Those Peculiar Americans: The Peace Corps and American National Character

Those Peculiar Americans: The Peace Corps and American National Character

Those Peculiar Americans: The Peace Corps and American National Character

Those Peculiar Americans: The Peace Corps and American National Character

Excerpt

As I bounded out of the Pan American clipper onto the concrete landing apron at the old Manila International Airport shortly after 8 A.M. on September 1, 1961, a score of Filipino photographers and newspapermen greeted me with popping flashbulbs and sharp questions. "What do you hope to accomplish in the Philippines?" "Will Americans be able to live in the barrios?" "Don't you think we need money and equipment, not Peace Corps volunteers?" "What can you tell us about the Peace Corps?"

What could I tell them! In five weeks, 128 volunteers would report for action in the Philippines, assigned to remote villages to perform as "educational aides," a title and concept completely new to Filipinos, volunteers, and myself. I told the reporters it was too early to answer their questions, but . . .

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