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4The Daily Tar HeelThursday, February 9, 1984
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Peace Corps workers
learn from experience
By KATHY NORCROSS
Imagine living in the Dominican Republic after Hur
ricane David killed 2,000 Dominicans and orphans were
left roaming the streets. Imagine trying to sit on a camel
when it leans awkwardly forward as it stands with its
back feet first. Imagine the view from a back door
green rolling mountains or, perhaps, a muddy swamp
because it is the rainy season in a tropical country. Im
agine the handshake from a man who is learning better
farming techniques; the hug from a mother learning inj
fant child care, the smile from a child who has all his
teeth, a rarity in some countries.
These are only a few of situations a person experiences
in the Peace Corps.
Dan O'Brien, a graduate student in the School of
Public Health, participated in the Peace Corps from
1979 to 1983: two years in the Dominican Republic, after
which he went to Costa Rica and helped train people to
work in the Dominican Republic, and two years in
Nepal. In the Dominican Republic, O'Brien worked with
health care after Hujricane David hit. He also worked
with Dominican nuns to establish an orphanage for
street orphans. In Nepal he helped build drinking water
facilities and taught health at a village school.
Now, in spite of 16 hours of classes in three days,
O'Brien helps promote the Peace Corps in Chapel Hill, a
job that consists of 20 hours a week of presentations, in
terviews and conferences.
The Peace Corps has developed a strategy contract: it
tries to attract people from scarce skill areas such as nur
, sing, engineering, public health and agriculture. O'Brien
also tries to tap the resources of people in minorities,
older Americans, and specialists in math, science, and
health. Once a person has applied, O'Brien makes week
ly calls to New York to make sure everything is in order.
"It's a lot of payoff seeing people applying and going
overseas and having a wonderful Peace Corps ex
perience," O'Brien said.
It is a learning experience. Before entering a foreign
country a person must complete three months of training
in the language and cross-cultural and technical aspects
of the country. Volunteers must learn the particular
customs and beliefs in a country to understand the peo
ple and must know the language well to be able to com
municate. A volunteer stays in the country for two years.
Reasons for volunteering vary, but the rewards of learn
ing and experience are common to all.
Dee Gamble, a teacher at UNC's School of Social
Work, volunteered from 1962-1964 in Bucaramanga,
Colombia, in urban community development. She had
trained through college to be a secondary education
teacher and did her student teaching in Denver, Col.
' "I realized I was about to go into public schools and
teach social studies, and I didn't know anything about
the world," Gamble said. "The Peace Corps came at
just the right time.
"It changed my life. It made me less ethnocentric,
made me go into social work and changed the kind of
mate I chose to marry," she said. "It allowed me a
chance to explore my values and to confirm them."
When Gamble returned to New York City, she met
another volunteer at a return Peace Corps volunteer par-
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Peace Corps worker Dan O'Brien holds children at a Dominican Republic orphanage.
ty, who later became her husband. George Gamble, now
associate director at the Campus Y, volunteered in
Gabon from 1962-1963 and helped build schools. So
meone who recently returned from Gabon told him that
the schools are still up.
Gamble said he volunteered for the adventure to do
some positive things with people and to learn about peo
ple in other countries. When he returned he earned a
doctorate in anthropology.
Gamble emphasized that although many students
volunteer for the service aspect, he helps them focus on
the individual learning experience.
"I recognize that one learns a great deal from ex
perience," Gamble saidv
Earl Brown, who works for the Research Triangle
Park, just returned from four years in Ghana, West
Africa. Not only did he volunteer in Tanzania, East
Africa, from 1964-1967, he also got married there and
named his son after the president of Tanzania.
"Tanzania is my second home," Brown said. "I got
into the Peace Corps accidentally. I've made a lot of deci
sions since then. This was the best. I have gained more
than I could ever quantify. I have learned more than I
have given as a volunteer, and I gave a lot as a volunteer.
Each evening when I went to bed I was tired.
"People all over the world are basically the same,"
Brown said. "There are good ones and there are bad
ones. Your task is to relate to them."
Steve Bennett, a graduate student in the School of
Social Work, taught English in a middle school in South
Korea from 1975-1978. He had grown up in Asia and
wanted to go back. The Peace Corps provided him with
a convenient way to return and travel.
"I learned a lot not only about the people and the
culture but just being exposed to something so different:
a strange language, strange food," Bennett said. "You
learn a lot about yourself."
