Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Volunteer memories

Last Monday I posted about an e-mail I'd received from a lady who'd been a Peace Corps volunteer at Kimwarer Secondary School in the mid-eighties. That same day, Grant arranged for a driver to take me into the Kimwarer Centre (as the village is known) to show me where this lady had lived. The driver, Sephania, has been in the valley since forever and took me straight to the church, which he says was instrumental in starting the school, and the accommodation, where the volunteers lived. Any Peace Corps volunteers from the eighties who may read this post, please confirm whether this is, in fact,  true!

The Reformed Church East Africa, which Sephania, our company driver, says was instrumental in establishing Kimwarer Secondary School, in the mid-eighties

According to Sephania, this house to the left of the church, was occupied by the clergy at that time...

... and the cottage to the right of the church, was occupied by Peace Corps volunteer teachers. Today these abodes are rented out to the villagers

The Reformed Church East Africa

This building - now a private dwelling - used to be the Post Office in the eighties. It was run by Mama Orgut who has since passed away. Her brother has a general dealer in the next village called Orgut Shop

The school, established in 1983,  is situated across the river from the centre, so Sephania and I drove there. Note the letters R.C.E.A under the school badge

The approach road to the school

Sephania, the company driver, poses in front of the school gate

The school offices which are the same as they were in the eighties. The principal invited us in and we enjoyed tea and cakes in his office. He has only been with the school for the past two years but says that the Peace Corps were instrumental in building the girls hostel and the laboratory.  It felt absolutely surreal to sit in the school and think back almost thirty years when the Peace Corps were involved in this institute of learning

Building the laboratory was one of the many successful projects of the Peace Corps in the eighties. The present Headmaster says they are still appreciative of this facility

According to history, this little building was the school tuck shop in the eighties. Confirmation from Peace Corps volunteers will be appreciated

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  1. How interesting, Jo... I have always read alot and known people who were in the Peace Corps... They did so much good back then, didn't they????

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a great trip and step back in time. Sure hope you get some feedback from some of the past volunteers. Does this have anything to do with the school you're working with?

  3. What a fascinating post, Jo! I love a peek into the past and this was made even more interesting by the fact that you've connected with one of the original Peace Corp volunteers after all these years.

    How super, too, that you met the headmaster, had tea and cake and really had a delightfully personal encounter yourself. I so enjoyed ALL of the pictures which made it feel as though I was along for the outing, too! Thank you! :)

  4. Great images Jo - I love photographing old buildings - the pic of he old Post Office is a gem ...

  5. I used to work in a school where the kids would complain that there was no air con - as if it was vital or a basic human right!

    I would have liked to have showned them these pictures!

    Cheers Stewart M

  6. A real life history lesson. great to see the school is still being appreciated. It must make the Peace Corps volunteers feel good.

  7. Wonderful post, Jo! And so good to know that the Peace Corps efforts made such a difference -- it does indeed have to make them feel good! Your photos are marvelous as always! Thanks for sharing this part of your world with us!! Enjoy your week!


  8. What great pics and memories...

  9. Wonderful memories and accomplishments!
    Have a great day Jo.

  10. Hi Jo, great post and photos. I have read references to the Peace Corps at times but never really understood what they were or did?!

  11. Wow ! that's a travel into the past ! How interesting ! I can imagine that you felt surreal !

  12. visiting from My World Tuesday...

    following you...hope you'll follow me back

    here's my entry

  13. Jo, this is fascinating. I'm going to send the link to this post to my youngest son, Tim, and his wife, Jolene. They just returned last July from a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in Niger. They were stationed in a small town called Tibiri, 6 miles north of Maradi.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo