Bennington Banner Newspaper Archives Sep 20 1966, Page 5

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Bennington Banner (Newspaper) - September 20, 1966, Bennington, Vermont Bennington Banner tuesday september 20, 1966�?5peace corps volunteers return from two year tour in Liberia shake hands with the sixth Grade who were 20-years-old. Gorlou a Village with a population of about 700, is located 180 Miles from the coast and reached by a dirt Road. The school there served the various Little communities making up the Gbar Lein clan of the spell tribe. Some of these other settlements were As far away As 40 Miles which meant that children had to stay at local Homes while attending school. The Homes incidentally Are thatched mud huts while the school is of mud Block construction. Agriculture is the mainstay Industry of the Community with Rice the Basic crop raised. Most of this Grain which is raised however is for local use with Little sold outside. But some Farmers do raise Cocoa Coffee and sugar Cane for rum Malang As Cash crops. All property incidentally is communally owned by the tribe with the tribal clan or lesser chiefs deciding How it shall be used and who shall raise what crops where. Something of life in Gorlou car be seen in the part of the store quoted Here written by mrs. Ploof a student. Pia Sava wine is a naturally fermenting beverage that comes directly from the Pia Sava tree. The reference to its a a making by the dog really refers to the operation of making cuts in a tree from which the liquid flows. The reference to or. Leopard sending his messenger to get the wine from the dog is illustrative of the Way messages or other items Are passed in Rural Liberia since there Are no telephones and postal service As it is known Here is almost non existent. Other peace corps personnel brought the proofs their mail. . Lucky strike menthol did you notice that the headlights Are vertical now instead of leaning Back a bit that does t make the car look any better. But it makes the Road look better by making the lights a Little brighter. And that Little Hump in the Back we did that to hold the License plate up straight so the police can read it better. Sorry what you wont notice without driving the new Model Are the big improvements. The engine has been enlarged to a ferocious 53 horsepower. That Only adds 3 . To the top Speed. Because we put most of the additional Power where i would make the engine accelerate faster turn slower and last even longer. Now that the vow is getting to be such a hot car we put in a couple of things to slow it Down. Dual brakes. The front wheel brakes Are completely Independent of the rear wheel brakes. So if you Ever lost the front wheel brakes you could still Stop the Back of the car. Which automatically stops the front of the car too the new vow also has seat belts backup lights and recessed door handles As Standard equipment. In fact this year we made so Many changes on the Volkswagen that we thought we d better make one More. We wrote a Volkswagen Quot on the Back of the car to be sure everybody would know what it was. From the practice in which tribal leaders were carried from place to place in a Hammock by other men. He believed however that this Type of transportation is now Little used having seen it on Only a few occasions while the couple was there. The proofs summed up their peace corps tour of duty As a interesting challenging and a it May even have meant More to us As individuals than to our Host country a said Barbara a but we Felt that we did serve a useful purpose to with the wind up of their visit Home a Allen and Barbara also visited with his family in Highgate Center before coming to Bennington a the proofs will be going i to Columbia University Barbara to study for her masters degree in elementary education at the teachers College there while Allen will be working towards a master degree in social work at the University a school of social work. Burkhardt also served another area resident who has recently wound up a two year tour of duty with the peace corps is Ross Burkhardt 24, son of mrs. Frederick Burkhardt of Oversea Road. The Banner was not Able to interview Burkhardt at length but did learn that he spent his two years in the town of Gigante Columbia in South America. The name in English Means a a giant and local residents were amused Over its appropriateness for Burkhardt who stands 6 feet 6 inches tall. Burkhardt a principal duties were in connection with a government program designed to help families improve their nutrition. This was done by helping them to establish their own gardens and to raise Chick ens and rabbits for table meat. Burkhardt explained that their diets Are Short on Flat mans and protein. He also helped with Community development work including the construction of a school and Public water Supply facilities. The town is similar in size to Bennington with a population of 16,000 with a Central Village of some 6,000 inhabitants. But it was primarily an agricultural Community with cattle Coffee and a crude sugar Cane being principal products raised. Burkhardt graduated from the University of Wisconsin before going into the peace corps and this fall is going on to the University of Rhode i amp land to study City planning. Lucky strike Green. The Fine tobacco cigarette with menthol. We of if Zia. To. Introducing two of the most Radical changes in Volkswagen history. Can you spot them Monument motors inc. U. S. Route 7 South Bennington authorized dealer by Bob Hagerman once upon a time there were a dog and a Leopard. The dog was making Pia Sava wine. Then the dog stayed making the Pia Sava wine until or. Leopard knew about it. When or. Leopard knew that dog was making Pia Sava wine then Leopard sent his messenger there to get the Pia Sava ships to transport the colonists Over the Atlantic. The first settlement was off the coast of what is now Sierra Leone the country neighbouring Liberia to the North. But a new and permanent settlement was later established in what is now liberians capital City of Monrovia. Back Home a Barbara and Allen look