May 25, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Humor: RPCV Local Groups: Beacon News: Linda Seyler spent two years in Thailand digging latrines. At least, that's how the Montgomery woman explains her Peace Corps experience to Americans who seem interested. "People ask how it was, and all they want to hear is 'fine,'" she said. "They want to hear one sentence."

Peace Corps Online: State: Illinois: February 8, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Illinois : May 25, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Humor: RPCV Local Groups: Beacon News: Linda Seyler spent two years in Thailand digging latrines. At least, that's how the Montgomery woman explains her Peace Corps experience to Americans who seem interested. "People ask how it was, and all they want to hear is 'fine,'" she said. "They want to hear one sentence."

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-245-37.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.245.37) on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 1:35 pm: Edit Post

Linda Seyler spent two years in Thailand digging latrines. At least, that's how the Montgomery woman explains her Peace Corps experience to Americans who seem interested. "People ask how it was, and all they want to hear is 'fine,'" she said. "They want to hear one sentence."

Linda Seyler spent two years in Thailand digging latrines. At least, that's how the Montgomery woman explains her Peace Corps experience to Americans who seem interested. People ask how it was, and all they want to hear is 'fine,' she said. They want to hear one sentence.

Linda Seyler spent two years in Thailand digging latrines. At least, that's how the Montgomery woman explains her Peace Corps experience to Americans who seem interested. "People ask how it was, and all they want to hear is 'fine,'" she said. "They want to hear one sentence."

Peace Corps veterans find home for their stories
Filling a need: Volunteers say they have found a place to share experiences

By Angela Fornelli
Beacon News
Aurora, Ill.
May 25, 2005

Caption: Digging pit latrines - far from glamorous! The woman in the photo is *not* Linda Seyler. Photo: Global Vision International

AURORA - Linda Seyler spent two years in Thailand digging latrines.

At least, that's how the Montgomery woman explains her Peace Corps experience to Americans who seem interested.

"People ask how it was, and all they want to hear is 'fine,'" she said. "They want to hear one sentence."

But Seyler has a lot more to say, and she recently finally found people who want to listen. This year, nearly 10 years after returning from Thailand, Seyler began participating in a local group of returned Peace Corps volunteers who meet every few months to talk, volunteer and raise money for a current Peace Corps project.

"It was the first time I was able to talk to someone about what it's like to come back home," she said, "and about what it was like to be in a strange place for two years on your own."

The group, the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Northeastern Illinois, met last weekend in a home on Aurora's far East Side to socialize and auction items from around the world, including a bone necklace from Tibet, a scarf made in India and drink coasters from Africa.

The roughly $400 they raised will go to a Peace Corps volunteer from the Chicago suburbs to aid the funding of his or her project overseas, said Rick Barbieri, president of the group, which has about 250 members from DuPage, Kane and DeKalb counties.

Many of the nearly 20 returned volunteers who gathered served in the same countries at different times; three of the volunteers met during their service in Jamaica in the mid-1970s and have kept in touch.

Even if they didn't serve together, these returned volunteers have a lot in common.

"Even though we were in different parts of the world, we all know what it's like to live in a fish bowl - where everyone knows you're different, and everyone's looking at you," said Dave Gorman, of Downers Grove. He said he finds it refreshing to talk to others who have a global perspective on life.

While many people join the Peace Corps after graduating college, more and more are seeking the opportunity later in life.

After spending many years as a teacher at Edna Smith Child Development Center in Aurora, Helen Haugsnes decided to join the Peace Corps at age 68. The Naperville woman traveled to Paraguay, where she started early childhood education through training teachers and creating educational videotapes about good teaching practices.

She now creates staff training videos for the DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville.

Gorman, who worked as a development engineer in South Africa in the early 1990s, said the group tries to "bring the world home" by educating children at local schools about the Peace Corps.

"The more we talk about the Peace Corps to children, the more we can get children to grow up into adults that care about the world ... and not be so isolated to the U.S.," he said.

If there's one thing these returned volunteers all have taken from their experience, it's a "can-do" attitude, said Jan Mortensen, who hosted the party in her Aurora home.

"Once you've done the Peace Corps and gone half way around the world and thrown yourself into another culture," Gorman said, "you don't have to be afraid of much anymore."





When this story was posted in May 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

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

May 7, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: May 7 2005 No: 583 May 7, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
"Peace Corps Online" on recess until May 21 7 May
Carol Bellamy taking the reins at World Learning 7 May
Gopal Khanna appointed White House CFO 7 May
Clare Bastable named Conservationist of the Year 7 May
Director Gaddi Vasquez visits PCVs in Bulgaria 5 May
Abe Pena sets up scholarship fund 5 May
Peace Corps closes recruiting sites 4 May
Hill pessimistic over Korean nuclear program 4 May
Leslie Hawke says PC should split into two organizations 4 May
Peace Corps helps students find themselves 3 May
Kevin Griffith's Tsunami Assistance Project collects 50k 3 May
Tim Wright studied Quechua at UCLA 2 May
Doyle not worried about competition 2 May
Dodd discusses President's Social Security plan 1 May
Randy Mager works in Blue Moon Safaris 1 May
PCVs safe in Togo after disputed elections 30 Apr
Michael Sells teaches Islamic History and Literature 28 Apr

May 7, 2005:  Special Events Date: May 7 2005 No: 582 May 7, 2005: Special Events
"Iowa in Ghana" on exhibit in Waterloo through June 30
"American Taboo" author Phil Weiss in Maryland on June 18
Leland Foerster opens photo exhibition at Cal State
RPCV Writers scholarship in Baltimore - deadline June 1
Gary Edwards' music performed in Idaho on May 24
RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.


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Story Source: Beacon News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; Humor; RPCV Local Groups

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