Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:00 - Interview introduction

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Okay, so my name is Emily Moseley and I am here with Bill and Judie Schiffbauer on May 8th, 2018.

Segment Synopsis: Introducing William and Judith Schiffbauer, who will be talking about their personal biography and their experiences in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan from 1966-1968.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Biography; Peace Corps

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.

00:01:29 - Growing up in Hopwood, Pennsylvania

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So I guess we'll just start in the early years, so if you could just both, um, separately and then maybe a little bit together, just kind of tell about what your childhood was like...

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer and W. Schiffbauer talk about their childhoods growing up in Hopwood, Pennsylvania. They grew up about ten houses away from each other but didn't meet until college.

Keywords: Bennington Road; Biography; Fairchance Road; Growing up; Hopwood (Pa.); Hopwood, Pennsylvania; North Union; North Union High School; Rivals; Route 40; South Union; South Union High School; Southwestern Pennsylvania

Subjects: Biography--21st century.; Childhood


GPS: Hopwood (Pa.)
Map Coordinates: 39.8770205, -79.70198849999997
00:04:02 - Their years at Pennsylvania State University / Applying to the Peace Corps

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: I didn't, uh, really meet Bill until I went to Penn State.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer tells of meeting W. Schiffbauer at Penn State. They were not initially attracted to each other (J. Schiffbauer crossed the street to avoid him twice.) During J. Schiffbauer's second semester she accepted an invitation to a fraternity party and they began dating. They applied to the Peace Corps as a couple and were accepted in the spring of 1965. J. Schiffbauer tells of her summer in Lima, Peru when she was in high school. W. Schiffbauer tells of growing up in a coal mining family.

Keywords: 1960s; Applications; Bulky knit sweaters; Coal miners; Coal mining; Colleges; Fayette County (Pa.); Fraternity; Harrisburg (Pa.); JFK; John F. Kennedy; Lima (Peru); Marriage; Mining engineering; Peace Corps; Penn State; Pennsylvania State University; Pi Kappa Alpha; Short wave radio; Sorority; Young love

Subjects: Education, Higher; Peace Corps (U.S.); Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania State University


GPS: Pennsylvania State University
Map Coordinates: 40.798, -77.860
00:14:19 - Peace Corps training

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So in February 1966 is when we started, uh, Peace Corps training at the University of Texas.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer recalls the experience of getting married and going into Peace Corps training. They discuss their parents' reactions to their decision to join.

Keywords: Hitchhiking; Mississippi Burning; Peace Corps; Peace Corps training

Subjects: Adventure.; Peace Corps (U.S.)

00:20:46 - Getting their Peace Corps assignment / Preparing for their assignment

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Was Afghanistan your first choice, when you went--when you signed up?

Segment Synopsis: Afghanistan was not their first choice - their top three picks were Ethiopia, Pakistan, and Turkey. W. Schiffbauer talks about the optimism of new governments in developing countries in the 1960s. J. Schiffbauer discusses their training - they studied Afghan history, culture, customs, Islam, and the Farsi language.

Keywords: Afghan culture; Afghan customs; Afghanistan; Ethiopia; Farsi; Islam; Pakistan; Peace Corps; Peace Corps assignments; Peace Corps training; Peace Corps volunteers; Turkey

Subjects: Afghanistan--Foreign relations--United States.; Afghanistan.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.

00:25:38 - Training in Kabul, Afghanistan

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: We spent six weeks at the University of Texas, you know, which was interesting and fun and all that...

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers discuss being the 8th group of volunteers arriving in Kabul, Afghanistan in February 1966. They trained for six weeks in Kabul and tell of their first impressions of Afghanistan. J. Schiffbauer discusses the food they ate. Their training focused on speaking Farsi.

Keywords: 'Mountains of the Moon'; 1966; Afghanistan; Charpoy bed; Kabul (Afghanistan); Kabul, Afghanistan; Kerosene heat; Naan; Pan Am; Peace Corps; Peace Corps volunteers

Subjects: Afghanistan--Foreign relations--United States.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Kabul (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 34.5553494, 69.20748600000002
00:33:03 - Teaching assignment in Baghlan, Afghanistan

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: And when we got our assignments at the end of the training, uh, Bill and I were chosen to go to Baghlan.

