The Making of a Peace Corps Volunteer: From Maine to Thailand 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.
“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
“Roger Parent’s memoir of the first 24 years of his life shows how the values and experiences of his Acadian youth in the St. John Valley of Northern Maine, equipped him to serve others with empathy and insight. The making of a Peace Corps Volunteer: From Maine to Thailand, is a poignant account of a young man’s role in an idealistic venture in American history – a story with relevance for today’s world.”
Kathryn J. Olmstead, Bangor Daily News Columnist, & Editor, Echoes Magazine
“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 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