Partial Transcript: --Wilson, interviewing, um, for the Peace Corps Oral History Project on October 15, 2007. And what is your full name?
Segment Synopsis: Wilson asks Goodpaster about her upbringing and family background, particularly about any influences that may have led her to the Peace Corps. Goodpaster explains that she has always had close ties to Kentucky because of her entire extended family living in the state. She mentions that she never lived in Appalachia, but had a connection to it and was involved in a program called Appalachia Service Project (ASP) during her youth. Goodpaster believes that her involvement in this program is what sparked her interest in the Peace Corps. Wilson asks Goodpaster what kinds of things she did in the project. Goodpaster replies that ASP is an emergency home repair ministry that serves low income families in the Appalachia region. Goodpaster says that she was a volunteer in ASP for about six years and adds that she served in the ASP staff while in college during summer break. Goodpaster describes the work and training she was involved in with ASP. Wilson asks about the communities Goodpaster lived in while working in ASP. Goodpaster answers that she was never in Kentucky because she didn't get to choose her assignment, but she was assigned to two West Virginia counties, Raleigh and McDowell counties, for two summers. Goodpaster clarifies that these assignments were when she was part of the staff and she cannot remember all of the different places she volunteered with. She recalls working outside of Hazard, Kentucky for two years, in Jonesville, Virginia for two years, and in Maitwan, West Virginia. Goodpaster briefly discusses the things she learned about Appalachian culture while in ASP. Wilson asks Goodpaster if she ever saw Peace Corps advertisements or knew anybody in the Peace Corps while in school. Goodpaster replies that she didn't know anyone in high school that was in the Peace Corps, but states that the first Peace Corps volunteer she came across was one of her mentors in college. She remarks that she and her father are kindred spirits in wanting to help others and that he was always supportive of her interests. Wilson asks Goodpaster where she attended College. Goodpaster states that she went to Birmingham Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama and became involved in leadership studies there. She says that she graduated in 1997 with a degree in psychology and business with a distinction in leadership studies. Goodpaster describes being involved in a learning experience in Mutambara, Zimbabwe while in college.
Keywords: Appalachia; Appalachia Service Project (ASP); Birmingham Southern College; Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham (Ala.); Business; Emergency home repair; Family; Family background; Kentucky; Leadership studies; Mutambara, Zimbabwe; Peace Corps; Peace Corps influences; Peace Corps volunteers; Personal background; Psychology; Upbringing; Virginia; West Virginia; Zimbabwe
Subjects: Appalachia Service Project; Birmingham-Southern College; Family life.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.--Interviews; Leadership--Study and teaching.; Peace Corps (U.S.)
Map Coordinates: 38.8, -81
Map Coordinates: 37.5, -85
GPS: West Virginia
Map Coordinates: 39, -80.5
Map Coordinates: 38, -79
GPS: Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham (Ala.)
Map Coordinates: 33.515, -86.853
GPS: Mutambara, Zimbabwe
Map Coordinates: -19.916667, 32.983333
Map Coordinates: -20, 30
Partial Transcript: So you graduated in 1997 and then?
Segment Synopsis: Wilson asks Goodpaster about what she did after graduating in 1997. Goodpaster explains that she knew she wanted to go to graduate school, but didn't know what she wanted to study. Goodpaster states that she took a year off from school and worked two different jobs in retail management for six months before returning to her college to fill in for an absent instructor. Goodpaster explains that she knew after this experience that she wanted to work with college students, so she applied and enrolled in the counseling program at the University of Kentucky before enrolling in the Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation program, obtaining her master's degree in 2000. Wilson asks Goodpaster about the practical experiences she had during her education at UK. Goodpaster describes how one of her mentors helped her gain a position with the Office of Student Involvement as a graduate assistant at Lexington Community College while it was connected with UK. Goodpaster remarks that she wasn't ready to leave Lexington, Kentucky after obtaining her master's, so she obtained a position at Transylvania University for about a year before receiving a request from one of her former professors to help create an office of community engagement at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She mentions that she and her husband were thinking about the Peace Corps at that point, but came to an agreement that she finish her work at Rollins first. Goodpaster states that she left Rollins after three years of working there, applied for the Peace Corps with her husband around the same time, and married her husband. Wilson asks Goodpaster about how long it took for her and her husband to be accepted into the Peace Corps. Goodpaster replies that they were postponed a couple of times until finally being accepted to go to somewhere in west Africa, Goodpaster's first choice, in 2007. Goodpaster explains that this plan fell through because some of her paperwork got misplaced and so she lost her spot in the departure group, so she and her husband were given a few different options before deciding on waiting for a May departure to Malawi.
