Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Russ and Harriet in the Peace Corps, part 1: training
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Before getting married, my (young and idealistic) parents decided to join the Peace Corps together, entering training just after the wedding. Mom (and sometimes dad) kept a journal, which makes an interesting time capsule. The version I have is typed, and thus was relatively easy to scan, but I gather from internal evidence that she originally handwrote it, and then dad's mom typed it up to mail out to family and friends. Here's the first batch of them, covering their initial training, before they left for Brazil.

KAY WEEKLY PEACE CORPS NEWSLETTER
Vol. 1. No. 1.

6/17/64
Today we flew into Milwaukee from Chicago. It was great fun. The plane stayed fairly low so we could see things and Russ didn’t even have time to drink two lemonades. We are staying Holton Hall with the Brazil group. There is another Brazil group at Marquette and an India group next door to us. They have already trained several groups here, including a group that left for Brazil yesterday to pave the way for us. Our room is very nice. We have trees in front of the window to help keep us cool and the washroom is right next door. A married couple from Tennessee, the Begley's live on the other side and are very nice. This evening we met our director and found out they aren't kidding around; things are going to be rough. We each have a huge stack of books to read plus a library in the lounge so we started studying already.

5/18/64
The food here is good and there is plenty of it. It's a good thing because our days are long and jammed with activity. We went downtown today and discovered they have a very nice Gimbel's here. I broke my watch band yesterday and got a new one today. At 6:00 we saw the eye doctor. We are required to have 2 pair of glasses with us overseas and the Peace Corps provides us with one pair. The doctor was nice but despaired of us both - we are so blind. He calls my vision "finger wiggling" rather than giving it a number. So we each got another pair of glasses. Contact lens don't count because they are lost too easily.

6/19/64
Today we visited the dentist and got 18 X-rays apiece! There will be no dentists near us in Brazil and they don't want any trouble. Fillings are also on the Peace Corps. After dinner we had a "Phy Ed Mixer". It consisted of learning a lot of group dances like square dances and circle dances. There are more men than women here so the girls had to do double duty. It was fun but I really fell asleep fast after it. From our window today I saw a squirrel that was so fat at first I thought it was a gopher. Today I had my hair cut into a Pixie cut - there just won't be time to keep setting it. After Monday, breakfast is at 6:15 and classes end at 10:15 with little free time in between.

6/20/64
This morning we had a bunch of psychological tests. Nothing unusual. They also gave us a thing to fill out at home - questions like what kind of person are you? How did you handle your most difficult life situation? etc. Gleep! The afternoon we spent studying. Saturday night we are on our own for dinner. We went to a nice little place about 6 blocks away and then saw "Wuthering Heights". It turned very cold on the way home and we really walked fast!!

6/21/64
Brunch is from 10 - 12 and them more psychological tests. Perhaps we will do a little sightseeing today.

Harriet

Address all comments and questions to:
Mr. and Mrs. H. Russell Kay
Peace Corps Training Center
University of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO DEVELOP OUR NEWSPAPER!!


KAY'S WEEKLY PACE CORPS NEWLETTER
Vol 1. No. 2

6/21/64
More psychological testing this afternoon and then studying in the evening. Our marriage was one week old.

6/22/64
Portugese lessons started today. We have language from
7 - 9:30 and 2:30 - 5 M - F. On Saturday we just have it in the
morning. Today we had Phy. Ed. orientation. We are going to get physically fit and learn Brazilian (soccer) and American games. A lecture in the evening.

6/23/64
After language we went downtown for our yellow fever shots, EH! When we got back there was good news in the mail. You know all the car trouble we had and Hertz actually came through with the $50 in rental certificates. Visiting all of you will be a lot easier now!

6/24/64
We heard a lecture today by Lord Harlech, British Ambassador to the U.S. on "The Atlantic Alliance". He spoke on a fifth grade level so we got some much needed sleep. To keep awake during lectures I sew and I have gotten quite a lot done with approximately 7 hours of listening per day.

6/25/64
This evening we had a beer picnic in a park given by the Peace Corps Service Organization. This is a group that tries to make life for us here bearable. They arrange for theatre parties, outings, etc. and each couple adopts some of us to take out 1 or 2 Sundays. We had fun but didn't get back til 12:00. Everybody yawned his way through the rest of the week.

6/26/64
Just another long day. We had a small group session with a Psychiatrist and accomplished nothing.

6/27/64
After morning language class, we had Red Cross until 5:00. We discussed procedures for handling various emergencies and practiced a little. Class was outside in the quite sizable woods behind our dorm and was lots of fun besides being very informative. We will probably do the same thing next Saturday. In the evening there was a "festa" in the small gym in our dorm. Russ and I wore the kimonas my Mom brought back from Hawaii. Brasilian dancing consists mainly of loud music and people jumping around. There is nothing to learn so we all joined in and had a great time.

