Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Joyce S. Miller, March 23, 2006

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: --Angene Wilson interviewing, uh, for the Returned Peace Corps Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses her early life and educational background.

Keywords: Geography teachers; Relatives; Technical illustrators; University; Worldview

Subjects: Art; Change; Childhood; Communism; Culture; Death; Early life; Education; Fathers; History; Immigrants; Interest; Lithuania; Massachusetts; Mothers; Parents; Rollins College (Winter Park, Fla); Ukraine; University of Florida

GPS: Lithuania
Map Coordinates: 55, 24
GPS: Ukraine
Map Coordinates: 49, 32
GPS: Massachusetts
Map Coordinates: 42.3, -71.8
GPS: University of Florida
Map Coordinates: 29.64833, -82.34944
GPS: Rollins College (Winter Park, Fla)
Map Coordinates: 28.59146, -81.34835
00:02:35 - Joining the Peace Corps / Peace Corps training

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Partial Transcript: So, um, what year did you join the Peace Corps?

Segment Synopsis: Miller explains why she decided to join the Peace Corps. Miller also describes her experience with the Peace Corps training process.

Keywords: Accepted; Articles; Assassinations; Boring; Chilean accent; Cooperatives; Deserts; Difficult; Digging latrines; Farming; Flat; Groups; Intense; Interesting; John F. Kennedy; Killing chickens; Killing rabbits; Language ability; Production; Programs; Psychological tests; Rural education development; Tests; Unpleasant

Subjects: Americans; Chile; Colombia; Community development; Culture; Florida; Friends; History; Horsemanship; Livestock; Mailbox; Mountains; National Geographic; Nepal; Paper; Peace Corps (U.S.); Rock climbing; Snow; South America; Spanish; Survival; Teachers; Training; University of New Mexico

GPS: Florida
Map Coordinates: 28.1, -81.6
GPS: Nepal
Map Coordinates: 28.166667, 84.25
GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
GPS: University of New Mexico
Map Coordinates: 35.08389, -106.61861
GPS: Colombia
Map Coordinates: 4, -72
00:09:03 - Arrival in Chile

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Partial Transcript: Tell me what it was like to arrive in Chile.

Segment Synopsis: Miller details her arrival in Chile and how she initially felt about her assignment in Antofagasta.

Keywords: Airplanes; Alone; Beautiful; Bus stops; Campaigns; Clothing; Co-ops; Cold; Delightful; Deserts; Difficult; Dirt; Dreary; Gone; Graduate work; Great; Praying; Rain; Rainfall; Revolutions; Universities; University students; Vacations; Vegetation

Subjects: Antofagasta (Chile); Men; Nurses; Parks; Parties; Peace Corps (U.S.); Professors; Santiago (Chile); Teachers; Universidad Católica del Norte (Antofagasta, Chile); Volunteers; Winter

GPS: Santiago (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -33.45, -70.666667
GPS: Antofagasta (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.65, -70.4
GPS: Universidad Católica del Norte (Antofagasta, Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.681, -70.41
00:12:10 - Job specifics

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Partial Transcript: Um, what was your Peace Corps job specifically?

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes the jobs that she performed during her Peace Corps service, primarily working in a sheet-metal worker's cooperative called Techo (meaning roof or ceiling in Spanish).

Keywords: Apprentice programs; Building co-ops; Business people; Childcare centers; Goods; Jobs; Legalized; Local governments; Men's groups; Production co-ops; Sheet metal workshops; Shops; Social duty; Techo

Subjects: Antofagasta (Chile); Argentina; Bookkeeping; Business; Chile; Contracts; Peace Corps (U.S.); Priests; Upper class; Women

GPS: Antofagasta (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.65, -70.4
00:14:42 - Living conditions

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Partial Transcript: What, um, what were your living conditions like?

Segment Synopsis: Miller articulates what her living situation was like in Antofagasta, including her living accommodations, food arrangements, work, and social life.

Keywords: Bathrooms; Beds; Boarding houses; Bookcases; Boyfriends; Breakfast; Buses; Businesses; Careful; Clothing; Co-ops; Cold water; Counterparts; Dinner; Dress; Friends; Friendships; Helpful; Interesting; Library; Lightbulbs; Lunch; Machinery; Maids; Managerial; Monopoly; Mountainsides; No electricity; Offices; Pension (lodging); Rolls; Rooms; Schedules; Ship hatches; Showers; Siesta; Teatime; Techo; Towels; Visiting; Warm; Wastepaper baskets; Wooden buildings

Subjects: Antofagasta (Chile); Bachelors; Brandy; Building; Chile; Chileans; Coffee; Food; Materials; Money; Parties; Peace Corps (U.S.); Professors; Recreation; Students; Tea; Termites; Trust; Wheelbarrows; Women; Work

GPS: Antofagasta (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.65, -70.4
GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
00:20:30 - Adjustment period in Chile

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Partial Transcript: What, um, what was the most difficult thing to adjust to, do you think?

