Smithsonian RPCV Data Collection Resumes
By Jonathan Pearson on Monday, October 1st, 2012
(A Find the 250K Update): After a summer recess, we are back in the offices of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, sifting through thousands of message board cards left behind at the 2011 Folklife Festival, in an effort to connect up with members of the Peace Corps community.
Our thanks to National Peace Corps Association Board member (and Group Leaders Forum Coordinator) Kate Schachter (of the RPCVs of Wisconsin-Madison) who donated her time last Friday in support of this labor intensive project. She was joined by NPCA interns Zahara Nakibuule-McCoy and Nicole Bustamante. Together, they deciphered and worked through nearly 300 message cards, although hundreds of cards remain to be reviewed.
Not only do many of the message cards offer basic information that assists in our goal to find every returned volunteer and staff, many help tell the story of the Peace Corps.
Darak Erwin posted a card in honor of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) Ellen Olsen, who served in Micronesia between 2002 and 2005. ”You’re the best teacher I ever had. Thanks to the Peace Corps.”
Similar sentiments for Namibia volunteer Anna Noguchi were left by her mom, Laura: “Morokeni! We love you, we miss you, we are so proud of you!”
The transformational nature of the Peace Corps experience was noted by Mali RPCV Vanessa Adams: ”Mali kaw, A kine! Nothing like Peace Corps to change life, career, vision, home…still in West Africa 9 years later.”
Meanwhile, the message left behind by Albert “Aliber” Lewis (Mali 71-73), goes to the heart of the purpose of our Find the 250K campaign: ”Would like news of Roma Guy, Jim Sloben, John K., Adrienne Zepnick, Tom, any of the others.”
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