After breakfast Bill, Nancy Jeff, Janice, Russ and I went to Pewaukee to Lyndale Farms for the SCCA auto races. The races were great and we are not too badly sunburned. It was great to get out in the sun for awhile! Today I caught up on my thank you notes and, since we have a Portugese test tomorrow, we plan to study this evening. Incidentally, we have nothing to do on Sunday --brunch is 10 - 12 and dinner is 5 - 6.
Yours,
Harriet Kay
Peace Corps Training Center
University of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211


KAY'S WEEKLY PACE CORPS NEWLETTER
Vol 1. No. 3

6/]9/64
This evening we had a very interesting lecture on the lawn on Communism. We got out at 9:35 and reveled in almost an hour of free time. To answer some questions: (1) Why did we join the Peace Corps - basically because there was no other immediate prospect(s) and also because it sounded interesting, challenging, a way to make a (small) contribution to the world and a way to see and learn more about a foreign country. (2) We study Portugese mainly, foremost and most importantly because if we can't communicate we can't accomplish anything. There is also ASWAC-American study, world affairs and communism. There are classes on first aid and health both in regard to ourselves and others. Later we will learn how to give shots and go out with public health nurses to get field experience. Phy. Ed is designed to get us in good condition and teach us games of Brazil and the U.S. Area studies are on Brazil and the rest I'll relate as we find out about it. (3) No, we don't know what exactly we will be doing nor where. Much depends on personal capabilities and Brazilian needs and the final decision won't be made until we reach Rio for our final month of training. Supposedly we are a stopgap until Brazilians can be trained to take our places. With the population expanding and moving inland, there is a great lack of people to give innoculations and give basic health advice. However, we might do anything from giving shots and building latrines in the wilds to doing YMCA work in Rio. So we're not withholding info - there just isn't any yet! Any more questions?

6/30/64
A typical day in the life of a Peace Corps trainee: Wake up at 5:45. Breakfast 6:20 - 7:00. Portugese 7:00 - 9:30. Today we had a movie on language and got out of some of Portugese. From 9:30 - 12:00 a lecture, today on community development. This comes under Technical-practical things like health practices, etc. Lunch is 12 - 1. From 1 - 2:30 lecture, today on Brazil. Portugese again from 2:30 - 5:00. Phy. Ed. is 5 - 6 and dinner is 6 - 7. From 7:15 - 10:15 is more lecture, today on Brazilian geography. Then we get to study. Monday nights we have Portugese from 7:15 - 10:15 in addition to the two other periods. Tuesday we go on field trips all day but this doesn't start till next week. Saturday we have Portugese only in the morning and then some kind of class until 5:00. Saturday night we are on our own for dinner (we get money for it) and are free until Monday morning. When it is hot we sometimes meet outside or in the cool of the basement and several people even sleep outside.

Yesterday we had a Portugese exam and the director was quite pleased with us. Russ moved up one language group.

7/1/64
At 4:00 today we had a private showing at the local movie of "Black Orphans" - the dialogue is in Portugese. Besides being a great film, it was fun seeing how many words we can understand and what some parts of Rio look like. After the movie it was pouring so some of us ducked into the local pub for a beer.

7/2/64
Today we saw more of those language movies - these were no help either. A sociologist is talking to us about small groups now and this morning a group of the kids acted out a "Peace Corps Volunteer" in a village scene for us. We had a great time laughing and criticising and also learned a little.

It was relatively cool today so we ran in Phys. Ed. - 600 yards each. Well, we made it around the truck but that’s about it. Phew! I always thought you were supposed to start exercising gradually!!

More answers: (1) Why Brazil? That's what they felt we were best suited for, and the project they invited us to join. If we had refused, we would have been invited to join the next project we were suited for. They match volunteer with project and you can accept or not.

7/3/64
Today we went to the dentist again. He double exposed some of Russ's x-rays and had to retake them. I have three small cavities and 4 problem wisdom teeth. He can't decide whether to pull them now or let them wait a few years. I guess I should get it over with but they don't bother me and I’m scared, so.......

7/4/64
We had a lovely holiday today. Portugese class was 7 - 9:30 and then we slept till noon. Some of us went downtown to see the parade at 2:00. They had a lot of old circus wagons from the Circus World Museum at Barabo and they were beautiful. Before the circus wagons came there were a lot of antique cars. The elephants made a mess of the streets and were followed by three street cleaning trucks. Then came a number of marching bands, the nicest one from Park Ridge, Illinois. After the parade we had a picnic supper in back of the dorm - chicken, potato chips, lemonade, and watermelon - yum!! We were so tired by that time that we skipped the fireworks and went to bed.

7/5/64
At 4:00 our Peace Corps parents, Mr. and Mrs. Loose, picked us up and took us to their house for dinner. They are very nice people and they have the most beautiful orange-golden cat. After dinner we went to the slinger for stock car races. The track was a 1/2 mile dirt oval and it wasn't the most interesting thing in the world but we sure had fun. We got back at 11:00 and hit the hay but quick.

Harriet and Russ

Peace Corps Training Center
Holton Hall
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211


KAY'S WEEKLY PACE CORPS NEWLETTER
Vol 1. No. 4

7/6/64
Before we left we got a form letter sent to college graduates saying we could get a Gulf Oil credit card. Just for the heck of it we applied, listing the Peace Corps as place of employment. So today we received our first credit cards. Seems that a diploma has become a good credit reference these days!!