Segment Synopsis: Miller reflects upon her adjustment period to Chile.

Keywords: Adopted; Alone; Beach parties; Breaks; Buses; Comfortable; Conferences; Dinner; Effort; Help; Jeeps; Nice; Pity; Sleeping; Social occasions; Workers

Subjects: Antofagasta (Chile); Beach; Chile; Culture; Good; Hitchhiking; Home; Life; Mardi Gras; Passports; Peace Corps (U.S.); Recreation; Santiago (Chile); Shoes; Tea; Tents; Training; Travel; Volunteers; Women

GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
GPS: Antofagasta (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.65, -70.4
GPS: Santiago (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -33.45, -70.666667
00:24:31 - Interactions with Chileans

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Partial Transcript: What were your interactions with host country nationals like?

Segment Synopsis: Miller characterizes her interactions with Chileans.

Keywords: Associate directors; Bus stops; Co-ops; Counselors; Difficult; Elite; Hospitals; Independent; Interesting; No problems; Papal volunteers; Protective; Shops; Techo; University; Wife

Subjects: Americans; Antofagasta (Chile); Canadians; Chile; Chileans; Men; Peace Corps (U.S.); Protection; Teachers; Volunteers; Work

GPS: Antofagasta (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.65, -70.4
GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
00:27:29 - Memories of Antofagasta

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Partial Transcript: What are a couple of particularly meaningful, uh, memorable stories from your Peace Corps experience and why are they still meaningful?

Segment Synopsis: Miller shares some of her most vivid memories of Antofagasta.

Keywords: Augusto Pinochet; Backpacks; Carvings; Co-ops; Comfortable; Dancing; Deserts; Development; Disappeared; Interesting; Leaving; Left-wing; Production; Return; Techo; University people; Volcanic rocks; Welcoming; World War II

Subjects: Antofagasta (Chile); Chile; Cueca (Dance); Culture; European; Fairs; Figurines; Good; Home; Horns; Immigrants; Peace Corps (U.S.); Photographs; Sculpture; United States; Water; World War, 1939-1945; Yugoslavs

GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
GPS: Antofagasta (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.65, -70.4
00:30:51 - Return to the U.S. / Chile now / Impact of Peace Corps service on her life

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Partial Transcript: What was it like coming home to the U.S.?

Segment Synopsis: Miller talks of her return to the U.S. after her Peace Corps service. Miller discusses some of the changes that have occurred in Chile since her departure in the mid-1960s. Miller then considers the impact of her time spent in the Peace Corps on her life, which included additional stints living abroad with her husband and son.

Keywords: Abroad; Accepting; Accomplished; American flags; Augusto Pinochet; Clothes-conscious; Complaints; Contact; Coups; Daughter-in-law; Disoriented; Economic booms; Emotional; Evacuation; Fast-paced; Governors; High-rises; Husbands; Impact; Independent; Malls; Mayors; Michelle Bachelet; Missing; Non-judgmental; Non-subservient; Overseas; Overwhelmed; Problems; Progressive; Self-advocating; Sons; Strikes; Talking; Well-educated

Subjects: Antofagasta (Chile); Central America; Champagne; Change; Chile; Congo; Culture shock; Death; Grapefruit; Hitchhiking; Husbands; Latin America; Lifestyles; Marriage; Men; Mexico; Panorama; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peru; Photograph; Pisco; South America; Travel; United States; Washington (D.C.); Water supply; Wine; Women

GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
GPS: Antofagasta (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.65, -70.4
GPS: Mexico
Map Coordinates: 23, -102
GPS: Peru
Map Coordinates: -10, -76
GPS: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Map Coordinates: -3, 24
GPS: Washington (D.C.)
Map Coordinates: 38.904722, -77.016389
00:36:18 - Life after Peace Corps

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Partial Transcript: And then what did you do?

Segment Synopsis: Miller details what her life was like after the Peace Corps, including her career, marriage, and living abroad.

