Peace Corps Neal by Cliff Maxwell (Nepal/1978-1981).

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Nepal: Peace Corps Nepal : Web Sites for Nepal RPCVs: Peace Corps Neal by Cliff Maxwell (Nepal/1978-1981).

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, July 01, 2001 - 6:58 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Neal by Cliff Maxwell (Nepal/1978-1981).

Peace Corps Neal by Cliff Maxwell (Nepal/1978-1981).

Peace Corps Nepal

In September of 1978 I entered into the most altering experience of my life. I joined the Peace Corps and left to teach math and science in a secondary school in Nepal. My previous world experience was nil. I thought I was going to help a so-called Third World country improve its math and science education in some small way. But it was I who eventually changed and who was the ultimate beneficiary.

After the training period my chosen post was in a small community known as Purchaudi Hat, in Baitadi District of the "far, far western" development region. The room I occupied at the school, my home, was seven days walk from the Indian border to the west and four days from the Tibetan border to the north.

The community was extremely poor by material standards, yet I have not lived in a richer place since then. The seemingly constant array of festivals, fairs and Hindu ceremonies made life a most wonderful thing. The closeness of the people something to be sought after here in the U.S. And without romanticizing a difficult way of life, I came away from Nepal with the firm conviction that it is not there which needs "development" but here in the west. I thank my friends for allowing me to learn this.

And I thank the Peace Corps for giving us the opportunity to grow by these kinds of experiences. Though there were many things about this government bureaucracy which I found dislikable and on some occasions hindering to my teaching progress, if I could I would require all young Americans, fresh out of college, to spend two years in another country as a working member of the community.
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