Heaven and Hell in the Philippines: Journal of a Peace Corps Volunteer

Heaven and Hell in the Philippines: Journal of a Peace Corps Volunteer

by Daniel H. Wieczorek


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The author served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in the Philippines from 1985 to 1987 as an agro-forestry specialist. This book is a daily journal describing some of the encounters, experiences, trials and tribulations he went through as he became a part of the culture and daily life of a small farming community in Quirino Province.

This book is a transcription of his entire journal - he made a journal entry every day while he was gone. In fact the journal begins on the day that he left his home in Fairbanks, Alaska and ends when he arrived back home in Fairbanks. Because it's a journal, it is written in the first person, there is an abundance of "I did..." and "we did...".

Every entry is dated and the expenses for each day are also recorded. Parts of it may be extremely boring and even mundane to you, the reader, but everything that is recorded here was significant in the specific day of life for the volunteer as he did his best to accomplish something that would have a lasting impact on the lives of the local people.

The author was older than the average PCV and as such, he had ideas that were a bit different than them, for example, he bought his own water buffalo and set up a large demonstration farm to show the benefits of contour plowing and farming, something which many local people said was impossible for a water buffalo to accomplish. By the time he completed his service, however, every farmer in his small community was doing contour farming, so apparently it was not impossible.

This book is recommended for any person who has a dream of becoming, or has been a PCV. If you're one who wants to serve, this book will show you exactly what you might expect to have happen to you at some point in your service as you go through the stages of culture shock, acculturation, acceptance into your community and more. If you're a returned PCV (RPCV) this book will make you recall some of your own trials and tribulations and probably make you laugh about them.

Note that this book speaks briefly of some gay sexual encounters. There are, however, no long and drawn out descriptions of these encounters, no graphic sex.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780996362696
Publisher: Daniel H. Wieczorek
Publication date: 04/15/2016
Pages: 510
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.13(d)

About the Author

Daniel Wieczorek was born in 1947 in Ionia, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Forestry in 1969. He moved to Oregon to work in the field of forestry in 1971. That was followed by a move to Alaska in 1975, where he continued his career in forestry. After about a 14 year career in forestry, Daniel decided to do something different and he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in The Philippines from 1985 - 1987. Upon completion of his Peace Corps service he returned to Alaska, where he attended the University of Alaska - Fairbanks and received an M.B.A. in 1991. This was followed by a move to South Korea in 1992, where Daniel taught English to Korean people wishing to improve their English Language skills. Daniel's next stop was in New York City, where he worked as temporary staff at Deutsche Bank from 1998 - 2001. He left NYC in March 2001 and moved on to his present home in Mitaka City, Tokyo, Japan. He is teaching English in Japan and at this time he's been teaching as a career for about 17 years. He has been hiking, climbing and doing photography since he was about 12 years old.

At the present time he's been in Japan for 15 years. He and his same-sex life partner were married in Ashland, Oregon on August 10, 2015 and at this time he and his partner are in the middle of the long process of getting a green card so that they can go to and live in Alaska. It will, of course, be a return for Daniel, but for his partner it will be his first experiences of Alaska, his first opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis in the winter, the midnight sun in the summer and much, much more.

By the way, if you're curious, he never did make a return trip to the Philippines. Eventually he lost contact with George, Ronald, Nestor and everybody else in the Philippines. At the present time the only fellow PCV's that he still has contact with are JB and Katie F.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Fairbanks, Alaska to Durham, Oregon 1
Chapter 2: Durham, Oregon to Berkeley, California 4
Chapter 3: Berkeley, California to Manila, Philippines 6
Chapter 4: Manila, Philippines to Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya 8
Chapter 5: Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya to Burgos, Cabarroguis, Quirino 10
Chapter 6: Culture Notes #1 42
Alcohol in Community Culture
Religion - Iglesia ni Cristo
Chapter 7: Burgos, Cabarroguis, Quirino to Gomez, Cabarroguis, Quirino 43
Chapter 8: Culture Notes #2 72
Site Transfer
Chapter 9: Gomez, Cabarroguis, Quirino to Building my House 73
Chapter 10: Culture Notes #3 92
Acceptance Into Gomez
Sleeping Companion
Sleeping Culture
The Village Grapevine
On Being Gay
Chapter 11: Building My House through August 2, 1986 96
Chapter 12: Culture Notes #4 190
The Necessity of Demonstration
The First Year Draws to a Close
Opening Presents
Cooking and Lighting
Chapter 13: August 3, 1986 through October 17, 1986 195
Chapter 14: Culture Notes #5 234
An Overdue Note on Acculturation
Going into the Second Year
Owning a Water Buffalo (Nuang)
Chapter 15: October 18, 1986 through January 22, 1987 238
Chapter 16: Culture Notes #6 297
The "Art" of Moonlight Strolling
Chapter 17: January 23, 1987 through April 18, 1987 299
Chapter 18: Culture Notes #7 348
Chapter 19: April 19, 1987 through June 6, 1987 350
Chapter 20: Culture Notes #8 381
Time References
Chapter 21: June 7, 1987 through November 16, 1987 382
Chapter 22: November 16, 1987 (#2) through December 10, 1987 - HOME! 479
END 492
About the Author 496

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