We had a very interesting lecture today on American foreign policy. It's a real pleasure to get a good speaker finally. For Phys. Ed. the girls went swimming and we had a ball! The pool has wonderfully warm water and for a change we weren't asked to do impossible exercises. It was good to stretch out for a couple of days again and we even got some free time to play. The boys had a much rougher time --track. They did so much running that none of them can move now. Russ is taking the steps one at a time and as of 10 PM doubted he would survive the night, but I think there is still hope.

7/7/64
Today we started our field trips. The boys stayed on campus and had lectures on water purification and sanitation in general. The girls went to the Milwaukee Department of Health for a lecture on child care and some pointers on how to teach individuals about good health practices.

The Peace Corps has found a new and inexpensive way to give innoculations'' This afternoon the fellows joined the gals and we learned how to give shots - we gave each other the Diptheria-Tetanus one today and have 8 more to go. It's much easier than we expected and no one goofed it. The Kay marriage has survived another traumatic shock and both our arms are in good shape. We get to try again next week!

7/8/64
Today both Russ and I had our interviews with a psychologist as part of our assessment procedures. We compared notes afterwards and found we had gained a lot from talking to her. After some of the borning tales that are circulating about these interviews, it was a relief to find a very human, nice person across the table.

7/9/64
There is really nothing to report for today.

7/10/64
Today was a wonderful day - se got three letters!! Thank you one and all. April Schwartz, one of my roommates of last year, got engaged on July 4th to Allen. There is no indication as to what happened to David, the Med student. Ah, Life!!

We had another group meeting with a psychiatrist and accomplished nothing. This evening was glissful - we had it all to ourselves. First we saw some slides that John took at the Milwaukee Zoo and some Glen took in Guatamala. Then Russ and I talked until 9:30 and went to sleep. The longer we are together, the nicer things become between us. Love is wonderful!!

7/11/64
After language, we had Red Cross again. We saw a very good movie on mouth to mouth resuscitation, discussed first aid techniques. Our Red Cross instructor is a real character and we really enjoy the time spent with him.

After lunch we had a very interesting lecture on U.S. Foreign policy. Then the Optometrist came and I got my new glasses. They are ugly but I can see out of them better than out of my old ones. Russ didn't get his yet because they ran out of the frames he wanted. After that we had the whole glorious afternoon to ourselves. We went downtown shopping - but didn't buy anything, had a nice dinner and then went to see "Pecket". It was a wonderful film and we highly recommend it. At this rate our honeymoon will last forever!

7/12/64
We slept till 10:00 and then did the laundry and had breakfast. Then we explored the small woods behind our Dorm and studied and rested the rest of the day.

Harriet and Russ
Peace Corps Training Center
Holton Hall
University of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211


KAY'S WEEKLY PEACE CORPS NEWLETTER
Vol 1. No. 5

7/13/64
Boy, were we ever lucky this evening! Our folks from Chicago called and then we heard from Bob Streitmatter. It was so nice to talk to everyone. Thank you.

And people, really, there is really no other time but the weekend that I have time to write and then time for only a few letters so please forgive me if you don't hear from me for a while.

7/14/64
Today is our one month-iversary and we celebrated by going on field trips. The fellows heard lectures on privey building and visited a sewage plant and a water filtration plant. The girls went out with the Public Health Nurses. Milwaukee has a wonderful health program for its kids and is really a great place to raise kids. Among other things, a Public Health Nurse delivers to each new mother the baby's birth registration and checks to see that the baby is all right. Then they come back at least once a year until the child enters school. My nurse and I visited several new babies and some other cases. It was really fun to get out and walk around in a beautiful day and I really got a lot out of it.

In the afternoon we gave each other our Typhus and Flu shots. Last week the shot was given intramuscularly but this week they were subcutaneous and really hurt. By evening, of course, everyone had a reaction from the Flu shot and we are a pretty miserable lot.

7/15/64
Last night and this morning we heard from a most interesting fellow with the U S I A. Then we learned a few children's games that are rather simple to teach. Russ is moving up to language class 5 in a few days and I'm getting disgusted - but proud.

7/16/64
We learned more games this morning and used them in a carnival this afternoon. Most of the games are rather childish and we had lots of fun.

7/17/64
We practiced more games this afternoon at a Festa, complete with pirata. This evening we took an 89 page "self description" inventory. We were testing the test for the Peace Corps. This must have been a first draft, and a pretty rushed one at that, because the questions and choice of answers were asinine! Tonight it is thunderstorming gently and it is just lovely. Perhaps this will break the heat of the last few days.

Oh, by the way, for those of you who were confused last week - it"s "Black Orpheus" not Black Orphans, and "Becket not Pecket" My handwriting is on the decline.

7/18/64
After language this morning we took a bus to ....Chicago! We've really been looking forward to this weekend; somebody goofed and we have Saturday and Sunday to ourselves. We got to the city at 1:00, had lunch and then depleted Field's stock-on-hand by a considerable amount. We had dinner with the folks with Art and Mar and the children. I spent half the night on the phone and about 11:00 Sue and Barry came over to visit. They look well and happy with each other but their situation is not the best. We slept in the living room and really enjoyed our change of scenery.

