June 16, 2021

Peace Corps veteran reflects on time in Thailand

first_imgIn 1961, the senior class of St. Francis Xavier University sat in their gaps and gowns and listened to President John F. Kennedy state he was going to start an organization that would send young volunteers overseas to help other people.  Roger Parent, author of the newly released “The Making of a Peace Corps Volunteer: From Maine to Thailand”, was among the graduates that day, and said he was incredibly struck by President Kennedy’s new proposal. On Thursday, Parent held a book-signing in the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore to promote his new book.  “I thought to myself, ‘Hey, I want to do that,’” Parent said. “So I wrote President Kennedy a letter right away and I said I want to be a part of this thing that you have started. Well, lo and behold, six months later I was invited to be a part of the Peace Corps in Thailand.”  Parent said he was a part of the first group of Peace Corps volunteers who were sent to Thailand in 1961. The group volunteered until 1963, he said.  Parent said is originally from French-Speaking Lille, Maine where he learned English as a second language.  “They probably thought that [attending college] in a foreign country would be an asset,” Parent said. “But what I don’t think they understood is that I grew up a couple thousand yards from the Canadian boarder.”  While in Thailand, Parent said he taught locals about carpentry and the English language.   “I was teaching Thai people to speak English with a French accent,” he said.  When his services ended in 1963, Parent said he explored options for Peace Corps returnees in the states.  “[The Peace Corps] is what brought me to the University of Notre Dame,” Parent said. “Father Ted Hesburgh had a Return Peace Corps Scholarship and since I was one of the first Peace Corps volunteers to go to the Peace Corps and get out, it had to go to somebody.”  Parent used his scholarship to receive a master of education degree from Notre Dame in 1967. After receiving his degree, Parent said he and his family decided to stay in South Bend, where he served as a city councilman from 1972 to 1979 and served as mayor from 1980 to 1987.  “It turned out South Bend was a great place for me”, said Parent. “I got accepted in the community really early here … I joke that I thought I would live on the east coast or the west coast and ended up living on the west coast of Lake Michigan.” Parent said his experience serving as a Peace Corps volunteer helped him to become a better politician. “In the Peace Corps I had to put myself in someone else’s shoes … when I got elected mayor I had some experience doing that,” Parent said. “As a politician you always have to try to figure out what people are thinking.” Overall, Parent said the Peace Corps taught him much about life and he said he would recommend it to anyone.  “We are never called ‘former Peace Corps Volunteers.’ Once a Peace Corps Volunteer always a Peace Corps Volunteer,” Parent said. Contact Wendy Hatch at [email protected]last_img read more

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MFM Holds Real Bamako as Plateau Utd Wins in Jos

first_imgCAF COMPETITIONS*Akwa United walks tight rope with 1-2 home defeat in Uyo By Femi Solaja with agency reportsIt was contrasting fortunes for all the three Nigerian club sides competing in CAF club competitions yesterday. One home win in Jos, an encouraging away draw in Bamako, Mali and a scandalous home loss summarised the performance of Nigerian clubs on all fronts.Although all the three representatives are debutants in the competitions, it was current league champions, Plateau United that came out with a comfortable 3-0 win against visiting Eding Sports FC of Cameroon in Jos.Similarly, in Bamako, debutants, Mountain of Fire and Miracle FC secured an encouraging 1-1 result against Malian side, AS Real Bamako who forced them to a draw in the first leg of the CAF Champions League qualifiers.MFM shocked the home fans when the Olukoya Boys took the lead in the 15th minute courtesy of Akinyemi Nojeem but their lead only lasted two minutes as Miakib Giscard drew the home side level with a powerful header.Both teams went into the half time break level at 1-1, and despite massive pressure from the home side, the Nigerians hanged on to claim a score draw which could prove valuable in the return leg.The return leg will take place in Lagos in two weeks time, with the Nigerians needing a 0-0 draw or an outright win to progress to the next round of the tournament.In his post match interview, coach Fidelis Ilechukwu said his ward swill work very hard in the return leg to kill off the tie, and praised their efforts in keeping the Malians at bay.In Jos, Plateau United dominated the early exchanges but a lack of cutting edge upfront including good goalkeeping from the goal tender of the visitors kept the Nigerians at bay.Plateau United got rewarded for their early pressure when they were awarded a penalty after Eyenga Alain handled the ball in the vital area in his bid to deny the home side a shot at goal.Tosin Omoyele’s spot kick was stopped by goalkeeper Ndjome Lionel, but Elijah Oghene was within the area to slot in the rebound and put Nigeria in the front seat.In-form Sunday Ingbede doubled the lead mid way in the second half before Joshua Obaje wrapped up the victory dip into the injury time.While the two clubs gave good account of themselves in the CAF elite competition, Akwa United got their CAF Confederation Cup campaign underway on the wrong foot after losing 1-2 at home to visiting Hawks FC of Gambia at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.The game started on a promising note for the Nigerians but it was the visitors who took the lead 15 minutes into the encounter after a blunder by Akwa United goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo.Ojo punched a harmless free kick unto the path of Mohammed Jallow who tapped home from what was the first shot on target by the visitors, and it got better for them four minutes after the half hour mark.The visitors made their host pay for a miss by Ubong Friday shortly after they have taken the lead, with Lamin Charity profiting from yet again another poor decision by Ojo to put the Gambians two goals up.Charity took advantage of the poor position of the former Nigeria U20 goalkeeper with a fantastic lob to put his team two goals up. A lead which they protected up to the half time break.Fifteen minutes to full time, Victor Mboama scored from close range to hand the Aiteo Federation Cup winners a life line, but tried as they could Hawks FC hanged on to claim a memorable 2-1 win ahead of the return leg in two weeks time in Gambia.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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