Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Sheila McFarland, October 27, 2004

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:12 - Introduction and early childhood

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Partial Transcript: This is Ann Jean Wilson I'm interviewing Sheila McFarland on October 27th for the Peace Corps oral history project.

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about her time in college and how she was introduced to the Peace Corps. She talks about family's relation to Anderson County. She talks about her husband and his desire to join the Peace Corps to escape his job.

Keywords: Accounting; Agriculture; Anderson County; Business education; Cinncinati; College; Eastern Kentucky Univeristy; Kentucky; Peace Corps; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)

00:03:26 - Process of joining the Peace Corps

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Partial Transcript: What at that point the process of joining was how long did it take you and-as-did you have a choice?

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about their initial offer to work in Zaire and their eventual decision to go to Micronesia. She talks about the jobs that they were going to have and the benefits of volunteering in the Peace Corps for her education. She talks about some of the training in California and the flight to Guam.

Keywords: 1971; Building a school; California; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Guam; In country training; Kolonia; Louisville; Micronesia; Peace Corps; Pohnpei; San Jose; Teaching; Zaire

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Micronesia.

00:07:19 - Peace Corps training and adjustments

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Partial Transcript: Um so what did they do in training? Was is language and and?

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about the language and culture training prior to their trip to Pohnpei. She talks about some of the difference that they had to adjust to as they worked in Micronesia. She talks about some of the exports from Japan that they enjoyed and their other means of food.

Keywords: Boarding; Catholic School; Cultural training; Culture; Fish; Food; Japan; Japanese exports; Kentucky; Language training; Miconesia; Peace Corps; Pohnpei; Pohnpei agriculture and trade school; Training; Tuna boats

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)

00:11:53 - Teaching role and living conditions

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Partial Transcript: What about no-now let's see we probably better be clear you talked about that earlier

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about her job teaching English and algebra in the school in Pohnpei. She talks about their living conditions such as their access to cold running water and baking.

Keywords: Algebra; Baking; Concrete house; English; Food; Jobs; Living conditions; Micronesia; Peace Corps; Pohnpei; Roles; Teaching English; Teaching math

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)

00:14:10 - A typical day working in Micronesia

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Partial Transcript: As far as as a normal day we got up school was the classes were in the morning the boys worked on the farm

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about a typical day working and living in Pohnpei. She talks about the different aspects of her day from work to cleaning to dealing with the weather. She talks about cooking and using food from locak fishing but also exports from California and Japan.

Keywords: Agriculture; California; Classes; Exports; Farming; Food; Fruit; Interactions with local people; Japan; Local people; Micronesia; Peace Corps; Pohnpei; Teaching; Washing clothes

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)

00:20:25 - Recreation and travel

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Partial Transcript: Um so what did you do after dinner? Did-did you have electricity?

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about recreation such as dinner parties, boating, and going to a waterfall. She talks about travelling outside of Pohnpei to go to Japan. She talks about the culture shock of seeing large crowds of people and the interaction with a variety of individuals.

Keywords: Boat; Calling home; Dinner party; Japan; Local interactions; Micronesia; Peace Corps; Pohnpei; Recreation; Travel; Waterfall

00:25:27 - Travelling and interactions with host country nationals

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Partial Transcript: And then we also took a trip to Kosrae which was a it was about a days boat ride south its more towards the equator than Pohnpei

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about their trip to Kosrae and a fellow couple who eventually left. She talks about teaching and interacting with the local people. She talks about the make up of her fellow teachers from Peace Corps volunteers to priests.

Keywords: Beach; Host country nationals; Interactions; Kosrae; Mangrove; Mangroves; Micronesia; Peace Corps; Pohnpei; Students; Teachers; Teaching; Travel; Travelling

00:29:14 - Memorable stories

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Partial Transcript: So your life was was pretty much uh not limited but but but took place in connection with the school

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about becoming a godparent to their neighbors daughter who recently got married. She talks about the ritual of drinking sikayo that was specifically for the men or the female leaders of the community. She talks about going to the feast as the honored guests and how courtship works within Pohnpei.

Keywords: Books; Courtship; Culture; Feast; Godparents; Hobbies; Jordan; Memorable stories; Memories; Micronesia; Peace Corps; Pohnpei; Reading; Rituals; Sikayo; Stories

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)

00:35:53 - Connections to the other women and coming home

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Partial Transcript: What about it occurs to me because you're talking about having been at a boys school so did did you have any connections to the girls or women?

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about her connection with the women and girls in Pohnpei. She talks about her extension transfer with her husband to the Philippines to volunteer as Peace Corps workers.

Keywords: Coming home; English; Extension transfer; Gender; Graduate school; Language; Micornesia; Peace Corps; Philippines; Pohnpei; Training; Travel; Travelling; Volunteering; Volunteers

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)

00:39:58 - Extension transfer to the Philippines

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Partial Transcript: And so what was that second tour like-uh-in comparison to the first?

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about her and her husbands extension transfer to the Philippines. She talks about her pregnancy during the training program and her job in agrarian reform. She talks about her lasting connections from both Pohnpei and the Philippines.

Keywords: Accounting; Agrarian reform; Daughter; Extension agent; Extension transfer; Military base; Peace Corps; Philippines; Pregnancy; Taking local jobs; Training

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)

00:44:18 - Impact of Peace Corps

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Partial Transcript: What is the impact of Peace Corp been on your family? And what has the impact been on uh your career path and your husband?

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about the impact of Peace Corps on her husbands job and education as he went to graduate school. She talks about their life of service with the government overseas. She talks about the impact it has had on her family and her time in Washington.

Keywords: Agriculture; Career; Career impact; Egypt; Graduate school; Guatemala; Guyana; IDI program; Impact; Kenya; Micronesia; Peace Corps; Philippines; Pohnpei; Rowanda; Service overseas; Traveling overseas; USAID; United States Agency for International Development; Washington

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)

00:48:35 - Impact of international travel on family

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Partial Transcript: Okay and what did what did you do? I-I am one of those I never was career oriented.

Segment Synopsis: McFarland describes how international service has impact her life as a mother. She talks about some of the jobs she had teaching and working for the U.S. Embassy. She talks about using her undergraduate degree to work in Washington D.C. helping with housing.

Keywords: Business; Family; Housing; International service; Kenya; Peace Corps; State department; Teaching; U.S. Embassy; USAID

00:52:19 - Travel after moving to Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: We definitely go see them in fact I'll be going next spring to see the new grandchild boy

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about traveling in the spring to see her new grandson in Spain. She talks about her husbands position and travelling on a short contract with the United States Agency for International Development. She talks enjoying have a stationary home in Kentuky amongst all of the international travel.

Keywords: Canada; Capetown; Djibouti; East Africa; International travel; Kentucky; Military family; Nairobi; Navy; Running group; South Africa; Spain; Toronto; USAID; United States Agency for International Development

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S).

00:54:12 - Impact of Peace Corps service on world view

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Partial Transcript: Um so to sort of summarize, let me tell you what the last two questions are, what has been the impact of Peace Corps service on the way you think about the world and what's going on in the world now?

Segment Synopsis: McFarland talks about the impact of Peace Corps on the mindset of her and her husband. She talks about the impact of her maternal grandmother on her decision to join Peace Corps and service. She talks about making a difference while serving in the Peace Corps and the impact of AIDS.

Keywords: AIDS; Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Change; Impact; Influences; International service; International travel; Making a difference; Malawi; Peace Corps; Peace Corps' role; Worldview

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)