7/19/64
We played miniature golf today and Russ beat me horribly but even so it was great fun. Then we drove out to my brother's house to see their new landscaping, came home for dinner and the folks drove us to the bus station. We wanted to catch the 6:30 bus but when we got there at 6:00 they already were calling the bus to Milwaukee. So we raced down and made it. We were real surprised when we pulled out early at 6:20 but then we found out we were on the 5:30 bus! The driver tried to make up that lost time so we had a speedy, bumpy ride which only took 1 1/2 hours. We got back OK, did our laundry and then flopped into bed. Boy, I sure don't want to go to class tomorrow.

ETC
In case you are wondering about the Boston postmark, the envelopes are a gift from Estabrook and Co. via Jim Brddley.
Many thanks, James.

I am printing again so this publication should again make sense. In Brazil I am going to practice penmanship!

Harriet and Russ
Holton Hall
Peace Corps Training Center
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211


KAY'S WEEKLY PEACE CORPS NEWLETTER
Vol 1. No. 6

7/20/64
Boy, it was hard getting back into the old grind today after our lovely vacation! I went to the dentist this morning and he filled a cavity. He has decided that he won’t have to pull my teeth unless they give me trouble this summer. Phew! Russ had his teeth cleaned and will start with the cavity bit next week. We took a short psychological test before lunch that was mainly pre-rating. I was very surprised to find out today that several people are seriously considering giving up and going hime. The longer we are here, the more Russ and I realize why we are here and the more we want to succeed. We were pooped and went to bed early.

7/21/64
Field trip day again. I spent the morning visiting homes with my nurse again and then bid her adieu. Next week I am with a new nurse. In the afternoon I visited the ringworm clinic. There aren’t many patients in the summer and while it was nice to learn about ringworm, the time spent there was hardly what you could call fascinating. Then it was shot time again - this week it was only one and not very painful. Russ is getting much better at it, thank
God.
+ + +
RUSS: The boys went out to the Milwaukee Municipal Nursery, divided up into two groups and started building privies. The plans we were working from were deliberately wrong - a 1 x 6 tongue and groove board is only about 5 1/4 inches wide, it seems - and so we had to improvise. My group finished first. Actually we're not finished = we've only built forms and in two weeks we pour concrete in them. After that we got a little talk on well driving and water filtration. Then our speaker took us over to a Lyster bag filled with 36 gallons of water from the hose - not to mention all the dirt that the factory left in the bag, plus a few dozen assorted bugs. Well, just to make sure the water was unpleasant and nasty, the speaker emptied into the bag a vial of dysentery bacilli. So, we chlorinated the water and each drank some - it tasted like swimming pool water.
So far, however, I’ve noticed no stomach upset or diarrhea - not yet
+ + +
By evening the shots began to hurt but not awfully much.

7/22/64
We had our morning lecture in an air-conditioned hall with padded seats. Oh, such luxury!! Everyone has reactions from yesterday!s shot so they called Phys. Ed. off today --really didn't feel like tumbling frankly.

7/23/54
I had another cavity filled and that leaves only one more to go. Nothing else much happened today.

7/24/64
Today was delightful - we had free time from 11:00 to 2:30. Russ and I slept and studied. Today we received a huge tin of cookies from my Aunt Ruth. Yum! Everybody loves them.

7/25/64
After lunch the new Brazilian Ambassador to Washington came here for a short (1/2 hour) visit. He gave a short speech in Portugese and then answered questions in fairly good English. I got the gist of most of his speech but not much more.

In the evening a bunch of us went to dinner and then to see "The Doll" a Swedish psychological film. It was very well done but very taxing and I still can't decide if I liked it or not.

7/26/64
Today we went to see the Milwaukee County Zoo. It is not completely finished but what is there is lovely. The bird house consists mainly of 3-4 rooms full of bids in various settings.
You walk among the birds and they are quite tame. The Penquin cage has a glass front so you can see them swimming and they look real funny swimming and waddling about.

Three young elephants were playing in the water - taking turns pushing each other under - until their keeper brought them some leaves and then they lined up to eat.

We were in the lion house at feeding time. Those cats attacked their food like they hadn't eaten in three weeks!!

Quite a few wild ducks have made their homes in the various zoo ponds and we saw lots of them flying in and out during the day.

Spent the evening studying and writing letters.

Harriet and Russ
Holton Hall
Peace Corps Training Center
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Milwaukee 5 Wisconsin 53211

KAY'S WEEKLY PEACE CORPS NEWLETTER
VOL. 1 NO. 7

7/27/64:
We had a very interesting lecture today from a woman who has been working in Mato Grosso for the last four years for WHO (World Health Organization). It seems that we will be working with the WHO people if we are assigned to Mato Grosso. It was great meeting someone who has actually been there; we asked her 1001 questions. We can buy almost everything we will need down there. We will have to take winter clothes because, particularly, in the South, it even goes down to freezing in the winter. We will need knee-high snake boots and a short wave-longwave transistor radio. There is no electricity in the area and little running water. People use kerosene and gas lamps, stoves and refrigerators. It gets to sound more exciting every day!

7/28/64
Field trips today: Harriet: I started out the day at a well-baby clinic watching the children get weighed, measured, have routine physicals, and have their shots. The doctor and nurses were very nice and explained everything to me. It really was interesting. Then I went on home visits with a nurse and we found a three year old with 100.2° fever. We told the parents to call in their doctor. We only got one shot today - 2nd Typhoid - and it doesn't hurt very much at all. In fact, I hardly felt it this time.

