Peace Corps
Thai 27
UPDATES Dec 2007

The King
You will all remember Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej who has been on the throne for over 60 years and was king when we were volunteers. The King will turn 80 in December. recently he spent almost a month in the hospital for treatment of a blood clot. Renee sent these pictures taken of the King when he was discharged from the hospital recently

Lou Parisien
Lou is a retired teacher now living in Minnesota with his wife Barbara. When he was in Thailand he was stationed with Bill Muir in Mahasarakham (Northeast)   Bill and Lou taught at the teacher training college. Lou also taught at the College of Education. 
He has given us
an update on what he’s been up to since we last saw him in Thailand over 37 years ago. And a few photos here

Barbara Thomas
"Fran and I just got back from a super two-week + trip through northern and central Italy--simply for fun. Nothing else coming up soon, but I am busy in my retirement with the Quakers. We are starting a Peace and Justice Center at our Meetinghouse and planning a building program. I have also contacted a group called Ashoka in Arlington, VA. They identify and promote social entrepreneurs around the developing world, helping to impliment worthwhile ideas of individuals. I intend to volunteer with them over the next few months"

Dianne Sherman
Dianne writes: "My father, Willard, passed away on June 12, 2006.  It seems like just yesterday and has dwarfed most other experiences from the months before and the year and a half since.  He was 97 years old, and to borrow from Dylan Thomas, 'raged against the dying of the light.'  He loved life more than I can ever hope to, smiled more than anyone I've ever known, was up at the crack of dawn every morning until his health began to fail, and occupied himself with work and play, mostly outdoors, as long as he could.  We played chess together just a couple of weeks before he died, and as usual he beat me.  He cried a little that day.  Now I realize that he knew we were saying good-bye.  The fog of sadness at not having been able to comfort him more still hangs heavily around me, but in those brief moments when the sun breaks through, I try to work in the garden, play a game of computer chess, give a hand to someone else, or step outside and look at the night stars as he would have done."

Susan (Corcoran) Auer
I retired last year but husband Steve still has his job. Makes it ard to do all the travel we'd like to. Last spring we did our tandem bicycle tour of Proveence. 2 weeks,400 miles and 20,000 feet of climbing. That climbing ws really tough for me, I did it but really didn't enjoy it.
Provence was beautiful.
Afterwards we traveled by car to Barcelona.
Next year we are skipping the bike tour and are planning to go to China, maybe in the Fall. Also, we plan to go to the Carribean and on a short bike tour of the San Juan Islands, WA. That's hard to squeeze in on Steve's 4-week vacation schedule. Can't complain too much, Steve's job is the reason we can travel. 
Most of my time is used playing with my granddaughter,  Megan, 20 months. I see her quite often. I also spend time putting in my studio.
We have just (nearly) finished landscaping our backyard. It had been blank for so many years. I'm looking forward to entertaining you and other rpcvs soon.

Kevin Wheeler
Kevin Wheeler and his wife Sakorn visited the Geefay's in November. They produced a "Walk On" video for Kevins website .
and spent a day hiking Around the folsom lake area

The walk-on Video isn't quite finished yet but here's a preview of What It is going to look like

Chesley Prince
Chesley Prince works for the Social Security Administration in Des Moines, Iowa.
He and his wife recently had hopes of attending the Bejing Olympics. He writes: "We applied for tickets to the Olympics early this year but when we were finally told about a week ago that we could have beach volley ball, rowing, table tennis and athletics (track and field?) but not swimming, diving or gymnastics, we decided to bail out.  We particularly wanted to see Shawn Johnson, a female gymnast from the Des Moines suburbs who has a good chance of a medal this year, possibly gold.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson, Drama Professor at Virginia Tech has been working with relatives , families and friends of the shooting victims last April in turning the classrooms where most of the victims were killed into a place where people can learn something from the tragedy. Currently the University is trying to decide between two proposals for the rooms at Norris Hall.  One is a Peace Center and Institute for the Study of Violence, the other is a business as usual proposal to return it to ordinary function for the engineering department

Dave writes: " The Peace Center concept was proposed by Michael Bishop, father of Jamie Bishop, the young German professor who was also a friend of mine who was killed.  Michael is also a significant writer of science fiction if you care to Google him.  He and I have been in contact.  The chair of the committee for the Peace Center and those studying the proposals are also friends of mine; and Jamie's widow and the widower husband of the French teacher who was killed are also on it.  They have asked for all the support they can get, and when I asked them if the support of the Peace Corps could be useful, they said "yes."
Please visit and read through both proposals.
There are some "Second Amendment supporters" others who are not comfortable with a Peace Center Concept who are advocating returning the classrooms to educational use. You can read some of the pros and cons here.
At the bottom of is an email list of those who will be making the final decision. Dave asks that you let them know by email that you support the Peace Center Proposal.

