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April 14, 1967 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-04-14
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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1

HEALTH WORKER Tod Whitaker kneels next to*World
War 11 wing tank now used to catch drinking water.

ATTORNEY Dan
tion with Public

Persinger works in coopera-
Defender's office in Majuro.

MECHANIC Dale Bai
Paul Callaghan are

HEALTH WORKER Ann Maxwell talks with two of
her patients at the dispensary in Wone, Ponape.

EDUCATOR Barbara Whitlow airs a
radio program on public health to
people of the Marshall Islands.

MA

MAIN ISLANDS of Western Samoa lie on direct line between Hawaii and
New Zealand, 4,000 miles from California. Nearby is American Samoa.

REPORT FROM MICRONESIA

POLYNESIA, Continued from Page 1

Health, Education, Food Are Major Samoan Problems

nanas, cocoa and coconuts by in-
troducing improved techniques of
planning, upkeep, management
and production of better and larger
crops for both export and domestic
consumption.
A SECOND PHASE of the
Western Samoa program will send
up to 150 English teachers into the
elementary and intermediate levels
of the Samoan school system, which
currently is staffed largely by in-
adequately-trained islanders.
Reflecting the broad involvement
in community life expected of most
Volunteers, the teachers during "off
hours" will help fellow Samoan
teachers improve their English, in-
struct students and villagers in basic
health and hygiene practices, and
aid Volunteer health workers in
their tasks.
Living conditions will be in the
South Pacific image for most Vol-
unteers, who will reside in villages
in the traditional Pale - a round
wood and thatch structure that of-
fers natural wall-to-wall air con-
ditioning in a comfortable tropical
climate.
THE EXPERIENCES thus far
of Volunteers in neighboring Mi-
cronesia suggest that Volunteers
will take quickly to the similar
Samoan setting. The close confines
of an island environment, instead
of fostering rivalry and misunder-
standing, promote a spirit of friend-
liness, openness and mutual de-
pendence. It is within this cultural
context that the Volunteers will
live and work for two years.

Western Samoa is the first Poly-
nesian island group to achieve in-
dependence, having slipped off its
United Nations trusteeship status
under New Zealand on January 1,
1962. Full political emancipation
. ended almost a century of colonial
administration, first under Germany
from 1889 onward, then under
New Zealand following World War
.
DURING the latter half of the
19th century, while Germany, the
United States and Great Britain
contended for Samoan favors, the
islands and their people were
plagued by bitter internal struggles
surrounding the kingship. Recent
times, however, have witnessed
peaceful transition from colonial
to independent governments and
the Samoan scene since 1962 has
been one of marked stability.
Lying 1,000 miles below the
equator and 2,600 miles southwest
of Hawaii, Western Samoa's two
major islands of Upolu and Savaii
cover an area approximate to
Rhode Island. The islands are sur-
rounded by coral reefs enclosing
quiet lagoons. Tropically-vegetated
heights of several thousand feet
dominate both islands.
Author James A. Michener, with
long experience in the South Pa-
cific, wrote of Polynesia in Return
to Paradise that its "influence on
world thought is far greater than
its size would warrant. Musical
names like Tahiti, Rarotonga, Bora
Bora carry an emotional freight to
all cold countries of the world . .."

about the c
The gentle trade winds caress the is-
lands of Micronesia for ten months
out of the year and the climate is
eternal spring. Recently there has been
a subtle change, not in the climate, but
in the currents of thought and social
patterns. New ideas and new attitudes
are being introduced in an area v.here
customs and mores are deeply in-
grained. This is the Peace Corps in
Micronesia: the class of 1966 a year
later.
The change is a two way street. The
young man from the Bronx who lives in
an isolated village of only 40 people
adjusts to a new life, a slower pace and
tempo, completely alien to the concrete
and steel of New York. He discovers the
beauty of an orchid blooming in the
steaming rain forest, the laughter of
children on their way to school along a
jungle path. He teaches English in a
small thatch-roof school, improves the
water catchment system in the village,
and plans to introduce new health con-
cepts. But just as important as the
changes he makes, he will come away
from his island deeply changed.
In most areas of Micronesia there
are no problems of hunger, but it is
still a world of startling contrasts. The

c/ass of

'66

people of Ebeye (its main street is pic-
tured at right), profoundly influenced
by the proximity of the missile site at
Kwajalein, have forgotten many of their
out-island skills. They eat their tuna in
cans and wear sport shirts imported
from California. Only a small portion of
the people on Ebeye work at the missile
site. Ebeye has become known as the
slum of the Pacific with 4,000 people
crowded onto the small island.
On Ebeye, like other parts of Micro-
nesia, the influence of the Peace Corps
is beginning to be felt. Eight Volunteers
working in cooperation with the Trust
Territory 'perform such diverse jobs as
teaching, community development,
health, and even business administra-
tion.
Part of the satisfaction of being a
Volunteer in Micronesia is the sense of
acceptance which is given by the
Micronesians. These people feel that
the Peace Corps Volunteers belong to
them; there is a warmth, an empathy
which is a coin of great value.
The present program has over 450
Volunteers. The impact of their work,
of their concern will be felt for gen-
erations.

MICRONESIAN HOUSING range
homes to this one built by Volu

TEACHER Kathy Fitch is as-
signed to the elementary
school at Wone on island of
Ponape. By fall 1967 there
will be more than 400 Peace
Corps Volunteer teachers in
Micronesia.

ISOLATED SPLENDOR of Pagan
Island's black sand beaches give
Carol and Wayne Waldrip and
young friend complete privacy.
Waldrips, both teachers, are only
Volunteers on this outlying island.

POLYNESIA DESK

PEACE CORPS

Name (please print)

Washington, D. C. 20525
Please rush me a Peace Corps
Application for Polynesia.

Address
State Zip Code

City

I am a

Liberal Arts Major,

College or University
graduate in
Month Year

L Other

25,000th VOLUNTEER John. Phillips (left) and fellow Volunteer Thomas Sheehan, both
architects, confer with a local planner on a low-cost housing project for Saipan.

Specify

Attention: APPLICANT SERVICES

t

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