The following article was originally posted in waisworld.org, permission was granted by our fellow RPCV David Fleischer to have it posted here.
David Fleischer writes:
Some had been "IFYEs"--had participated in the International Farm Youth Exchange program and spent six months living on a farm in a foreign country. I had been a 4-H club member in Columbia County in upstate New York and worked on several projects--dairy calf, chickens, sheep, gardening, and reforestation. I was recruited by my county 4-H club agent in mid-1961 and dropped out of Antioch College in December 1961 to join the training group.
The National 4-H Club Foundation had been contracted to administer our group in Brazil. The Foundation had a very good relationship with the Brazilian national rural extension service (ABCAR) and that was the "foot in the [Brazilian] door" to get Peace Corps into Brazil. This happened in some other countries. For example, in Senegal, the UAW (United Auto Workers) had a very good relationship with labor unions there and so was hired as the contractor for the first Peace Corps project in that country--to train local auto mechanics.
JE comments: Outstanding reminisces from David Fleischer. I had often wondered what circumstances led David to choose a career in Brazil. David, together with Richard Hancock, were Peace Corps pioneers--truly one of the brightest spots in International Relations during the tension-filled 1960s.
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