Barton Butler
Bart Butler took an early retirement from Wendy's corporate headquarters in Ohio where he worked in Corporate Communications. They are relocating from Columbus to Phoenix in December . More details to come.

Pock Otis
Pock Otis (Pepeekeo trainer) finished the TEFL re-certification program at Hamline University in Minnesota and went to Thailand to see about teaching on Samui. He was disappointed in Thailand but fell in love with Bali. So for now he has decided to return to the States . He writes "You can't go home again. Life is all about right now and usually right here and that's where you should operate. 40 years is a long long time for humans to screw a place up. "

Steve Tripp
Steve Tripp is a university professor and Director of the Center for Language Research at University of Aizu, Japan
Steve writes: I was back in Massachusetts visiting my family in September.  Went up to Salem to visit the Peabody-Essex Museum, worth visiting if you’re ever in that neck of the woods.
Skimmed "The Land of Smiles" and it brought back many memories---I lived in Laos for two years after leaving Thailand.  Would love to go back.  Thought I might have a chance  this Xmas-New Year’s but doesn't look like it
I keep busy now riding my motorcycle in the mountains around here (before the snow starts to fall).

Ken DeBevoise
Ken writes: "All's fine here.  I'm teaching at the University of Oregon, where Barbara and Bob Drexler's daughter, Anna, has just started graduate school in creative writing.  I'm still doing lots with Synchronicity, the charitable foundation one of my former students, his wife, and I set up around ten years ago.  Mary (Paraguayan wife)and I went to Guatemala and Uganda on its behalf earlier this year and will go to El Salvador and Morocco to help set up projects in December.
Mary is doing well and adjusting slowly to a new country and language.  It can't be very easy.  She studies English in the mornings at Lane Community College and volunteers afternoons in a middle school in Springfield (next to Eugene),working with recently arrived kids - mostly from Mexico.  Here are some photos of a project we completed in Thailand

Gaynor Turner
After an exciting trip to Europe, Gaynor , who is retired and living Oregon,says :
"life is slowing down to a normal pace. Tonight a friend took me over to the West Cascade monthly potluck and meeting.  They always have a presentation from someone recently returned from a Peace Corps site and tonight it was done by three volunteers who returned from Nicaragua last year.  One of the guys is from Eugene and
persuaded the couple to come settle here.  They served in community education and health and it sounds like they enjoyed their stay and the Nicaraguan people very much.  One guy did complain that he went without a refrigerator for 8 months because he had no electricity.  Of course I did
not go without electricity but I never did have a refrigerator.  I had a nice conversation during dinner with a woman who served in Ghana in 1967-69 so about my age.  She recently had returned there and was telling , me how pleasantly surprised she was that things were functioning there so well compared to other African nations around there.  Worried though that the discovery of oil off the coast will cause corruption like in other of the oil rich African nations."

Rachel Baker
Beside playing grandmother to her two grandkids, Rachel is very active in the anti-war movement in San Jose, California . She writes: I did the SF march! The wide range of progressive groups all pretty much working together.  The spirit was high, yet the event was very controlled.  As I marched with South Bay Mobilization (right behind the gay vegans banner and two naked guys) I was reminded of the turbo Vietnam Moratorium days--but we can still get rowdy....we had a good amount of dancing and drumming.  The media called it 30,000----but our bus counts, line counts, etc gave a figure approaching 150,000!