Keywords: EPE program; Education; Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation program; Employment; Graduate assistants; Graduate assistantships; Graduate schools; Lexington Community College (LCC); Malawi; Office of Community Engagement; Office of Community Engagement, Rollins College; Office of Student Involvement; Peace Corps; Peace Corps applications; Peace Corps couples; Peace Corps volunteers; Rollins College; Transylvania University; University of Kentucky
Subjects: Education.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.--Interviews; Leadership--Study and teaching.; Lexington Community College; Malawi.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Malawi; Rollins College (Winter Park, Fla.); University of Kentucky
Partial Transcript: So you left in May--
Segment Synopsis: Goodpaster says that the staging took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for two days and consisted of receiving immunizations among other things. She says that there were 24 people in her group at the beginning and ran into another group briefly who were going to Swaziland (Eswatini) before splitting apart again. Goodpaster states that her group flew to Johannesburg, South Africa, only stopping in Senegal for refueling, stayed the night in Johannesburg, and then flew to Lilongwe, Malawi from Johannesburg the following morning. Goodpaster briefly describes initially touring the Peace Corps office in Lilongwe. Goodpaster says that the training site was in Dedza, Malawi and that volunteers spent their first few nights at the forestry college in Dedza while they received their survival language training and immediate information they needed about Malawi. Goodpaster states that she learned the Chichewa language since she was going to be posted in the southern part of the country, but that those going north had to learn Chitumbuka. Goodpaster explains that she and her husband were sent as a couple to the village of Mkhonkera and mentions that they were one of three couples in their initial group, but the only couple to make it to the end of their service. Goodpaster describes her first difficult night in the village where she experienced extreme cold and encountered many ants while trying to sleep. Goodpaster describes her assigned village as remote and tiny and then discusses the training that occurred after being assigned there. Goodpaster discusses the technical training, mostly about illnesses, that volunteers received in Malawi.
Keywords: Chichewa (Language); Chichewa language; Dedza, Malawi; Language learning; Language training; Malawi; Mkhonkera, Malawi; Peace Corps; Peace Corps couples; Peace Corps training; Peace Corps volunteers; Technical training
Subjects: Dedza (Malawi); Goodpaster, Lauren A.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.--Interviews; Language transfer (Language learning); Malawi.; Mkhonkera (Malawi); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Malawi; Training.
Partial Transcript: So after this, about two months of training, then you were sworn in and then?
Segment Synopsis: Wilson asks Goodpaster about what happened after she was sworn in for Peace Corps service. Goodpaster replies that you get sworn in at the ambassador's residence in Lilongwe and pack up your stuff the next day so that you can be dropped off in your village. Goodpaster says that she and her husband did not bring much with them to Malawi and utilized the time they had in the afternoon after being sworn in to purchase a mattress, a couple of reed mats, buckets, jars of peanut butter, spaghetti noodles, and some other things they found in the store. Wilson specifically asks Goodpaster about the things they brought from the U.S. Goodpaster reiterates that they didn't bring a lot, but states that they brought hand sanitizer, Ziploc bags, and some clothes. Goodpaster explains that she was aware of culturally appropriate clothing before arriving in Malawi because of her past experience in Zimbabwe. Goodpaster describes the village, Kang'oma, Malawi, that she and her husband ended up being assigned to. Goodpaster discusses how they got around on their bikes provided to them by the Peace Corps. Wilson asks Goodpaster about her work colleagues and supervisor. Goodpaster describes the various people she worked with at the Ministry of Health. Goodpaster discusses the difficulties and unique experiences in working with youth.
Keywords: Bicycles; Bikes; Clothing; Kang'oma, Malawi; Malawi; Ministry of Health; Peace Corps; Peace Corps bicycles; Peace Corps bikes; Peace Corps couples; Peace Corps volunteers; Personal items; Shopping; Supervisors; Work colleagues; Youth
Subjects: Goodpaster, Lauren A.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.--Interviews; Kang'oma (Malawi); Malawi.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Malawi; Shopping.; Transportation.; Work.; Youth.
Partial Transcript: So, uh, Lauren, for a minute let's go back and you've arrived in this village and you had a staff house. Tell us something about arriving and what your house was like and what those first couple of weeks were like in the village.