In the evening we had a lecture and chased mosquitoes. The whole hall was filled with huge mosquitoes and the lecture was frequently punctuated by slaps - made concentrating rather difficult!!

Russ: This morning we listened to a lecture on food sanitation by a Veterinarian who is also head of the Milwaukee Department Food Services Division. Then they took us on a tour of the Sealtest Dairy and the Thiele Sausage Company. Good Grief!!I don’t know where they dream up this part of the program or what purpose it is supposed to serve. Oh well, maybe in the Mato Grosso I'll get a chance to design a milk processing plant (I hear there's lots of stainless steel pipe around there).

7/29/64
The group is getting more nervous every day. Our first de-selection is coming up but we don't know just when. During one of our lectures today a secretary came in and wrote a list of names on the board and then added "Dr. appointments". You could cut the static in the air!

A notice to all of you wondering about postmarks - I send this newsletter to Niagara Falls where Russ' Mom mimeographs it and includes it in my letters. The Boston envelopes are due to a gift of metered envelopes from Jimmy.

7/30/64
Well, today turned out to be the day for deselection. Either you did or did not get a notice in your mail box and we, thank goodness, did not. So we are in training for the duration as next deselection is a day or so before we leave. We'll be on leave approximately 9/10 - 9/20 but it may be a little longer or shorter, most likely the latter.

7/31/64
Russ went to the eye doctor today - one of the lenses in his new glasses is the wrong prescription.

8/1/64
HAPPY AUGUST! I studied Portugese all morning. After deselection, due to losing 8 people (now we are 68), there were 8 instead of 9 language groups. I went from 8 to 5 and Russ went from 5 to 3. We hit the books this weekend. Went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner and then a beer party at our director's. It was wild and drunk and we finally relaxed from Thursday's tensions. Even so, got in bed by 12:00 - at least some of us did.

8/2/64
It is so hot that living, much less moving, is almost impossible. We went to the Art Center for an hour and came back to rest. We spent the day studying on the bed with a minimum of clothes on.

ETC.
Yum-Yum had 6 kittens; 2 calico, 2 orangish and 2 brown striped like their daddy. I don't know what day they were born or how they are or anything - don't even have pictures. What a Grandma!!

Harriet and Russ
Holton Hall
Peace Corps Training Center
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211

KAY'S WEEKLY PEACE CORPS NEWLETTER
VOL. 1 NO. 8

8/3/64
At 6:00 A.M. it is already 81°! There is a bat flying around our floor! What kind of a day will this be? This week we have 6 - 7 lectures from a native of Mato Grosso. It certainly is exciting to be finally hearing about the actual area we are going to.

8/4/64
This morning I went out with a Public Health Nurse on home
visits again. Mostly we checked to see if the kids who needed them had gotten their glasses. In the afternoon I visited a public health mobile. This is like a mobile x-ray unit except they go around giving immunizations (smallpox, polio, tetanus, etc.) We went from door to door telling the people where the mobile unit was and urging them to attend it. This week’s shot was our third and last Typhoid shot, it hardly hurt at all this time.

Russ: We started the moring with a lecture on rats and how to
control them. The lecturer showed us a sample of a new poison they have - it was developed from a drug used in Arthritis treatment. The sample cost $25.00 for 2 ounces of a 4% mixture, and that's pretty expensive anyway you slice it. Anyhow, it kills rats and evidently nothing else - the most selective poison they've found. We then took a trip to a very small local slaughter house where we saw how steers are ....slaughtered. We followed one from BANG!! (a .22 in. the brain to stun it) through killing (they bleed it to death) through decapitation, skinning (you should have seen the knives these men used - I could easily have shaved with one!), gutting, halving, and into the cooler. Very impressive (although I can’t really say why). I took some movies and I hope they turn out. Later we went out to the Municipal Nursery again, after equipping ourselves with 39$ styrofoam sun-helmets. We mixed concrete and laid a slab floor for our one-hole privy. (see Vol. 1, No. 6). JUST BEAUTIFUL!!!

8/5/64
This morning we heard from an Associate Peace Corps Director just up from Brazil. If stationed in Mato Grosso, we will be not more than six hours (by some kind of transportation) from one of the two biggest cities in the state. If not in Mato Grosso, we will probably be in Paraiba in the north-east - right by the coast. We got maps of Brazil today. We put one on our wall so we can see where the places are that we are talking about.

After dinner we took a bus to one of the local TV stations. We had a private, closed circuit, color showing of a movie on a white hunter in northern Mato Grosso. Now, we all know how to kill 400 pound jaguars with a spear and we’ll be home tomorrow!

8/6/64
This morning we had small discussion groups. In mine we
decided that even in the man's world of Brazil, women can do a big job. Isn't that nice?

8/7/64
This morning we girls had some free time. The fellows had a lecture about the Boy's Club work they are doing Saturday. I tried studying but fell asleep in my chair and instead had a nice nap.