through a scrapbook of schoolwork of some of her students in Gorlou while relaxing during a visit Home with Barbaraus parents or. And mrs. Kenneth r. Clayton of pippin Knoll. With them is their pet Basenji an african Breed of dog which they brought Home with them. The dogs name is Christmas or Chrissy after the fact that he was a Christmas present. Wine from dog. When dog sent the wine or. Leopard drank it. This is part of a Story composed and Handwritten by Joseph gent Kollie a fourth grader at the Public school in Gorlou Liberia. The original manuscript in its neat Pencil script now forms part of a Large scrapbook of his and other students themes and artwork which the boys teacher has brought Back to the United states As a souvenir of her work there. The teacher is mrs. Barbara Clayton Ploof who with her husband Allen have just returned from a tour of duty As peace corps teachers working in a Small Village in the Interior of the West african nation. Barbara is the daughter of or. And mrs. Kenneth r. Clayton of pippin Knoll and for the past week or so the couple have been visiting at her parents Home before resuming their own education at Columbia University. But their time Hasni tall been spent there for on a number of occasions they have shown pictures and spoken to groups at two area schools and at the second congregational Church about their peace corps experiences and the country that was their Home for two years. A of the Republic of Liberia is a country whose founding has its roots in America though from soil somewhat tainted. According to the proofs the country was settled by freed american slaves organized by the american colonization society which provided in addition to the american negroes there were also some former slaves from Central America As Well. The Colony a first governors were appointed by the colonization society but lesser officers were chosen by the colonists themselves. Then sometime in the 1840s the appointed governor died and moving up to take his place was the elected vice governor. Since that time the governor himself has been chosen by the people. The Colony at Monrovia subsequently joined another Colony and together the two established the Republic of Liberia and declared its Independence in 1847. But it was not until after the civil War Here that the United states recognized the new nation. It has been the oldest continuously no occupied country in Africa. The country is about the size of Ohio or new York and contains some 1,250,000 inhabitants which include both descendants of the original settlers and indigenous native tribes. Public administration and the court system of the National government itself is superimposed Over tribal administration and Justice with both operating concurrently. The government does have a compulsory education Law and runs the Public school system. According to the proofs education for youngsters in grades i through 6 is now quite Good but for the upper grades facilities Are still limited. Youngsters in outlying villages generally have to travel to some larger town to attend Junior High school and May then have to make another change to attend High school should they go on that far. But the problem of travel and other difficulties results in Many students not going beyond the elementary level. A of English is the country a official language and while some children who begin school know Only their tribal Tongue this is the exception with most children beginning their education with at least some familiarity with English. The proofs noted that now most children Are starting school at about age six. The liberians do not keep track of birth dates and therefore of birthdays. They have the Rule of thumb instead that a child is ready to Start school a when he can reach Over the top of his head with one hand and pull his opposite this is a reference to the fact that in his earliest years a child a head is relatively larger in proportion to the rest of his body and he is thus unable to reach that opposite ear. At the time the proofs were at the elementary Public school in Gorlou the Ages of children in different classes were quite mixed including some a a youngsters in fourth graders a these Are members of the fourth Grade class taught by mrs. Barbara Ploof while she was stationed As a peace corps Volunteer in the Rural Village of Gorlou in Liberia. She and her husband Allen another teacher have just returned from a two year tour of duty in the african nation. The proofs Between them had some 95 children under their Wing divided Between the third through sixth grades which they taught. Mrs. Ploof said she would teach her third Grade class in the morning and the fourth in the afternoon with her husband making a similar split Between the fifth and sixth grades. Their texts and instruction guides were generally of United states origin As a result of which there were various difficulties in using them with the liberian children. For example they noted references to such things As birthday parties and picnics had to be explained to the Gorlou students. A reference to the american thanksgiving dinner with its Turkey and mashed potatoes had to be re interpreted into Rice and Chicken in order to be adequately meaningful. Mathematics problems involving a reference to distances could also be a problem since the liberians rarely think of a trip in terms of its length in Miles but rather in terms of the time required to make the trip usually by walking. For the american proofs the liberians also had their own meanings for some English words. The couple referred to the walks they would frequently take around the area when natives would come up and offer to a a carry them to where they were going. What was meant was simply an offer to walk with them. Allen thought this use of the word a a carry might have evolved a Monkey on his backs this is Henry Beulah about 13, who served As the proofs a Houseboy in Gorlou and was also a sixth grader at the Public school where the couple taught. He is frolicking with Wally a baby Chimpanzee

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