Segment Synopsis: Wilson asks Goodpaster to describe her initial experiences after arriving in her village and what her house was like. Goodpaster describes the first couple of weeks as awkward since her language skills were still not all that great and being there as a married couple was an odd experience as well. Goodpaster states that they had an open-door policy and that she thinks this really helped them integrate with the local community. Goodpaster describes the layout of her home in the village and how it was left in a bad state from a previous Peace Corps volunteer who lived there. Goodpaster discusses when a break-in occurred next-door to her house and how this led to a renovation of her house. Goodpaster describes her interactions with the local children, including how exchanging languages became a favorite past time in the afternoons. Wilson asks Goodpaster about what a daily routine would have been like for her. Goodpaster replies that she and her husband slept in as late as they could and explains that they had largely different schedules because they tried to establish different roles for themselves. Goodpaster states that she went to the health center and orphan care center on different days of the week. Goodpaster discusses what her daily meals consisted of and where she got water from. She adds that she and her husband hired someone to retrieve water for them every day since it took so long to get it. Goodpaster details more about the diet they had while in Malawi.
Keywords: Chichewa (Language); Chichewa language; Children; Community involvement; Daily routines; Diet; Food; Health centers; Hired help; Housing; Kang'oma, Malawi; Language learning; Living accommodations; Meals; Orphan care centers; Peace Corps; Peace Corps couples; Peace Corps volunteers; Routines; Water access
Subjects: Children.; Diet.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.--Interviews; Housing.; Kang'oma (Malawi); Language transfer (Language learning); Malawi.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Malawi
Partial Transcript: What--go back to, because you started to talk about that, to what your job actually was and your projects.
Segment Synopsis: Wilson asks Goodpaster to discuss more about her jobs while in Malawi. Goodpaster explains that she didn't have one particular thing that she worked on and loved being involved in several different aspects of the community. Goodpaster reiterates that she made a point to do separate projects than her husband because she wanted to address the gender inequality in Malawi by displaying that it wasn't just 'David Goodpaster the volunteer' and his wife. Goodpaster describes the work she helped with at the health center and how she tried to make sure that the health workers understood the importance of their work. Goodpaster talks about the enjoyment she had in being with the children at the orphan care center. Wilson asks her to explain the difference between an orphan care center and an orphanage. Goodpaster explains that kids didn't live at orphan care centers and not all of them were actually orphans, some of them being called "vulnerable" instead. Goodpaster states that a lot of her work with the director of the center was in trying to help him learn how to sustain an organization through fundraising. Goodpaster discusses her work with the Tsabango Youth Network including helping them create a library. Wilson asks Goodpaster about what she did for recreation. Goodpaster responds that her and her husband's night routine was a form of recreation for her because it was a relaxing time when they were together over dinner. She adds that they took turns having a bath and then listened to the BBC on the radio. Wilson asks Goodpaster how often she went into Lilongwe. Goodpaster answers that she went with her husband probably once a month and describes the interactions she had with other Americans while on trips to Lilongwe. Wilson asks if they traveled around Malawi. Goodpaster replies that they did a little bit, going to Lake Malawi with friends a couple of times, but didn't travel as much as they would have hoped.
Keywords: Fundraising; Health centers; Kang'oma, Malawi; Malawi; Orphan care centers; Peace Corps; Peace Corps couples; Peace Corps volunteers; Recreation; Social interactions; Social interactions with Americans; Travel; Tsabango Youth Network
Subjects: Goodpaster, Lauren A.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.--Interviews; Kang'oma (Malawi); Malawi.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Malawi; Recreation & travel; Youth.
Partial Transcript: Go ahead, say something about other projects.
Segment Synopsis: Goodpaster describes her involvement at the health center in trying to get a voluntary counseling and testing center for HIV/AIDS (VCT) established there. Goodpaster states that it took the entire two years she was there to make it happen, but that she couldn't have been happier that all the work she did paid off. Goodpaster talks about working with traditional birth attendants (midwives) to train them in basic sanitation. She explains that it was amazing because many of the women couldn't read so they learned through songs. Goodpaster talks about her involvement with Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) and how she coordinated the program for the entire country of Malawi. Goodpaster discusses how she worked to obtain funding for Camp GLOW activities. Goodpaster discusses a friend she and her husband made and still have contact with who helped put together workshops on life skills. Wilson asks Goodpaster how she kept contact with her family. Goodpaster replies that she had a cell phone, but no electricity, so she tried to set up a time for communication to happen once a month and occasionally emailed people when in town. Goodpaster discusses doing the WorldWise Schools program with her mother's first grade class and explains that WorldWise Schools is a program where volunteers in the Peace Corps are put in contact with an American class and that it is almost like a pen pal system between the volunteer and the students. Goodpaster mentions that she and her husband briefly traveled back to the U.S. for her brother's wedding and that she visited her mother's class in person while she was back.