8/8/64
We now have field trips on Saturdays as well as Tuesdays. The girls went to the American Red Cross building and had yet another course on the birth of a baby. But they keep telling us in lectures to stay out of the midwives territory! I just don't understand! For lunch we went to a restaurant the Red Cross lady suggested and it took them 1 1/2 hours to serve 20 girls so we got out of class late in the afternoon.

In the evening Russ and I had dinner at a very nice steak house downtown. They have a very clever means of helping you get the waitress’s attention. There is a small white light on the table and when you turn a knob on it, a little red bulb on top of the light goes on and soon starts flashing. The food and service were excellent. Afterwards we went to a movie and saw "What A Way To Go" (cute but nothing special) and a sneak preview of "Fate Is The Hunter". The latter was very good and we would recommend it.

Russ: I spent the day at one of the three Milwaukee Boy's Clubs. We got a tour of the place and then were assigned to various activities in the Club. Three others and I were given the gym. We just went in and worked ourselves into the activities going on (it was a free period) and eventually assumed leadership of these groups. I had lunch at a place where hamburgers. were 19¢ and an order of toast was 25¢. Later I moved out of the gym and went to the pool-room for about 10 minutes. Then I spent the next 45 minutes swimming in their quite nice pool. Finally a meeting at which we turned in our reports and discussed the day.

8/9/64
We liked it so much last time that we re-visited the zoo today and took scads of pictures. In the evening we studied because we have a big Portugese test tomorrow.

ETC. We won a minor battle and no longer have to carry awful sack lunches with us on our field trips - we get the money to buy our own lunch from now on. Rah!

For 7/20/64 - change pre-rating to peer-rating.

Russ and Harriet
Holton Hall
Peace Corps Training Center
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211


KAY'S WEEKLY PEACE CORPS NEWLETTER
VOL. 1 NO. 9

8/10/64
Russ had his second cavity filled today.

8/11/64
This morning we girls saw a film of the delivery of a baby. It was most interesting. I hadn't realized (1) how big the vaginal opening actually becomes, (2) how much fluid is involved, (3) how quick the actual birth is. Well, I still wouldn't like to help somebody all by myself but, seeing this is the third session we have had on the birth of a baby, I feel a little more confident now. Then we gave each other 2 shots apiece. The boys aren't coming in until the afternoon so Janice and I did each other. These two didn't even hurt.

After lunch I met my nurse and we went on home visits (for the last time). We saw a suspected mumps case, 2 new babies and that's about it.

In the evening we visted "Wingspread". This is a fabulously beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright designed house once owned by the chairman of the Board of Johnson's Wax and now the headquarters of the Johnson Foundation (a small Ford Foundation) and located an hour away in Racine. We were served a scrumptious buffet with scads of food and fresh fruit. It was the only time the place was quiet. The building is a typical example of Wright's prairie homes but not at all like Robie House on the University of Chicago campus though that too is a prairie house. "Wingspread" is elegent and utterly livable. The living room is huge and has many levels all around, an enormous chimney which contains several fireplaces. Logs are burned right on the red marble floors. This multileveled room is the only one of special note. The ceiling is lit indirectly and is in layers. On a balcony in the living room is a narrow winding staircase to a glassed-in weather observatory on the roof. The grounds are level, and right beside the house is a swimming pool which must have had about 5-6 levels to it. It was too cold for swimming and we were all very disappointed.

After dinner we saw slides and heard a lecture about the school the Johnson Foundation sponsors in N. E. Brazil. Then the lecturer we've had for last week and this week spoke about the Brazilian educational system. Then we had some time to relax and we all fell asleep on the bus coming home.

Russ: Well, it was back to the site of our concrete slab where we took off all the forms, (it must have taken two minutes). Then we left for lunch; the bus driver took us back to a shopping center with several restaurants and a MacDonald's Hamburger place. Then we went back to the blasted nursery and listened to some talks about insect control and listened to personal biases concerning the relative merits of 5% DDT and 4% chlordane, and were shown how to use a small tractor-pulled, gasoline driven, mechanical sprayer. How likely we are to run across these in the Mato Grosso, I don't know. I don't know, neither do they. None of us think so. We were also taught to shake out our shoes for scorpions in the morning The day was a crashing bore!

8/12/64
We had tumbling in gym today and I overdid it a bit so I took the evening off, Russ saw the doctor about his heel and has been excused from gym for awhile.

8/13/64
Russ finished up with the dentist today. It is finally warming up to the low 70's and we may not have to send for our woolens after all.

8/14/64
We had a group picture taken today. It was scheduled for Wednesday but... well.... you see, the photographer thought there was only one group here and after he took the India group he had no more film left. So he sent his assistant to the main building to load more film in the dark room there. In the Main Building, running down the hall, the assistant got picked up by the police and taken to the station for questioning. It seems a camera had been stolen from the darkroom and when they saw this guy running down the hall with a camera ....well, that's why the picture was taken today.

In the evening we married couples and our engaged couple went to our present lecturer's home to discuss our special problems in Brazil. We decided there wouldn't be any so we just enjoyed ourselves talking about Brazil with he and his wife and seeing how they behaved toward each other and their children - just like here. Senhor Barres asked each of us how long we were married and I suddenly realized today makes it 2 months! So we got served our cake first to celebrate. It was a very enjoyable evening.

