Lou Parisien was stationed with Bill Muir in Mahasarakham (Northeast) where the language of choice was Lao, not Thai. It took some adjusting but they learned more Lao and a little less Thai. Bill and Lou taught at the teacher training college. Lou also taught at the College of Education
After Peace Corps I traveled extensively: Asia , Australia, new Zealand, North Africa, Russia, all of Europe, Scandinavia before returning to the States to continue my education. I attended and earned advanced degrees in languages, education psychology from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Kent State University (Ohio) and the University of Minnesota (St. Paul).
I have retired from teaching after 39 years. I was a high school teacher in the St. Paul
Public school system: French, English, speech pathology/audiology, learning disabilities. I'm 65, healthy and still working part time but NOT in academia. For the past 30 years (1977-the present) I have been a part-time US Customs Officer and enjoy the challenges the job presents. I work 16-24 hours on weekends and have the weekdays to myself. The job has changed dramatically since 9/11. As a federal officer I've transitioned from an "immigration" to "customs" to "agriculture" officer at the international airport in the Twin Cities. Now we are Customs/Border Protection Officers.
My Peace Corps experience has been invaluable for what I presently do. I can empathize and see foreign travelers from their view point. Speaking various languages is also worth its weight in gold. It's an icebreaker with "Good Guys" and also "Bad Guys.” It's work I truly enjoy and feel I can offer real service. After all, not all customs guys are "Bad Guys.” I hope that gets across. I do not plan on retiring and collecting my federal pension soon.
My wife , Barbara, of 33 years has also retired from teaching high school English and is pursuing her passion: full time watercolorist. She's quite accomplished.
She also writes for a regional food magazine (Edible Twin Cities). She focuses on gardening and healthy eating. This may be the reason I have not gained too much and remain healthy to this day.
Here are a few of her articles
We have two sons, Mark and Michael, living in Portland , Oregon. Both boys are close to each other and remain unmarried. They are now trying to buy their first house together. The market is really tough to break into in the Pacific Northwest.
Mark, 30, (University of Wisconsin Madison/University of Montana) an anthropology major, owns a small landscaping business in Portland and does hand crafted stone work. Mark's passions are travel/study and sustainable living. He has spent months every year learning in Hawaii, Brazil and most recently, New Zealand.
Michael, 31, has his degree (University-Wisconsin-Madison) in communications/film production. He worked in Ireland after graduating and traveled throughout Europe. He's still struggling with his career dreams and keeps himself afloat by working as a waiter/bartender at Serratto, a high-end Italian restaurant in Portland. He's still passionate about film production and is working on a movie, Enter the Mustache. He wrote, directed, produced, and acted in the movie, but also hired actors from LA where he lived before moving to Portland. Here is his trailer. The full movie will be released soon.
"Trailer" produced by Michael Parisien
With the boys on their own, Barb and I travel a lot. We've been to France, Italy, and Greece. We try visiting our boys in Oregon regularly as well as family in the Southwest and Northeast. We own a lake cabin in Northwestern Wisconsin and spend each week in summer/fall there. I work weekends at the international airport so it works out beautifully
We don't intend to ever leave the Twin Cities. It's home. We love the 10,000 lakes and season changes.