Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Patricia Leigh Ballew Siza, March 9, 2012

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:06 - Growing up

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Partial Transcript: Alright. I am Angene Wilson and I am interi--interviewing--uh--Patricia--

Segment Synopsis: Siza talks about her childhood and educational background.

Keywords: American schools; Correspondence schools; Fundraising; Furlough; Graves County High School (Mayfield, Ky.); Missionary families; Missionary furloughs; Moving; Singlings

Subjects: Brazil; Childhood; Cruzeiro do Sul (Acre, Brazil); Culture shock; Early life; Education; Education, Higher; English; Goiana (Pernambuco, Brazil); Graves County (Ky.); High school; Kentucky; Marriage; Mayfield (Ky.); Missionaries; Murray State University; Parents; Portuguese; Public schools; University of Louisville

00:04:39 - Inspiration to join the Peace Corps/Peace Corps application

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Partial Transcript: What in your childhood and, since you grew up, really, in another country--um--what--what in your childhood do you think--um--had something to do maybe with why you would be interested in being a Peace Corps volunteer?

Segment Synopsis: Siza considers what inspired her to join the Peace Corps, what it was like to apply for the Peace Corps, and her parents' reaction to her joining the Peace Corps. Siza recalls when her father visited her during her Peace Corps service.

Keywords: Doctors; Friends; International nonprofit organizations; International nonprofit work; International nonprofits; Pastors; Program applications; Program development; Reaction; Support

Subjects: Career; Career moves; Christianity; Church; Culture shock; Education, Higher; Father; Friendship; Missionaries; National security; Nonprofit organizations; Nurses; Nursing schools; Parents; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Rwanda; Safety; Social work; Teachers

00:13:46 - Peace Corps assignment

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Partial Transcript: --Um--they originally, I think the reason--they--they finally sent me the invitation in November on Thanksgiving.

Segment Synopsis: Siza explains how she came to be assigned to serve in Rwanda for the Peace Corps.

Keywords: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome; Community health; Community health development; Health development; Health education programs; Health programs; Peace Corps nominations; Program development; Public health development; Regions

Subjects: Education; HIV (Viruses); HIV/AIDS awareness; Health education; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Public health; Rwanda; Rwandans

00:15:54 - Brief Rwandan history

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Partial Transcript: They had been for, like, I think five years maybe?

Segment Synopsis: Siza talks about how the 1994 Rwandan genocide and current President Paul Kagame have impacted and shaped Rwanda today.

Keywords: Age and culture; East Africa; Generational philosophies; Impact; Influence; National prosperity; Young people

Subjects: Age; Business; Corruption; Culture; Economic development; Economics; English; Ethnicity; Genocide; History; Hutu (African people); International relations; Internet; KagameĢ, Paul, 1957-; Leadership; Manners and customs; Mayors; Memorials; National security; Peace; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Philosophy; Research; Rwanda; Rwandan Genocide, Rwanda, 1994; Security; Technology; Tutsi (African people); Women; Women in politics; Youth

00:26:42 - Peace Corps training

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Partial Transcript: --Um--okay. You trained, you--you stay--let's go back to the beginning of your Peace Corps experience.

Segment Synopsis: Siza describes her Peace Corps training group and experience as the first cohort of volunteers assigned to Rwanda.

Keywords: Cultural training; Cultures; Genocide training; Hostels; Language training; Public health training; Technical training; Utilities

Subjects: Bantu languages; Butare (Rwanda); Career; Culture; Demographics; Education; Genocide; History; Housing; Kinyarwanda language; Language and languages; Memorials; Nuns; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Public health; Rwanda; Rwandan Genocide, Rwanda, 1994; Rwandans; Training; Volunteers

00:33:43 - Peace Corps job assignments and placements

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Partial Transcript: Were you all doing the same kinds of jobs or--

Segment Synopsis: Siza talks about various job assignments available to Peace Corps volunteers in Rwanda. Siza discusses her site assignment and job responsibilities.

Keywords: CRS; Clinic directors; Genocide reconciliation; Jobs; Local NGOs; Munini (Rwanda); NGOs; Sectors; Theatre

Subjects: Catholic Relief Services; Clinic managers; Clinics; Education; English; FHI 360 (Organization); Genocide; Geography; Health education; Hospitals; Non-governmental organizations; Orphanages; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Population; Public health; Rwanda; Rwandans; UNICEF; Villages; Work

00:38:28 - Housing and food

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Partial Transcript: Before we talk about your job, let's talk about your--um--living conditions.

Segment Synopsis: Siza discusses the general housing situation in Rwanda and her own living arrangements during her Peace Corps service. Siza describes the typical Rwandan diet in comparison to what she typically ate while living there.

Keywords: Charcoal grills; Circular houses; Compounds; Cooking oil; Cow dung; Duplexes; Electricity; Fish; Gas grills; Goat; Hospital housing; Host families; Housing complexes; Jobs; Living conditions; Modern housing; Pasta primavera; Province hospitals; Residential buildings; Running water; Straw roofs; Tomatoes; Traditional housing; Utilities; White flesh sweet potatoes

Subjects: Anemia; Bananas; Beans; Bread; Brick; Building materials; Cement; Charcoal; Clay; Comparisons; Diet; Eggs; Electricity; Food; French fries; Hospitals; Housing; Landlords; Markets; Meat; Noodles; Nutrition; Onions; Pasta products; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Potatoes; Poverty; Propane; Rice; Rwanda; Rwandans; Schools; Spinach; Sweet potatoes; Tomatoes; Water

00:51:05 - Work in community healthcare

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Partial Transcript: Alright, so talk about your Peace Corps job.

