Peace Corps
Thai 27
1969
 
         Michael Schmicker
 
Mike, Chris and Patricia
at Chris' High School graduation
Chris, Patricia and Mike
at a spoof "hippie party" for my brother who turned 50
 

During my years in the Peace Corps, I worked on the Peace Corps ETV Project, City of Bangkok, Thailand from 1969-1972.

After I completed my Peace Corps service, I got a grant to the University of Hawaii, in Honolulu (East-West Center Grantee) where I got an M.Ed. in Educational Media and met my wife, Patricia Loui.. I’ve been married for 29 years now (Sounds like Peter Coombs and I are among the winners in the longevity marriage race!) She is Chinese-Japanese, born and raised in Hawaii, and went to Northwestern U. for her BA in journalism. She then got an EWC grant too.

In 1974 I went back to Thailand for two years to work as an Editor for the Population Division of ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), in Bangkok. Pat worked for UNESCO.

In 1976 we returned to Hawaii where Pat took over as a magazine editor while I spent three boring years working for a local Blue Shield medical plan as Community Relations supervisor. I finally escaped that job and from1979-1982 I was Associate Editor of East West Perspectives magazine, published by the East West Center in Hawaii It was a15,000 circulation magazine covering developments in environment, energy, population trends, economics and culture in Asian and Pacific countries.

From 1982-1986 I worked as Editor of Hawaii Business magazine, a monthly business magazine covering business trends and industries in Hawaii and the Pacific Basin.

Since 1986, I have worked for Pacific Marine/Navatek Ltd, my wife’s family's company, helping my brother-in-law with media, government relations, PR, grant writing. I have been with the company for almost 18 years now. The website is www.navatekltd.com We design and build high-tech ships for the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research, in Washington, DC.

From1997-2003, I also wrote and edited the TIGR Report ( Targeted Industries Growth Report), a newsletter in Hawaii Business magazine focusing on eight emerging growth industries in Hawaii.

I write books on the side. While in the Peace Corps, I wrote regularly for the Bangkok Post and the Bangkok World (under a pen name – it got me in trouble with Kevin Delany and the PC one year when I wrote about the secret war in Laos after going up there). One story I did for the Bangkok World was about astrology in Thailand. The topic fascinated me ( I majored in philosophy in college). I got interested in the paranormal, and a few years back wrote and published a book dealing with the best scientific evidence for eight paranormal phenomena. The book is called "Best Evidence". The book sold quite well, and is in a second edition. If anyone's curious, they can check it out on the Amazon.com website. Also, a new book I wrote called The Gift. It just came out this month by St. Martin's Press. It even includes an online ESP test you can try....

Among the writing I did after Peace Corps were some op-ed pieces for the Asian Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately I am currently barred from Thailand for writing an opinion/editorial piece for the Journal back in 1982 noting that many people felt the Crown Prince was not fit to be the successor to King Bhumibol, and analyzing the possibility that they might turn to the Crown Princess instead. I ended up committing a very rare crime -- lese majeste -- insulting a royal family. But such risks come with the journalism field. I still think the analysis was correct. So now I enjoy Thailand by going to some of our great Thai restaurants here in Hawaii instead of in Bangkok. C'est la vie!

Pat and I have one son, Chris, who has just gone off to begin his first year at Yale. He’s a published writer also, so ink must run in our family veins! Maybe he'll end up in Peace Corps too some day.