8/15/64
Today was a real lazy day for the girls. We had Red Cross Home Nursing Training from 10 - 3 and that's all. So we all slept till 9:00. We learned some basic home nursing techniques and found it most enjoyable and interesting. This Saturday we tried a new place for lunch and had a very nice one and managed to get back on time, even.

After class I went to Capital Court which is a large shopping center here. I just browsed around and enjoyed myself. I want a new purse but couldn't find anything. After dinner I cam back from Holton to wait for Russ to come home from camp. At 9:00 we went to see a Margaret Rutherford mystery movie.
Russie- Left for a Boy's Club Camp this morning at 6:30. We had breakfast there - the French toast was about 20° colder than the syrup. We split up, two of us to a cabin, and proceeded to get to know the kids. Our cabin had just returned from an overnight canoe trip. During hobby-time a lot of our kids went to Indian Lore (the whole camp has an Indian theme) where they were making Indian costumes and rehearsing for a big do on Thursday. The dance they were doing was a Hopi snake dance - with real snakes. And they washed the snakes before they took them in their mouths. We wandered back to the cabin area and Steve Hettenbach, my partner, got a football game going. Later I joined in which was rather interesting as I had never played football before. We had lunch, and then rest period, and then We Peace Corps had a planning meeting. For boy age group we organized (if that’s the right word) a relay which had the kids running all over the camp. The kids were 12-13-14. For the relay, I was stationed at the first stop, so after 10 minutes I was through. Tony, the other PCV with me, and I asked the kids what they wanted to do, so we went in and watched television for awhile. Finally, the kids went swimming. (The camp is on a small lake, but all the swimming is done in an outdoor swimming pool. Dinner was a cookout - almost as bad as the previous two meals. I pitched horseshoes for nearly an hour, and finally the bus came. Several of the others said that the camp was one of the best they had ever seen, but it didn’t seem very good to me.

When I got back Harriet and I went to the show - two Margaret Rutherford films "Murder, She Said" and "Murder At the Gallop". We only saw half of the latter, but we had seen it before, so it was OK. Very good, both of them.

8/16/64
Today they had planned a trip for us to Madison, the Wisconsin State Capitol, but we didn’t feel like going. Instead we went to the Wisconsin State Fair. We had a ball and spent a fortune. We tramped all over the place looking at animals and exhibits. At one of the leather exhibits I bought a pair of buckskin mocassins and Russ got a pair of buckskin shoes. All we need now is a little warpaint! The leather on our shoes is so soft you could almost spread it like butter. They had a grand Midway and we really enjoyed ourselves there - haunted house and all. They had a real wild ride there which Russ had been on before but not me. It is called the "Wild Mouse" and is like a roller coaster but much, much worse. I screamed all the way!

In the afternoon we saw a 150 mile stock car race. (Parnelli Jones won). It was very fast and exciting. The weather was perfect cool and not too sunny and it only rained for 20 minutes. We didn't get home until 10:15 and fell into bed utterly exhausted.

Harriet and Russ
Holton Hall
Peace Corps Training Center
U. Of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211

KAY'S WEEKLY PEACE CORPS NEWLETTER
VOL. 1 NO. 10

5/17/64
Why are Monday's so uneventful! Thank you all for all the letters we got today.

8/18/64
Today we girls went downtown for health lectures. We heard the same old bit about birth and new babies. I can go through all the rules by heart now! Today we got our last polio sugar cube and a smallpox vaccination. After that we went browsing and I found just the leather shoulder bag I've been wanting - and only $16. Now if only we could afford it!

Russ: This morning we went to Jones Island which is where grain
is brought in by train and truck to be shipped on ships. We hunted rats. Actually very interesting. We drove a couple out of their burrows with cyanide and watched them die by the tracks- a process somewhat hastened by a few heavily applied shovel blows. We also (and this had nothing to do with the rats - just with our happening to be there) went on board a Norwegian freighter that was loading there. Spent the afternoon getting bored and looking at barrels of rat poison.

8/19/64
We lost 3 of us today. One couple and another fellow have dropped out and we all feel a little lost.

8/20/64
We saw the Psychologist again today. It is just a routine thing and we both enjoy talking to her - she has become quite a friend.

8/21/64
Today was a real lazy day. After language we had study period until lunch. After lunch we took a short psychological test - our 15th or 16th such test. Then we were free again till language. Then we had a group session with the Psychiatrist. In the evening we had language to make up for the class we missed Saturday morning.

8/22/64
Today the girls heard from a volunteer who has returned from N.E. Brazil. We met and talked until 11:30 and that was it for the day. In the evening we went to a nearby Chinese restaurant for dinner and walked home real leisurely. We both fell asleep reading in bed at 10:30.

Russ:
To the Boy's Club again! A fairly routine day, nothing much happened. I got bumped on the chin and think I chipped a tooth, but aside from that and 31 other complaints, nothing to talk about. I played (for those who care) pool, basketball, volleyball, shuffleboard and a game quite like volleyball but with a frisbee instead of a ball.

8/23/64
Ah! Sunday, Day of rest and sleeping in! But no! - up at 9:15, to breakfast and out to the State Fairgrounds again - another race. This one a 200 mile USAC feature for Indianapolis type cars. They sold all the seats, so we bought standing room only in the infield, which gave us a great view of the race. One really good crash and several assorted minor incidents.

