Reading Books at home in the RP

The question:  It's #World Book Day! Peace Corps Volunteers have lots of time to read.  What is the most memorable book you read during your service?
We got one of the last book lockers but there were several with the other volunteers nearby so we traded books with them.  I remember reading The Foundation Trilogy and the Martian Chronicles, but the book that got used the most was Fanny Farmer.  In fact when I went home on emergency leave I bought 2 more copies to give to host friends.  Every time someone went to Manila we would buy new sci-fi books because we didn't have good access to English books out in the provinces.  I also bought copies of  Jose Rizal's books, Nole Me Tangre and El Filibustrismo in English.

Being Published

Peace Corps @ 50This book was published back in September, 2011. I got my copy at a book signing at Tattered Cover. It is one of the set printed to celebrate "Peace Corps at 50".  I was honored to be included in this volume with my story:  "Of Girls and Dogs and Cats".  This was edited from my two submissions that I printed here and here.  Of course what was in the book was 4 pages.
Here is a photo of me and my friend Bruce McDonald who had a story in  one of the other volumes along with Jane Albritton from Fort Collins, Colorado who conceived the series and was the editor of our Asian collection.

The other books in the set published as Peace Corps @ 50.

This is a copy of a post from my other blog from September 2012.

Becca's readjustment

This is a comment I posted on Becca's blog about her readjustment back after serving in the Peace Corps in Albania:

I don't know if you ever get used to it. There are still lots of things that bother me about the USA and I see my life as before Peace Corps and after Peace Corps. Sometime that almost 5 years that we were gone seems like a "time-warp" but then I go to the Filipino club and find people that I can talk to. I like meeting with the RPCV group because, even tho we served in different countries and even different decades, there is something that we share under the skin.
I am glad you are home.
I'm sorry if you may have been bored by some of my stories over the years but anytime you want to tell me your's, I will be all ears!
Love, MOM

Peace Corps at 50

"Peace Corps" on Facebook recently posted this link of a YouTube clip of an interview ea

Peace Corps will be 50 on my birthday next year! We just came home from visiting the Philippines 40 years after we first arrived there as green PCV's! With us on our trip was our daughter Becca who has just finished her time as a PCV in Albania. Our Philippine "family" welcomed her as a "granddaughter, niece, cousin". It was very special.


I remember once when I was a kid and didn't want to eat rice for dinner, my dad made me stay at the table until I finished it. It took 4 hours! How he laughed when I was selected to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines! (rice for breakfast, rice for lunch, rice for dinner - even the word for eat is rice!)
We learned a song in training called "Inday balay ta" sung to the tune of of a WWII song.
Inday balay ta. Girl, let's dance
Di ko kay kapoy I don't want to because I'm tired
Among panahaw balanghoy Our breakfast was rice
Among paniudto balanghoy na puto Our lunch was rice cakes
Among panihapon balanghoy gihapon! Our dinner was rice also
Inday balay ta Girl, let's dance
Di ko kay kapoy Not me, I'm tired
Among panahaw balanghoy. Our breakfast was rice!

Fourth of July

The National Peace Corps Association on FaceBook asked this question: Happy Independence Day weekend everyone! What are your memories of celebrating the 4th as a Peace Corps volunteer far from home?
I don't remember celebrating many 4ths when we were in the Peace Corps but our 2nd one was memorable.
We tried to climb Mt. Apo on Mindanao but got rained out by rains near a typhoon. When we returned to town we went to the 4th of July picnic thrown by the USIS officer there.

My story in support of 10,000 volunteers

I received an appeal from a lobbying organization called Push for Peace Corps. They are raising awareness with the members of the House committee who are debating legislation to increase the Peace Corps budget to $65 million. This is the story I sent to them:

Forty years ago, I became a Peace Corps Volunteer. My husband and I spent 3 1/2 years in two different cities of the Philippines. Now, all these years later, we are active members of the Filipino community here and have continued as volunteers in many other organizations. Our daughter has just finished her own term of service as a PCV in Albania. A few years ago when a group came to Denver from Cebu I met the superintendent of the Mandaue schools. She asked if I was the Arlene Lipman who had been the Peace Corps Volunteer in Bohol. I found a photo of the seminar she had attended as a young teacher with me as the PCV in the front row and her among all the teachers. I asked her if it had been useful. She said it had been good. It was nice getting validation over 30 years later! We feel that the Peace Corps was one of the most important times of our lives. The international experiences and connections we made affect every aspect of our lives. The investment that the US Government has made in the Peace Corps over the years is the best example of people-to-people diplomacy. Arlene Lipman PCV - Davao and Bohol, Philippines 1970-1974