No one seems to dwell on any particular hardships.
Though it would seem inevitable that living in a foreign
country would be difficult, each person stressed his or
her gain in knowledge through experience.
"I would encourage anybody to take advantage of it
while it still lasts," Dee Gamble said. "There are very
few countries in the world who pay their young people to
go abroad." ,
What was the hardest part for George Gamble? Rain?
Heat? Cdld? Bugs? Food?
"Making the decision to go was the hardest part,"
Gamble said. "Then it was all excitement and
Black Light Theatre of Prague claims wide appeal
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By JEFF GROVE
Dance, pantomime and theatre will meet on the
Memorial Hall stage at 8 p.m. Saturday when the Black
Light Theatre of Prague comes to Chapel Hill for a per
formance sponsored jointly by the Triangle Dance Guild
and the Carolina Union.
Created in 1961 in Czechoslovakia, the Black Light
Theatre grew out of a boom in Czech theatre activity in
the late 1950s, according to member Paul Hortek. This
spurt of activity involved increased attention to pup
petry, the magic lantern and other theatrical techniques,
"Our theatre uses a mixture of pantomime, puppets
and theatre, all set to music," Hortek said. "Our stories
are told without words, and that gives them the power to
overcome all the language barriers of the world."
Hortek said the group was founded with an eye to in
ternational appeal, so all dialogue in Black Light Theatre
performances is mimed.
The members of the troupe, though, have not forgot
ten their homeland. The Black Light Theatre is still
based in Prague, and its members will return there after
completing a two-month tour of the U.S. that began in
Hortek said that if there are elements of Czech culture
in performances by the Black Light Theatre, they are
minute. Speaking about Czech theatre groups in general,
he said, "All of them have something Czech inside. But
our theatre is made very international by using the theme
'touching things.' "
On its American tour, the troupe performs a program
titled A Week of Dreams. The show is a magical ex
amination of a week in the Walter Mitty-style life of a
taxi drivei .
In the performance, costuming and backdrops render
some performers invisible. These performers manipulate
inanimate objects so that they "take on a life of their
own," Hortek said.
"We give the audience an opportunity to dream with
their eyes open," Hortek said. "And the best thing is,
we are for all of the family."
A specific philosophy makes the troupe try to appeal
to all ages. "The best audience," Hortek said, "retains
the ability to look at the world with child-like vision."
This outlook should serve the Black Light Theatre
well. In March the group returns to Prague for a 10-day
stint before traveling on to Switzerland. A television
show for a major European broadcasting company
follows later in the spring.
Between its basically international orientation and its
child-like view of the world, the Black Light Theatre is
safe to feel so universal in its message.
Hortek explained it more simply: "All the people in
the world have more or less the same dreams."
Tickets for Saturday's performance are $7 for
students, senior citizens and Union privilege card holders
and $8.50 for the general public. Call 962-1449 for more
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P A&PCOUPON )' r ( P A&P COUPON )-l Hostage' blends humor and theme unconvincingly
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Chapel Hill Rams Head Plaza Carrboro
750 Airport Road 15-501 By-Pass 607 W. Main Street
By JO ELLEN MEEKINS
Eccentric humor and a serious theme
do not combine convincingly in the
department of dramatic art's production
of The Hostage, which opened last
Leslie Williams, a young British
soldier, is held hostage by the Irish
Republican Army to prevent the execu-.
tion of a young Irish soldier in British
controlled Northern Ireland. Williams'
desperate situation is mixed with bawdy
comedy; he is held in a boarding house
occupied by prostitutes, homosexuals and
a supposedly religious "sociable
worker," who also has her share of fun.
This type of humor, along with sudden
outbursts of song, almost hides the
tragedy of the young, innocent hostage.
Although the play in general lacks suc
cessful blending of its disparate elements,
several individual performances are out
standing. Thirty minutes before the show
opens, the cast gathers around a piano,
singing traditional Irish tunes.
Some of the songs are light-hearted
and energetic. Some are serious, which is
an accurate prediction of the content of
the play. The cast also encourages au
dience participation by teaching the
choruses of certain songs and singing in
the aisles. The lyrics of such Irish
favorites as "Danny Boy" and "When
Irish Eyes Are Smilin'" are flashed on a
screen for the audience's benefit. This
musical introduction is entertaining and a
highlight of the performance.