Harriet and Russ

Holton Hall
Peace Corps Training Center
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211

KAY'S WEEKLY PEACE CORPS NEWLETTER
VOL. 1, NO. 11

8/24/64
This week we have a series of health lectures. We are learning how to prevent and treat diseases in ourselves and others while we are in Brazil. These are interesting, if sometimes gruesome, lectures complete with movies and slides. We had a treat after dinner - no class.

8/25/64
More on health.

8/26/64
More on health and off an hour early; only 7:00 A.M. to 9:15 P.M. But the boys got off at 7:00 because they already heard our evening lecture on one of their field trips. Forgot to tell you something about yesterday, we all had blood drawn for anti-body studies. They want to know what antibodies we already have to see what we develop in Brazil. We also had our smallpox vaccinations checked - I have to have mine redone as it didn’t take.

Another trainee dropped out today for a total of 5 in the last 2 weeks. It is getting very hard to keep up this pace for all of us.

8/27/64
And still more on health.

8/28/64
We had another peer evaluation test. This is the last of these kinds of tests for us -- here! The boys got out early again today.

8/29/64
We girls went on a field trip to the Nursery where the boys have been privy building. We finally got to see our beautiful new privy! Today we drank contaminated water we had purified ourselves, looked at various possible types of privies, studied rat and insect control. We took hot dogs and stuff out there and had a real nice picnic - it was a beautiful sunny day and a very interesting one. We even learned how to get into a bed with mosquito netting around it.

My folks drove out in the evening just for the heck of it. I tried on some new clothes and we talked for awhile.

Russ: Spent the day at the Boy's Club camp again. Went boating and canoeing a lot, got sunburned and sick. The food was execrable, but the bus came back a little early. There were two special groups of boys there today; a bunch of diabetics (they put on two extra nurses and a dietician) and a group of mentally retarded kids called the Falcons.

When I got back I was pretty sick, and it just got worse, and Harriet and Betty took me to the hospital where they looked me over, said "there's not enough to go on yet" and sent me home with sleeping pills, pain pills and instructions to return or see a doctor if it got worse.

8/30/64
Russ: Woke up today feeling miserable for awhile but after a lazy morning in bed we went to see the Beatles' movie, which really is that good. Sort of hard to hear with all those screaming girls, though.

Harriet and Russ

KAY'S WEEKLY PEACE CORPS NEWSLETTER
VOL. 1 NO. 12
8/31/64
More medical lectures today plus two skin tests: TB and histoplasmosis. Russ went to the dentist - his chipped tooth turned out to be a broken filling and all is well again. His stomach is ail better too. In the evening we were all treated to a concert in the Milwaukee band shell by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The band shell was huge and there must have been several thousand people there. The only problem was that they used the P.A. system so the music sounded like a not-too-great recording. It was fun being at a real concert again though.

9/1/64
Happy September! Fall is almost upon us. Today we had our first of 3 rabies vaccinations. We'll get the other 2 in Brazil. They feel if we get these and later get bit by a rabid animal, we will have more time to spare in getting the usual series.

8/2/64
Today we got another Flu shot. It hurts like all get out, just like the first one did. Any my rabies shot itches, what a mess!

8/3/64
We had a test this afternoon on all of last week's medical lectures. And this evening we went shopping and got Russ some new clothes.

8/4/64
We went downtown this morning and did a bit more shopping. This evening we had another small test.

8/5/64
Today was Red Cross "Disaster Day". First we cooked lunch for ourselves outside - canned beef stew over cooked Vulgur wheat (Kasha), rolls, and cup cakes. It tasted awful so we had a sandwich at the drugstore. After that some Red Cross people put on rubber "wounds" that "bled" and we had to fix them up and bring them back to our camp site. It was very realistic and very interesting. We all did very well at it.

After a nap, Russ and I went to the Ming Gardens for dinner and then saw "The World of Henry Orient". The movie was funny, light and wonderful. We really enjoyed it. We came back early and packed because my folks are coming tomorrow to take most of our stuff home. We will know Wednesday whether we go or not and will let you all know as soon as possible.

8/6/64
My folks came in today. They are staying at the same hotel the Beatles stayed at Friday night - Sigh! We spent the afternoon in their room lazing around and watching TV and then had dinner at Mader’s, a wonderful Bavarian restaurant filled with suits of armor, ancient weapons and lots of good food.
In the afternoon we wnet to see the Greek Orthodox Church here that was built by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is simply magnificent!

Harriet and Russ

  • 1
If you want to comment, please reply to THIS COMMENT, not the main post, so I don't get the entire vast original post delivered to my inbox each time.

Edited at 2014-01-23 04:21 pm (UTC)

Not sure how many of the errors were due to my parents, versus the transcriber (grandma), but there are plenty. My inner picky historian won the argument over my inner editor, so I left them intact.

I just particularly like that one - didn't mean to be teasing/sarcastic.

(Deleted comment)
Whoops! Meant to, but I had a typo in the cut-tag. Should be fixed now.

  • 1
?

Log in

No account? Create an account