Sunday, May 9, 2010


The MNRPCV stands for the "Minnesota Returned Peace Corps Volunteers" organization, a support group for Peace Corps Volunteers, which also is engaged in local community service projects. I joined at the suggestion of some other RPCVs (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers), received their mailer listing social events, to which Mary and I went to one at the Guayaquil Ecuadorian Restaurant. RPCVs were urged to practice their Spanish, but it seemed the only person speaking Spanish was the waitress who spoke no English. The main draw for me was that the restaurant served goat and a chance to learn about the readjustment process.

At our end of the table sat most of the RPCVs from the 1960s era. I asked a soon to retire math professor from Carleton College in Northfield, MN who served in Tanzania, how long it took him to readjust. He said eight years, but he was thinking of joining again. On the other side sat a couple, both about to retire. Her husband served in Paraguay after college. She was gung-ho to enlist as a couple. Her husband being somewhat relieved when Mary and I described our experience as a trying time for any couple and how physically demanding living in a different culture can be. Across from me sat a woman in her 30's, who had served as a teacher in Bulgaria and who said she had no trouble readjusting. Later she revealed that she returned to her Bulgarian host family every other year.

So much for answering my questions about readjustment. I don't think you ever do.

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