Segment Synopsis: In May 1966, the Schiffbauers were assigned to be teachers at a boys school in Baghlan, Afghanistan. Their supplies that were provided by Peace Corps were a book locker and a case of medical supplies. They had a servant named Abu Bakr who helped them with their household duties. They describe their mud brick bungalow with a mud roof. Teaching English was a big part of the curriculum.

Keywords: Abu Bakr; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Baghlan, Afghanistan; Basketball; English teachers; Hindu Kush; Hindu Kush Mountains; Jan Bing; John Bing; Kabul (Afghanistan); Kabul, Afghanistan; Mentors; Mud brick bungalows; Peace Corps; Peace Corps supplies; Salang Pass; Teachers; Teaching; Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

Subjects: Baghlān (Afghanistan); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Salang Pass (Afghanistan)


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
00:42:32 - Day to day life with Abu Bakr / Bazaar and the food

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: And Abu of course was a big help as we were moving in.

Segment Synopsis: They had a household helper, Abu Bakr, who did a lot of the cooking, shopping, and laundry. Buying a chicken for dinner meant buying a live chicken, slaughtering it, and cooking it, so it was very time consuming.

Keywords: Abu Bakr; Afghanistan; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Bazaar; Chili; Dried tomatoes; Dysentery; Grapes; Household help; Peace Corps; Peace Corps volunteers; Samosas; Servants; Sun dried tomatoes

Subjects: Baghlān (Afghanistan); Bazaars (Markets); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
00:52:23 - Being outsiders in Baghlan / Afghan hospitality

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: I was curious about what the reaction was to you in Baghlan.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer stood out as the only unveiled woman in Baghlan. They were highly regarded as teachers and the Afghans are a notoriously hospitable people. Teachers are highly respected in Afghanistan. J. Schiffbauer tells a story of being at a wedding where a grandmother was moved so J. Schiffbauer (a notorious foreign guest) could sit. She says that now she would wear a scarf and would not go the bazaar due to the changes in Afghanistan.

Keywords: Afghan hospitality; Afghanistan; Americans in Afghanistan; Bazaars; Chadri; Hospitality; Markets; Peace Corps; Peace Corps volunteers; Teachers; Teaching; Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL); Women in Afghanistan

Subjects: Baghlan (Afghanistan)


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
00:57:48 - J. Schiffbauer talks about her best student

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: And in one of my classes the lead student was Mohammedullah Obaidi.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer tells of her best student, Mohammedullah Obaidi, who came to the United States for graduate study after graduating from Kabul University and being a refugee in Pakistan. He credits J. Schiffbauer with teaching him English, which became a gateway for him.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Agronomy; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Boarding schools; English teachers; Kabul University; Mohammedullah Obaidi; Northern Afghanistan; Peace Corps; Refugees; Students; Teaching; University of Nebraska

Subjects: Education, Higher; Kabul University; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:00:56 - History of Baghlan

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: A little bit of the history of Baghlan. Baghlan, again, is an irrigated valley.

Segment Synopsis: W. Schiffbauer recounts a little bit of Baghlan history and how it was an area made up of refugees and was culturally diverse. This made it easier for the Schiffbauers to fit in.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Canals; Culturally diverse; Irrigated valleys; Irrigation; Malaria; Peace Corps; Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV); Refugees; Rice paddies; Sugar beets; Valley

Subjects: Baghlan Sugar Factory (Afghanistan); Baghlān (Afghanistan : Province); Baghlān (Afghanistan)

01:03:35 - J. Schiffbauer discusses her status as a married woman

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: I, I think to add--I thought of something to say in regard to your question about being a woman there.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer describes how her status as a married woman allowed her to move freely in Afghanistan. Single women have no place out in the world in Afghan society. She tells of how she was very formal with her husband, calling him Mr. Schiffbauer when she talked to him.