Keywords: ACTION (U.S. government agency); City governments; Daughter-in-law; Directors; Enjoyed; Husbands; Industrial suggestions; Investigations; Master's degrees; Overseas logistics; Sons; Split; University; Upcountry

Subjects: Chile; Federal government; Florida; Japan; Life; Marriage; Orlando (Fla.); Peace Corps (U.S.); San Francisco (Calif.); South America; Thailand; Tonga; Travel; Washington (D.C.); Work

GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
GPS: San Francisco (Calif.)
Map Coordinates: 37.7775, -122.416389
GPS: Orlando (Fla.)
Map Coordinates: 28.54, -81.38
GPS: Thailand
Map Coordinates: 15, 101
GPS: Japan
Map Coordinates: 36, 138
GPS: Florida
Map Coordinates: 28.1, -81.6
GPS: Washington (D.C.)
Map Coordinates: 38.904722, -77.016389
GPS: Tonga
Map Coordinates: -20, -175
00:39:11 - Career after Peace Corps

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Partial Transcript: Uh, okay. So what about you and your, uh, career path?

Segment Synopsis: Miller provides an overview of her career following her Peace Corps service.

Keywords: Applications; Corners; Customs; Educated; Fun; Garbage; Garbage trucks; Gardens; Hired; Honored; Houses; Husbands; Improvise; Interesting; Museums; Names; Nationalities; Outside; Overseas; Principals; Sons; Straw floors; Sweeping; Talking; Thai classes; Thai food; Unhappy

Subjects: Americans; Cataloging; Chile; Coffee; Culture; Japan; Japanese; Languages; Materials; Peace Corps (U.S.); Rural; Students; Teachers; Thai language; Thailand; Virginia; Volunteers; Women; Work

GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
GPS: Thailand
Map Coordinates: 15, 101
GPS: Japan
Map Coordinates: 36, 138
GPS: Virginia
Map Coordinates: 38, -79
00:43:38 - Impact of Peace Corps on her worldview

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Partial Transcript: What do you think the impact of Peace Corps service has been on the way you think about the world and what is going on in the world, now in 2005?

Segment Synopsis: Miller evaluates how her Peace Corps experience affected her worldview.

Keywords: Annoyed; Assignments; British Broadcasting Service (BBC); Candidates; Concerned; Curious; Future; Goals; Important; Impossible; Influence; News; Opinions; Overactive; Politicians; Politics; Positive; Precise; Quality; Small; Specific; Stories; Strong; Worldview

Subjects: Caring; Chile; Congo; Grandchildren; Peace Corps (U.S.); Perspective; United States; Volunteers; World issues

GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
GPS: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Map Coordinates: -3, 24
00:46:45 - Popularity in Chile

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, tell us about the grand finale.

Segment Synopsis: Miller briefly talks of her popularity in Antofagasta and how newspaper articles about her were published by a friend who was a newspaper editor. Miller also recalls her farewell party in Antofagasta.

Keywords: Accidents; Army; Army bases; Articles; Burns; Class structures; Concerned; Dressed up; Farewell party; Fun; Guarding; Hospitals; Hotels; Newspaper editors; Protective; Scrapbooks; Stars; Trucks; Write-ups

Subjects: Antofagasta (Chile); Beach; Chile; Chileans; Fire; Good; Men; Mothers; Party; Peace Corps (U.S.); People; Professors; Santiago (Chile); Tent

GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
GPS: Antofagasta (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.65, -70.4
GPS: Santiago (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -33.45, -70.666667
00:48:18 - Chile in the 1960s

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Partial Transcript: Um, let, let me ask you another question based on our, our conversation after the, uh, first part of the tape ended.

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes the political scene in Chile throughout the mid-1960s during the beginning of Allende's socialist political movement. Miller also details what the Peace Corps instructed the volunteers to do in regard to sexual activity.

Keywords: American Consulate; Assumptions; Attitudes; Blizzards; Briefing; Che Guevarra; Christian Democrat Party (Chile); Communist newspapers; Congressman; Deserts; Doctors; Double standards; Elections; Flag burning; Friends; General counsel; Instructions; Interesting; Investigations; Irony; Lost; Maiden names; Morals; National Anthem of Chile; No beards; No friction; Perfect; Platonic; Politics; Regulations; Salvador Allende; Sleeping; Spy; Stay; Strange; Suits; Ties; Unsure

Subjects: Antofagasta (Chile); Birth control; Chile; Chileans; Communists; Condoms; Copper mines and mining; Culture; Ethics; Fire; Panama; Peace Corps (U.S.); Political campaigns; Protection; Russian; Santiago (Chile); Sexism; Survival; Training; Universidad Católica del Norte (Antofagasta, Chile); Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Volunteers

GPS: Chile
Map Coordinates: -34, -71
GPS: Antofagasta (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.65, -70.4
GPS: Panama
Map Coordinates: 9, -80
GPS: Santiago (Chile)
Map Coordinates: -33.45, -70.666667
GPS: Universidad Católica del Norte (Antofagasta, Chile)
Map Coordinates: -23.681, -70.41