Segment Synopsis: Siza talks about her job assignment and projects as a community health development worker in Rwanda.

Keywords: Community health; Community health development; Community nutrition programs; Community relations; Farming; Health advice; Healthcare; Hearth Model Nutrition Program; National languages; Nutrition programs; Plantina; Program development; Public health development; Public health programs

Subjects: Birth control; Children; Clinics; Communication; Community relations; Computer viruses; Diseases; Education; English; Farms; Food; Health education; Health insurance; Hygiene; Kinyarwanda language; Language and languages; Malnutrition; Medical care; Mosquito nets; Mothers; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Poverty; Public health; Public speaking; Rwanda; Rwandans; Staff; Technical assistance; Volunteers; Work; Worms

01:01:20 - Typical day of Peace Corps service/training project

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Partial Transcript: So, a typical day was getting up and . . .

Segment Synopsis: Siza describes what a typical day of Peace Corps service in Rwanda was like for her. She talks about overseeing a community health training program for women.

Keywords: Behavior modifications; Community health workers; Daily routines; Dinner; Generators; HEARTH Model; HEARTH Model Nutrition Program; HIV prevention; Healthcare; Movies

Subjects: Birth control; Community development; Cooking; Education; Electricity; English; Family planning; Food; HIV/AIDS awareness; Health education; Hospitals; Medical care; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Public health; Recreation; Rwanda; Rwandans; Teachers; Teaching; Training; Women; Work

01:04:56 - Professional and interpersonal relationships

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Partial Transcript: --Did you have a good time with the Rwandans that you met--I mean, that--uh--you became friends with people and--

Segment Synopsis: Siza describes her relationships with her Peace Corps coworkers, housemates in Rwanda, Rwandans, and other Peace Corps volunteers.

Keywords: Administrative work; Butare (Rwanda); Cellphone service; Colleagues; Coworkers; Friends; Housemates; Living conditions; Local NGOs; NGOs; Paperwork; Relationship building

Subjects: Beans; Butare (Rwanda); Cellphones; Cheese; Clinics; Communication; Community relations; Email; Facebook (Electronic resource); Families; Food; Friendship; Health education; Housing; Interpersonal relations; Kinyarwanda language; Language and languages; Non-governmental organizations; Nutritionists; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Professional relationships; Protein; Public health; Reunions; Rwanda; Rwandans; Skype (Electronic resource); Telephone calls; Villages; Volunteers

01:11:11 - Peace Corps volunteers in Rwanda

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Partial Transcript: --Uh--yeah--so--yeah. --Um--and then after our first group, we had other people come in--other volunteers.

Segment Synopsis: Siza talks about the schedule of Peace Corps volunteers sent to Rwanda and their relationship to Rwandan communities.

Keywords: Community health; Community health development; Groups; Health development; Healthcare; Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers; Program development; Speaking skills; VSO

Subjects: Communities; Community relations; Education; Health education; Kinyarwanda language; Language and languages; Medical care; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Public health; Rwanda; Rwandans; Transportation; Voluntary Service Overseas; Volunteers

01:13:27 - Recreation/travel post-Peace Corps service

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Partial Transcript: --Uh--so is that what you did for recreation, is getting together with other volunteers as well as doing things with--

Segment Synopsis: Siza talks about what she did for recreation in Rwanda during her Peace Corps service. Siza discusses Peace Corps volunteers' travels after their service period ended.

Keywords: Baptisms; Bars; Drinking; Entertainment; Gender roles; Gendered expectations; Medical evacuations; Movies; Peace Corps allowances; Readjustment allowances

Subjects: Backpacking; Community relations; Health; Interpersonal relations; Kenya; Manners and customs; Money; Nairobi (Kenya); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Recreation; Rwanda; Rwandans; Salaries; Travel; Volunteers; Women

01:16:27 - Returning to the United States/communication during Peace Corps service

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Partial Transcript: What was it like to come home?

Segment Synopsis: Siza recalls what it was like to return to the United States after two years in Rwanda. She also talks about how she communicated and stayed in contact with people during her service.

Keywords: Adjustment period; Moving; Technology; University applications; University interviews; Wireless modems

Subjects: Cell phones; Choices; Communication; Internet; Interviews; National security; Parents; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Reverse culture shock; Rwanda; Skype (Electronic resource); Technology; Telephone calls; United States

01:18:09 - Memories from Peace Corps service/impacts of Peace Corps service

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Partial Transcript: So--uh--as you think about back to your Peace Corps service, are there particular stories that if somebody asked you to tell a story, you would tell?

Segment Synopsis: Siza recalls some memorable stories from her Peace Corp service. Siza assesses the impact of her Peace Corps service on her life, on Rwanda, and her perspective on the world. Siza also discusses the overall impact of the Peace Corps and her view on the role of Peace Corps.

Keywords: Community impacts; Doctors; Healthcare; News; Personal growth; Political awareness; Politics; Program resources

Subjects: Americans; Babies; Beans; Career moves; Careers; Childbirth; Children; Communities; Community development; Cultural awareness; Current events; Diseases; Empathy; Health education; International relations; Job shadowing; Labor; Malnutrition; Medical care; Nutritionists; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Rwanda; Physicians; Public health; Radio; Rwanda; Rwandans; Social work; Storytelling; Television; World views