Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Jenifer H. Payne, March 21, 2007

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Childhood and family life / Joining the Peace Corps

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Partial Transcript: This is Angene Wilson on March 21, 2007, uh, and I am interviewing, um, Jennifer Payne for the Peace Corps Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: Payne tells the interviewer her name, when and where she was born, her family, and her childhood in Somerset, Kentucky. She talks about her exposure to traveling abroad from her World War II veteran father and school trips to Europe, which she did not participate in. Payne then discusses how she came to join the Peace Corps after seeing a commercial for the Corps on television while she was a senior in high school.

Keywords: Childhoods; Military parents; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Recruiters; Small towns; Somerset (Ky.)--Education system; Somerset (Ky.)--Family life; Transylvania University--Alumni

Subjects: Childhood; Children of veterans; Families; National Guard; Peace Corps (U.S.); Somerset (Ky.); Transylvania University; Veterans.

00:11:30 - Joining the Peace Corps

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Partial Transcript: So you graduated from Transy in what year?

Segment Synopsis: Payne talks about joining the Peace Corps in fall of 1988 after she graduated from Transylvania University. She discusses the application process for the Corps, as well as the training program in New Orleans, Louisiana prior to traveling abroad. She then discusses their travel to Africa and the countries she traveled through to get to her assigned country of Zaire.

Keywords: Congo (Democratic Republic); Democratic Republic of Congo; Francophone Africa; Math teachers; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Application; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Staging; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Teachers

Subjects: Burundi; Children of veterans; Families; Kentucky; New Orleans (La.); Peace Corps (U.S.); Rwanda; Teachers; Transylvania University; Volunteer

00:26:44 - Peace Corps assignment--Zaire

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Partial Transcript: The school, it was on Lake Kivu--

Segment Synopsis: Payne talks about her Peace Corps assignment in Zaire, now Congo.

Keywords: International volunteers; Lake Kivu (Congo and Rwanda); Peace Corps (U.S.)--1990s; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Congo; Volunteer services; Zaire

Subjects: Africa; Congo (Democratic Republic); French; Kivu, Lake (Congo and Rwanda); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.). Africa Region; Volunteer

00:54:16 - Peace Corps site

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Partial Transcript: And then you get assigned to your site.

Segment Synopsis: Payne talks about the site she was assigned to in the Peace Corps to teach math. She discusses being near the beach in Zaire (Congo) and the other Peace Corps volunteers who worked various assignments in the area. Payne then discusses the cultural differences between her American upbringing and the beliefs of people in Zaire.

Keywords: Democratic Republic of Congo; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Volunteers; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Zaire; Zaire

Subjects: Africa; Congo (Democratic Republic); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Africa Region; Teachers; Volunteer

01:21:49 - Teaching in Gabon

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Partial Transcript: So what was a day like when you started teaching?

Segment Synopsis: Payne discusses her day-to-day activities while teaching for the Peace Corps. She talks about the cultural differences between schooling in Gabon and schooling in the United States.

Keywords: Cultural differences; Discipline and children; International volunteers; Math teachers; Peace Corps--Teachers; Zaire

Subjects: Congo (Democratic Republic); Discipline; Education--Africa, Sub-Saharan.; Education--Africa, West; Gabon; Peace Corps (U.S.); School discipline; Teachers

01:31:43 - Memorable experiences in Gabon

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Partial Transcript: Um, are there a couple of particularly memorable stories from those two years in Gabon?

Segment Synopsis: Payne tells particularly memorable stories from her two years living in Gabon.

Keywords: Africa--Francophone countries; Cultural differences; Life-changing experiences; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Africa; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Experiences

Subjects: Africa; Gabon; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.). Africa Region; Teachers

01:42:21 - Impact of Peace Corps work

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Partial Transcript: So, um, what do you think the impact of your Peace Corps experience was on Gabon, and what was its impact on you?

Segment Synopsis: Payne discusses how she hopes the friendships she created with the people of Gabon were impactful on the community. She talks at length about the impact being in Gabon had on her, personally.

Keywords: Cultural differences; Gabon--Culture; International volunteers; Math teachers; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Gabon; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Teachers; Volunteer services

Subjects: Africa; Education--Africa, Sub-Saharan.; Education--Africa, West; Gabon; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.). Africa Region; Teachers

01:51:05 - Post-Peace Corps life and marriage

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Partial Transcript: Uh, we got married about nine months after we got back.

Segment Synopsis: Payne discusses marrying her husband, who she met in the Peace Corps, shortly after returning from Gabon.

Keywords: Marriages; Peace Corps; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Teachers; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Volunteers; Transylvania University--Alumni; Volunteer services

Subjects: Africa; Education--Africa, Sub-Saharan.; Education--Africa, West; Families; Gabon; Peace Corps (U.S.); Teachers