Posts tagged culture
Posts tagged culture
Don’t you wish you looked like that on your high school graduation?
PCV visit May 26-29, we saw Ellen in Panggungrejo! :)
Peace Corps Volunteer Greg Plimpton is trying to preserve local culture by helping to protect an ancient burial site near his Peruvian village. Plimpton, known by his community as “Goyo,” has been raising awareness around the importance of the site since July 2012. Now, he is working with fellow Peace Corps Volunteers, the Peruvian government and Stanford University archeologists to orchestrate an archeological dig and build a museum and visitor center adjacent to the site.
If you know me in the slightest bit you know I love working with kids. I’ve been a nanny and a summer camp counselor for most of my life and absolutely love the feeling of getting to act like a child again and be ridiculously silly. For the past month, I’ve been working at an elementary school teaching 3rd and 4th graders English, and will be doing so throughout the rest of my service here in China.
The thing I’m loving the most about teaching these kids, besides getting to do the hokey pokey, sing songs, and do arts and crafts, is that they bring me a sense of familiarity. Here in China it’s hard to find many similarities between home (America) and my now, home away from home (Nan’Shan). But these little kids are the one thing that is similar and it’s refreshing. They love to ask questions, they love to help me with my Chinese, they love to dance and giggle and run around, they’re still so innocent and without a care in the world. Being around them brings me so much joy and I can’t wait to continue working with them, to play with them, and watch them grow.
“After living in El Salvador for more than a year and a half, I have realized there are only so many opportunities to be Jewish in a foreign country.” - Peace Corps Volunteer Kara Zucker
A week of food in Vanuatu, part two
i) pounded roasted breadfruit with cream of coconut
ii) oatmeal and bananas
iii) breakfast cracks for life
iv) boiled crabs
vi) crabs with taro, sweet potato and coconut milk
vii) breadfruit, roasted
viii) laplap - grated taro baked in banana leaves and topped with island cabbage and tin fish
ix) the worst thing i’ve ever eaten in Vanuatu: a heaping plate of rice topped with a stew of chicken flavored noodles, onions, peppers, tin tuna and flying fox (bat)
x) the cucumbers are huge here
Happy First Day of Spring!
“In my small village in Ukraine, The Meeting of Spring is the single largest public celebration held each year around March 1st. Each Street creates a float-type submission and everyone who lives on the street passes through the town before doing a skit on the main stage. In these photos, I’m with my host mother Laryssa and her street neighbors who were dressed as aliens!”
- Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Jessie Park
Peace Corps Ukraine Group 39 arrived in Ukraine and was welcomed with traditional bread, dipped in salt.
- Peace Corps Education Volunteer Jeramie Heflin
A little peek at my site! Click on individual pictures for a larger view :)
“Women here always feel they must do things; they must clean the house, they must cook, they must forgive their husbands.” And so I dove straight into the world of women’s rights, gender roles and healthy relationships here in Kyrgyzstan.
One thing I want to make very clear is that the problems women face here are not unlike things we experience in the United States. Some things, bride kidnapping for instance, are a bit different but the overall themes of domestic violence, sexual assault and discrimination are the same, if maybe just on a slightly different scale.
This was the topic of our most recent Mom’s Club session and while encouraging in some respects, it has also left me feeling numb, confused and unfortunately, a little hopeless.
While it doesn’t upset me as much as it used to, I am still taken aback, frustrated and angry every time I experience the gender inequality first hand here. I have been blatantly ignored by men, especially when I am with a male PCV, and I experience some form of verbal harassment at least every other week. Many people are confused when I tell them I am a business volunteer and not a teacher, calling me “businessman” which is humorous but annoying at the same time.
All of this, however, if nothing compared to what locals experience here. I was quickly brought back to my days of working at DVSAS (Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services) during our session. Our discussion of healthy relationships quickly took off into a debate over what to do in an abusive relationship. Should the woman leave? What would she do if she did? What would her family think? And worst of all: maybe she did something to deserve getting hit.
Domestic violence and sexual assault are topics that are hardly discussed in the United States. Here it is almost unheard of, sexual assault in particular. I have heard of some of the worst cases, which only makes me wonder how much is going on under the surface. The enormity of this situation all over the world feels like an unbearable weight I have no idea how to move.
The only thing I feel I can do at this point is encourage women to talk about it. This is not something to keep quiet, hidden within the household. It needs to be brought out and discussed, so that hopefully, someday things will begin to improve.
The one point of hope at the end of the session was the oldest woman in the group pointing out that “We only feel this way because of how we were raised. If we raise our children to think this is wrong and that they should expect more from their spouses, then things will begin to change.”
This photo was taken in the small village of Ain Chaib, Morocco, just east of Agadir, on my host grandmothers farm. It is early morning and Jdda (grandma) is sitting on a grain bag, sifting through argan nuts as she pours them into a hand operated grinder made of stone. I return to the U.S. in two weeks and she is making Argan Oil for me to take back to my family in America. She wants me to remember her and the two years we spent together on her farm. She is the only grandmother I’ve ever known.
- Peace Corps Business Development Volunteer Leslie Mansour