Keywords: Basic sanitation training; Camp GLOW; Contact methods; Family contact; Girls Leading Our World (GLOW); HIV/AIDS; Health centers; Kang'oma, Malawi; Life skills workshops; Malawi; Midwives; Peace Corps; Peace Corps couples; Peace Corps volunteers; Social contact; Traditional birth attendants; Voluntary counseling and testing centers; Voluntary counseling and testing centers for HIV/AIDS; WorldWise School Program; WorldWise Schools
Subjects: Communication.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.--Interviews; HIV/AIDS Prevention through Information and Education for Youth in Malawi (Programme); HIV/AIDS awareness; Kang'oma (Malawi); Life skills.; Malawi.; Midwives; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Malawi
Partial Transcript: Are there some particularly memorable experiences, some good stories you want to be sure to tell?
Segment Synopsis: Wilson asks Goodpaster if there are any particular stories she wants to tell. Goodpaster responds that there are so many and begins discussing a story about training chiefs on the Hope Kit, a kit used to teach about HIV/AIDS. Goodpaster discusses work she did with a group called Tiyanjane, an HIV/AIDS support group. Wilson asks Goodpaster what it was like when returning to the U.S. Goodpaster states that she and her husband flew into Florida for Father's Day and she was flown by the University of Kentucky to Lexington, Kentucky for an interview within less than 48 hours. Goodpaster states that she became the program director for leadership and service in the Office of Student Involvement at UK and explains her role in the position. Goodpaster says that she didn't really experience culture shock so much, but that it has been harder than she expected to get settled back into life in the U.S. and mentions the dog she brought back with her from Malawi. Wilson asks Goodpaster about what she thinks her impact was on Malawi and what Malawi's impact was on her. Goodpaster replies that she isn't sure that she'll know her impact on Malawi because it hasn't been long since she left and it is a matter of waiting to see if the projects she helped start continue or not. She hopes that she helped empower the people she worked with in Malawi.
Keywords: Cultural readjustment; Empowerment; HIV/AIDS; HIV/AIDS instruction; HIV/AIDS support groups; HIV/AIDS teaching; Hope kits; Impacts; Kang'oma, Malawi; Malawi; Office of Student Involvement; Peace Corps; Peace Corps anecdotes; Peace Corps couples; Peace Corps stories; Peace Corps volunteers; Project impacts; Tiyanjane; University of Kentucky
Subjects: Goodpaster, Lauren A.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.--Interviews; HIV/AIDS awareness; Kang'oma (Malawi); Malawi.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Malawi; University of Kentucky
Partial Transcript: Wha--what--think ahead a little bit though. What do you think your experience in Malawi--what impact do you think it could have in terms of your job and what you're doing there? And then also, yes you're having a baby, what do you want for that child?
Segment Synopsis: Wilson asks Goodpaster about the impact her experience could have in terms of her job and what she wants for her child. Goodpaster discusses her desire to live a slower-paced lifestyle like she would in Malawi, but how this is difficult when trying to provide for her child and family. She expresses that she wants to show her child new cultures and experiences once they are born that she didn't get to experience as a child. Goodpaster mentions that she plans to return to Malawi in the future. Wilson and Goodpaster discuss the current issues facing Malawi. Wilson asks Goodpaster what she thinks the role of the Peace Corps should be in the modern day. Goodpaster explains that she thinks the Peace Corps has a good outlook, but thinks that it needs to think more about its exit strategy because it has been in Malawi for a long time but the country is still struggling. Goodpaster details a few more stories before the end of the interview.
Keywords: Future plans; Future travel; Impacts on life; Kang'oma, Malawi; Lifestyles; Malawi; Peace Corps; Peace Corps anecdotes; Peace Corps couples; Peace Corps exit strategy; Peace Corps impacts; Peace Corps narratives; Peace Corps outlook; Peace Corps roles; Peace Corps volunteers; Raising children
Subjects: Anecdotes.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.; Goodpaster, Lauren A.--Interviews; Kang'oma (Malawi); Lifestyles.; Malawi.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Malawi; Travel.