Mona Niemiec is appropriately insuf
ferable as Miss Gilchrist, who has a voice
trained by an "electrocutionist." "I give
you my prayers," she tells Meg, owner of
the boarding house. Meg (Wendy B.
Wilson) snaps back, "You,can shove
them up your cathedral."
Complete with his green kilt and bag
pipes, Michael A. Connolly is excellent as
the Irish fanatic, Monsewer.
The most hysterical, scenes, in the play
are provided by W. Robert .Blue as Rio
Rita. His geisha outfit and his outburst of
song and dance in calypso style (interrup
ting a hymn) are especially memorable.
The best scene in the play, however, is
between Leslie (Michael Cumpsty) and
Teresa, the scullery maid (Shelley
Williams). The two teenagers, confused
and afraid, are immediately compatable
and teach each other about love.- In this
scene, Leslie and Teresa sing to each
other a child-like love song, "A Paper of
Pins," which exemplifies their innocence
in the midst of a crisis situation. Cumps-
ty's and Williams' openness and sincerity
Resident Designer and Technical
Director Linwood Taylor and the scenery
crew provided the highly detailed, multi
level set for which The Hostage will be
well remembered. Also, the special effects
of lighting and jmnshots add to the favor
of the raid scene.
The many different outstanding
qualities of The Hostage, however, often
clash; when mixed together they form a
final product that is not smooth. Never
theless, the audience can still appreciate
separately the singing, the comedy and
the serious theme.
The Hostage mil be performed at 8
p.m. in the Paul Green Theatre through
Satuday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Call
962-1121 for information.
COUIJTIW lUTCHErJ DELI SPECIALS
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The Carolina Student FundDfH
Campus Calendar will appear every
Monday and Thursday. Announce
ments to be run on Monday must be
placed in the box outside the Carolina
Student Fund office on the third floor
of South Building by 3 p.m. the Friday
before they are to run. Announce
ments to be run on Thursday must be
placed in the box by 5 p.m. of the pre
ceding Tuesday. Only announcements
from University recognized and cam
pus organizations will be printed.
ITEMS OF INTEREST
Rape ... H is everybody's concern! What can you
do to gain awareness about rape, sexual assault,
and forced intercourse? Call 966-2281 ext. 275 for
presentations for your organization or dorm.
10:30 a.m. Sigma Alpha Iota will be selling
singing Valentines in the Union
and Hill Hall Rotunda. Friday
3:15 p.m. Walk for Humanity Committee
meeting will be at the Campus Y.
4 p.m. Candidates Forum in the Union.
5:45 p.m. Baptist Student Union program
at Battle House.
6:30 p.m. Navigators Small Group Bible
Studies will be at the Union.
7 p.m. Maranatha Christian Fellowship
in 205 of the Union.
The Carolina Photography Club
will have a presentation on "How
to Select the Camera for Your
Needs" in 217 Bingham Hall.
Candidates Forum will be in the
basement of Parker Dorm.
Walt Disney Presentations for
SummerFall Employment will
be in the Union.
7:30 p.m. Elections Board Polling Com
mittee mandatory meeting for
poll-tenders and those interested
in serving as poll-tenders will be
in 111 Murphey.
8 p.m. UNC Cycling Club meeting will
be in the Union.
Women's Volleyball Club Prac
tice will be in Fetzer Gym A.
8:30 p.m. Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Speaker Clyde King-Yankee
Pitching Manager will be in
9 p.m. Candidates Forum in the Union.
5 p.m. Nomination forms for Grail
Valkyries Honorary Society are
7 p.m. Navigators Large Group meeting
will be at the Union.
Inter-Varsity Christian Fellow
ship Northeast Chapter meet-
ing in the Chapel of the Cross
Conference Room. - ;
Inter-Varsity Christian Fellow
ship Off-Campus Chapter
meeting will be in the Bible
8 p.m. Inter-Varsity Christian Fellow
ship All-Campus Coffeehouse at
Chapel of the Cross parlor.
4 p.m. Candidate's Forum in Morehead
7 p.m. Candidate's Forum in Mangum
9 p.m. Candidate's Forum in Connor
Noon Environmental Seminar will be in
1 16 Beard Hall. Dr. Douglas Mc
Clean, U. of Maryland, "The
Issues of Neutrality in Risk
Analysis: Is It Possible to Incor
porate Values and Ethics?"
2 p.m. Representative will be at the In
ternational Center to discuss
study in Austria, Britain, France,
Spain, and Mexico with Central
College of Iowa.