peace corps times
Post on 13-Apr-2017
Embed Size (px)
It ain't over til it's overOptimism, determination and commit-
ment are words we hear quite often at PeaceCorps. In fact, it's difficult, if not impos-sible, to complete a tour as a Volunteer with-out an abundance of all three. To those in-gredients add a large dose of humor and youhave what we at the Times think is EcuadorPCV Chuck Crimmins.
We first met Chuck in the fall of 1ga+whenhe was a medevac inWashington witha back problem. (We're not revealing confi-dential material here, Chuck wrote all aboutthis in an article in the Times.J So, here'sChuck in Washington while they run a rou-tine series of tests and ooops . . . they findhe's full of hookworms. Then he takes hismedicine and finally the condition clearsup. Meanwhile, he is medically separatedfrom Peace Corps because of his back. Talkabout one downhearted guy. . .that wasChuck, not able to go back to his site in thePhilippines . . . yes, the Philippines, wherehe was working as a forester. It was home toTexas for him.
A few weeks later we get a call fromChuck who is in a Dallas hospital with ma-laria. You guessed it, he had quit taking hismalaria pills. By this time Chuck was a firmbeliever in Peace Corps' preventive medi-cine, . . late. but better late than never,
Months later, we get another call. It'sChuck again and this time he's working as arecruiter in our Dallas office.
Months again, well probably a year, Iaterwe get a note. "I'm finally back in PeaceCorps, this time in Ecuador." (Chuck isproof that optimism, determination andcommitment and, of course, patience dopay off.) "And how do I enter the PhotoContest?"
Some time later, many slides arrive care-fully wrapped in the little white squares of aPCV's most precious commodity. Accom-panying the slides is a Iong letter catchingus up on all his news . . . that he's gettingmarried in the spring and has been on homeIeave with his fiancee but didn't get achance to call (can't imagine why) and thatthe bride is also a Volunteer.
In his letter Chuck sajd he had taken over1,000 slides in Ecuador. Thank heavens heonly sent us 251 For his prize. .. as youmight expect he requested more film butalso macaroni and cheese dinners. They'reon the way. Although Chuck has had morethan his share of problems, he was deter-mined, and we're sure that his second timearound withPeace Corps is sweeterthan hisfirst. (He's smiling in all his photos.)
We wish you and Lucrecia a happy wed-ding day, Chuck, and we'd better receivesome photos of the occasion.
Crimmins in Ecuador
Chuck is a forester and is posted in themountain town of San Lorenzo, Es-meraldas. He works with an indigenous
8 March/April 1988
Even in the jung.le can't get away from the poperwork. An Awa boy keeps him
Chuck fin hot.) with the tribol Awa working ot the new tree nursery, on AID funde d prcject.
comDonv of home.Chuck
Peace Corps Times
group, the Awa, in the rainforests of theAndes. His work includes agro-forestry,school construction, health, preservation ofthe rainforest and the Awa culture.
A brief word about the Awa which are astory unto themselves. Until the past dozenor so years ago very little was known aboutthe Awa (Awa-Coaiquer Indians), mostlybecause of geography. They live in settle-ments on the isolated western slopes of theAndes in the world's wettest tropical rain-forest. Because their region is so inaccess-ible the Awa thus far have escaped develop-ment efforts and miraculously have beenfree from guerrilla groups and cocaine tra-f-fickers which have plagued neighboringgroups across the Colombia border. But iso-lation could not last forever and a few yearsago a project was proposed to build a roadthrough their territory. To prevent landspeculators and colonists from intruding onthe indians, the government set up a com-mission to demarcate an Awa Reserve, toinsure their land rights and to help thempreserve their fragile culture.
"We've been able to set aside about250,000 acres of pristine rainforest whereabout 1,000 of the Awa live as a hunter/gatherer society. We're introducing a littlebit of agriculture, but slowly so as not todisrupt their way of life. The project, whichwas started before I arrived by ex-PCVJames Levy (now a consultant for the gov-ernment of Ecuador) is being modeled afterthe Kuna Indian reservation in Panama."Chuck said.
Dixie DoddUpdate on Chuck-After this story hodbeen set intype,weho.d o collfrom Chuck.He ond his bride, Lucrecio Chomber.loin,hod just come bock from their honeymoonin the Golapogos Is.londs. The Golopagos, i/you don't olreody know , ore off the coost ofEcuodor ond were the subject of o memoro-ble Cousteou series about the siont seoturtles.
Commuting to work-in o dugout with the Awa up theChuck.)
" * * - - & *
Rio Polovi. [You're looking good,
- T , -: s r