Peace Corps Parents: Part of the Peace Corps Family
By Jonathan Pearson on Friday, August 27th, 2010
At the National Peace Corps Association we regularly refer to the “Peace Corps community”, so as to include the broad range of Peace Corps supporters – supporters who extend beyond current and returned volunteers and former Peace Corps staff.
Among the nearly 40 attendees at a gathering this week in Woodstock, Illinois were members of a key group that makes up our community: The parents of Peace Corps volunteers.
Ted and Connie Lorenz – from nearby Crystal Lake – are the proud parents of Casimir, who is finishing his second year of service in Ghana and contemplating extending for a third year. “We miss him terribly,” said Ted. “But we are absolutely thrilled to death that he’s doing what he’s
The couple told of their son’s work to help establish a village cooperative to create and market a soap using beeswax. “We’re pretty proud of that,” said Ted. “It’s something that made a difference for his community.”
For Sandy and Phil Woznicki of Woodstock, there are feelings of pride and awe for their daughter Maggie, who began her service back in May. “Everybody we talk to says you ought to be so proud,” said Sandy, demonstrating that Peace Corps parents – by extension – participate in the goal of bringing the world home to fellow Americans.
Their daughter is blogging. Maggie in Armenia began in part from the request of a Chicago-based organization that promotes Armenian culture. Phil said when the group sent their daughter a traditional Armenian purse as a gift for her efforts, the gift was manufactured in a factory where Maggie’s sponsor sister is employed!
As Peace Corps volunteers learn in training, flexibility is often essential to success. Connie Lorenz said that has helped Casimir. “He’s an easy going guy who is able to go with the flow.” Being flexible also can be helpful to Peace Corps parents as their children pursue their dream of serving others overseas. “Be their cheerleader,” was the advice provided by Sandy Woznicki. “Trust in their fortitude. Don’t project your own fears.”
We’ve made the turn, starting to head back east toward Washington, D.C. But there are still lots of stops remaining on our road trip! Following this link to check out the itinerary.