The islanders loved it when we would at least try to do some of their favorite things, like dancing. They were always full of praise and laughter whenever we tried. They were always so very generous in all ways. At first we thought they partied too much and were interrupting work schedules, but in time we learned how foolish we were and how important it is to have a balance of work and play. Play time builds community and without community the work is worthless.
- Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Lee Dilley (Tuvalu, Pacific Islands)
I had wanted to get an Islamic writing board to bring home and show American children what is used in Muslim schools in Sierra Leone to teach Arabic and learn passages from the Qur’an. No one was willing to part with theirs so I bought a new one and found someone who would trade their used one for it. After doing so, the father of the students who used the board, took it home and carefully cleaned off all the writing. Since I had wanted the writing on it, I asked if this was possible and he kindly had his children come and write passages from the Qua’an on it for me.
- Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Christine Musa
The Aymara of the Bolivian Altiplano are often considered to be dour and unsmiling. Nothing further from the truth, as can be seen by Dona Manuela ready to have a try at shearing one of her sheep with hand shears. Instructing people in the local villages to use hand shears instead of a piece of tin can lid was one of my projects in animal management. The concept caught on fairly well.
- Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Larry Stevenson
My teaching was a bit more interactive than the traditional Turkish teachers’. I’d ask students to act out what vocabulary they were learning. Here was a day’s lesson on prepositions. Most of my orta okul (middle school) students were from villages where hearing and speaking another language was as foreign to them as seeing a television (which was not even available in Turkey in 1965).