Kevin Snow
Kevin Snow and wife Sheila had a visit with Dave Johnson back east recently.
Kevin says: "I had a good visit with Dave Johnson in Virginia last week during a trip with Sheila to D.C. for a pentagon update on Vietnam and Korean MIA's (her dad was a pilot shot down in Korea). A well run and informative conference and an opportunity to enjoy the city and its many museums. I then drove down to Blacksburg to spend a few days with Dave. He's divorced again and a bit sad about it. Instead, he has acquired a harem of guitars to play with, all shapes and sizes and age. One for every room and mood, even in his office on campus. Compliant but challenging these voluptuous creatures are, but ready to play on demand. It makes me think...
Fires have been awful and everywhere. Had to evacuate the horses during the Zaca fire, then came home from find the house suffocated in ash and dust inside and out. What next?
For a very enjoyable experience go see Across the Universe, you'll love it. I made Dave go with me in Blacksburg (we were the only two in the theater at a 3:30 showing) and we both laughed and cried. On Halloween a bunch of us in S.B. dressed up as hippies, had some wine and cheese, got loaded, and went to see it. Then we wandered the streets with all the young ones out in costume and ended up at Joe's drinking margaritas and ogling an Australian babe in a very tight miniskirt dressed as a cop. I think she liked girls, though, but it was a hoot. Haven't been out on Halloween in years (aren't I too old for that shit?) but watching the movie somehow takes 30 years off your life, or reminds you sweetly of that time and how we were.
I'll check out the book, but you see the movie.

Ernie Geefay

Ernie Geefay usually makes a trip to Thailand every year around this time but decided this year not to.
Their daughter, Cathy, is getting married in June and a lot of the Thai relatives are planning to be at the wedding so they will all see each other in a few month anyway.
"I'll miss the warm sunny December weather in Thailand"
He continues to run his video production business in California.
His daughter also works for him and hopefully will carry on the business when he is too old to see the TV monitor.

Dewleen Baker

Dewleen Baker M.D. is Associate Professor at UCSD and Associate Director for Clinical Affairs of the Veterans Affairs Center for Stress and Mental Health located at the VA in San Diego.

She writes: I continue to be very busy with my work, probably mostly my own fault for keeping too many projects going at the same time.  On the other hand, I find them all interesting, so what can I do.  It is a very busy time right now for clinician/researchers in PTSD.  

I survived the fires quite well.  There was smoke everywhere in the San Diego area, but my home in La Jolla was relatively far from both the fires in the north and the south.  I did not have to evacuate, but many of my colleagues did.  Fortunately none had houses that were burned. 
I had a great Thanksgiving with my daughter and parents, and am looking forward to a family Christmas in San Diego.

Hugh Leong
Hugh Leong is happily retired in Thailand where he keeps busy working on the publication of his English language textbooks and raising endangered turtles in his yard in Chiang Mai.
He writes: Pikun and I just got our annual physicals and we are basically still kicking.  I wrote a future column about it.  I
will attach it here for you (Ernie) because you might want to do it here too.  We just renewed our visas for another year.  It took all of 50 minutes.  Not bad."
Hugh sent me his "Holiday Greetings" to friends and family in which he talks about adjusting to life in Thailand after living in the States for many years. I thought it was interesting so ,with his permission ,I have included a copy of it

Tom Horne
Tony Horne is a professional pilot and now writes for the pilots' magazine AOPA. AOPA is a "non profit political organization whose membership consists mainly of general aviation pilots in the US
Tony writes..... "   I've been super busy lately, with a lot of writing and (always work-related) travel. We did a one-off magazine about flying turbine-powered airplanes a couple months ago---just to see how it was received. It went well, and so it looks like we'll do another one in 2008. I contributed a lot to it. Also, I'm still writing for the monthly version of AOPA Pilot. Here are several of articles I have written
This year I've been to Germany (3 times--wife Sylvia is from Berlin), Brazil, Switzerland, England, France, Iceland, Greenland, and Canada--less exotic--Wichita, Hartford, and Ohio....
In August I took a motorcycle trip through Indiana and up the coast of Michigan to Ludington and Traverse City. It was great, as long as you stay off the "super-slab" (interstates).
Also, in the past year I've been taking meteorology courses from Pennsylvania State University--mainly mesoscale and tropical meteorology. I write a monthly weather column for Pilot, and for one article I went to the weather observatory on Mauna Loa. Global warming is real! Up there, they track CO2 very accurately because at that altitude the air is purer and far from the boundary layer. They also track UV and atmospheric particulates.
To make it easier for everyone I'm posting this reunion poll here. You don't need to register to vote.
Just click Your Choice


Funny Thai Commercial