This is a different book about the Peace Corps experience. It shows how the author’s growing up in Acadian French-Speaking Maine prepared him for service as one of the very first volunteers in Thailand. His unique background in the Acadian French culture of Northern Maine helped him to work effectively in Udorn, Thailand, and thereby helped to shape the Peace Corps in the vibrant organization it is today.
Endorsements & Excerpt from the Preface
“Roger Parent’s stories of growing up in a French village in Maine and of his years in Thailand as a member of its first Peace Corps group is an important account of Peace Corps’ earliest days. I knew Peace Corps from its beginning and advised its Director, Sargent Shriver. Notre Dame trained the first volunteer group in 1961which served in Chile. The Peace Corps idea is powerful, but equally powerful were the first volunteers who in a real sense created Peace Corps. Roger also directed Peace Corps in Haiti and Grenada. His book should be read by all persons interested in Peace Corps, especially those wishing to serve.”
Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
I found Roger’s memoir very engaging. Roger grew up when the old folk Acadian culture was giving in to modern pressures. He was trying to resolve being of a minority culture, speaking a different language, and forging a life in a new age. He joined the Peace Corps to serve people in Thailand where he successfully faced radically different challenges. I highly recommend this well thought out memoir.
Don Cyr, Founder & Director, Musee Culturel du Mont-Carmel, Lille, Maine
Excerpt from the Author’s Preface
Mine is a story of overcoming the critical illness of my first months to robust health; of living in Acadian French-speaking Northern Maine to immersion in Thailand; of learning French in my village to learning English in school to learning Thai in Thailand; and of growing from deep shyness to the openness required of a Peace Corps teacher.
Life is what we do and what happens to us, and my stories are about what I’ve done and what’s happened to me. These stories are suggestive of my growth and development from a nascent sense of self and consciousness embedded at birth to the end of my service as a member of the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Thailand (Thai I), from 1961 to 1963.