the Nashua City Hall where JFK kicked off his campaign in 1960, Presidential Candidate Chris Dodd issued a call for National Service. "Like thousands of others, I heard President Kennedy's words and a short time later joined the Peace Corps." Dodd said his goal is to see 40 million people volunteering in some form or another by 2020. "We have an appetite for service. We like to be asked to roll up our sleeves and make a contribution," he said. "We haven't been asked in a long time."

July 9, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: July 10 2007 No: 1172 July 9, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
O'Hanlon says "soft partition" occurring in Iraq 9 Jul
Eric R. Green writes on coming oil crisis 8 Jul
Why Dodd joined the Peace Corps 5 Jul
Jim Doyle positioned for third term 5 Jul
Michael Adlerstein to direct UN Master Plan 3 Jul
Shalala says Veterans report will be solution driven 1 Jul
Blackwill says: No process will make up for stupidity 30 Jun
Allan Reed creates a Diaspora Skills Transfer Program 29 Jun
State Dept apology ends hold on Green nomination 28 Jun
Call for stories to celebrate PC 50th Anniversary 25 Jun
Michael Shereikis is singer and guitarist for Chopteeth 25 Jun
Christopher R. Hill Visits North Korea 22 Jun
Tschetter at JFK Bust Unveiling Ceremony 21 Jun
Kiribati too risky for PCVs 17 Jun
James Rupert writes: US calls for free Pakistani elections 17 Jun
Colin Cowherd says PCVs are losers 7 Jun
Tony Hall Warns of Food Shortages in North Korea 7 Jun
Youth Theatre performs Spencer Smith's "Voices from Chernobyl" 7 Jun
Ifugao names forest park after Julia Campbell 6 Jun
Anissa Paulsen assembles "The Many Colors of Islam" 5 Jun
Obituary for Nepal RPCV Loret Miller Ruppe 2 Jun
Forty PCVS to arrive in Ethiopia 2 Jun

Public diplomacy rests on sound public policy Date: June 10 2007 No: 1153 Public diplomacy rests on sound public policy
When President Kennedy spoke of "a long twilight struggle," and challenged the country to "ask not," he signaled that the Cold War was the challenge and framework defining US foreign policy. The current challenge is not a struggle against a totalitarian foe. It is not a battle against an enemy called "Islamofascism." From these false assumptions flow false choices, including the false choice between law enforcement and war. Instead, law enforcement and military force both must be essential instruments, along with diplomacy, including public diplomacy. But public diplomacy rests on policy, and to begin with, the policy must be sound. Read more.

Ambassador revokes clearance for PC Director Date: June 27 2007 No: 1166 Ambassador revokes clearance for PC Director
A post made on PCOL from volunteers in Tanzania alleges that Ambassador Retzer has acted improperly in revoking the country clearance of Country Director Christine Djondo. A statement from Peace Corps' Press Office says that the Peace Corps strongly disagrees with the ambassador’s decision. On June 8 the White House announced that Retzer is being replaced as Ambassador. Latest: Senator Dodd has placed a hold on Mark Green's nomination to be Ambassador to Tanzania.

June 1, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: June 1 2007 No: 1141 June 1, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Returned Volunteers and Staff honor Warren Wiggins 15 May
Tom Seligman curates "Art of Being Tuareg" 26 May
PCV Marilyn Foss dies in China 25 May
Poet Susan Rich writes: The Women of Kismayo 22 May
Christopher Hill considers visit to North Korea 18 May
Peter Hessler talks about time in Fuling as PCV 18 May
Murder charges filed in death of PCV Julia Campbell 17 May
David Pitts claims JFK offered PC to Lem Billings 16 May
Niki Tsongas announces candidacy for Congress 16 May
James Rupert writes: Pakistanis talk of Musharraf's departure 16 May
Chris Matthews writes: Jerry Falwell's Political Legacy 15 May
Ron Tschetter visits volunteers in Botswana 14 May
Which assignment to take? Africa, Europe, or Central Asia 14 May
Willy Volk writes: New way to keep mosquitoes at bay 14 May
Jim Walsh takes special interest in Nepal 13 May
NPCA offers podcasts of social entrepreneurs 10 May
Gaddi Vasquez showcases food aid work in Central America 10 May
Donna Tabor dreamed up Cafe Chavalos 8 May
Tom Bissell writing book about Jesus' 13 Apostles 8 May
Jody Olsen praises PCV blogging 7 May
PC responds to missing volunteers in 2001 and 2007 2 May

Peace Corps Funnies Date: May 25 2007 No: 1135 Peace Corps Funnies
A PCV writing home? Our editor hard at work? Take a look at our Peace Corps Funnies and Peace Corps Cartoons and see why Peace Corps Volunteers say that sometimes a touch of levity can be one of the best ways of dealing with frustrations in the field. Read what RPCVs say about the lighter side of life in the Peace Corps and see why irreverent observations can often contain more than a grain of truth. We'll supply the photos. You supply the captions.

PCOL serves half million Date: May 1 2007 No: 1120 PCOL serves half million
PCOL's readership for April exceeded 525,000 visitors - a 50% increase over last year. This year also saw the advent of a new web site: Peace Corps News that together with the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps serve 17,000 RPCVs, Staff, and Friends of the Peace Corps every day. Thanks for making PCOL your source of news for the Peace Corps community. Read more.

Suspect confesses in murder of PCV Date: April 27 2007 No: 1109 Suspect confesses in murder of PCV
Search parties in the Philippines discovered the body of Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell near Barangay Batad, Banaue town on April 17. Director Tschetter expressed his sorrow at learning the news. “Julia was a proud member of the Peace Corps family, and she contributed greatly to the lives of Filipino citizens in Donsol, Sorsogon, where she served,” he said. Latest: Suspect Juan Duntugan admits to killing Campbell. Leave your thoughts and condolences .

Warren Wiggins: Architect of the Peace Corps Date: April 15 2007 No: 1095 Warren Wiggins: Architect of the Peace Corps
Warren Wiggins, who died at 84 on April 13, became one of the architects of the Peace Corps in 1961 when his paper, "A Towering Task," landed in the lap of Sargent Shriver, just as Shriver was trying to figure out how to turn the Peace Corps into a working federal department. Shriver was electrified by the treatise, which urged the agency to act boldly. Read Mr. Wiggins' obituary and biography, take an opportunity to read the original document that shaped the Peace Corps' mission, and read John Coyne's special issue commemorating "A Towering Task."

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.

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.

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: New Brunswick Home News Tribune

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Belize


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.