Keywords: Afghan culture; Afghan society; Married; Married woman; Married women; Single woman; Single women

Subjects: Afghanistan; Marriage--Afghanistan.; Marriage.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:04:59 - Description of the classrooms in the Boys Agricultural School

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: I wanted to tell you a little bit about the classrooms.

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers recall their classrooms in Baghlan. The school was made up of mud brick buildings and only 30% of the windows had glass. The school was closed in the winter when it would be too cold because the building was unheated. They had a wood burning stove but were only allotted 15 pounds of wood per day. They would burn that amount in the morning to get warm. During the final exams they would take the desks outside to have their exams in the sun. The boys sat at wooden tables with benches.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Benches; Classrooms; Peace Corps; Peace Corps Volunteers; Peace Corps teachers; Students; Teachers; Wooden tables

Subjects: Afghanistan; Afghanistan--Study and teaching.; Education; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:07:42 - Summer trip to Mazar-i-Sharif

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: In the summer, it was very hot in Baghlan and there was a two week break of school in the summer...

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers tell of their school having a two week break in the summer because it would get so hot. They decided to go north to Mazar-i-Sharif, possibly because they thought it would be cooler. It was so hot, however, that they went to the bazaar to buy snow to put into their bathtub to cool off. The Afghans would bring the snow down from Salang Pass to make ice cream in the bazaar. They remember how dusty it was (in the Jeep the dust would splash out like water) and how they carried a watermelon the whole way home in taxis.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Bazaars; Dust; Dusty; Hot; Jeeps; Mazar; Mazar-i-Sharif; Mosques; Peace Corps; Peace Corps Volunteers; Salang Pass; Snow; Summer; Summer vacations; Taxis

Subjects: Afghanistan--Study and teaching.; Mazār-i Sharīf (Afghanistan); Mazār-i Sharīf (Afghanistan)--Description and travel.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Mazar-i-Sharif (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 36.69261669999999, 67.11795110000003
01:11:26 - School adventures

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Now, I can tell you some adventures at the school.

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers recall some of their adventures while teaching at the boarding school. They introduced french fries to the students and staff. They detail their first Christmas as a married couple.

Keywords: Abu Bakr; Afghanistan; Army blankets; Boarding schools; Bunk beds; Chadri; Charlie Brown Christmas tree; Christmas; Dung patties; Eid; Eid al adha; French fries; Goat legs; Hard candy; Hospitality; Military blankets; Santa Claus; Sugar cones; Tissue paper; Tuberculosis

Subjects: Afghanistan--Study and teaching.; Eid al-Adha; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Peace Corps (U.S.).--1960-1970.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:16:03 - More on Abu Bakr

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: As we go on and tell our story and the many times that we were in Afghanistan, the many years we spent there, Abu was with us for most of them.

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers talk about their household helper or servant, Abu Bakr. He was with the Schiffbauers during their many years in Afghanistan. Bakr had two wives who didn't live with him. When W. Schiffbauer went back to Afghanistan in 2002 he tried to find Bakr by advertising on the radio but he wasn't able to locate him.

Keywords: Abu Bakr; Afghanistan; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Bermuda shorts; Compounds; Household help; Iran; Live-in servants; Peace Corps; Protectors; Servants

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:18:30 - Eid al-Adha / Life at their neighbor (who was the mayor)'s compound

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: One time, in Baghlan--I should tell you these little things that we did.

Segment Synopsis: During Eid al-Adha, a landlord took them out to a tenant farmer's house for a celebration. The farmers were poor, but they still offered them tea, milk, and a goat's leg. They were neighbors with the mayor of Baghlan. The women were curious why J. Schiffbauer did not have any children. She told them she ate medicine (birth control).

Keywords: Animal sacrifices; Birth control; Chadri; Eid al-Adha; Eye diseases; Festival of Sacrifice; Goats; Hospitality; Sheep; Slaughter; Traditional clothing; Tuberculosis; Volkswagen; Volkswagen Bug

Subjects: Eid al-Adha; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Peace Corps (U.S.).--1960-1970.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:24:08 - Picnic with a student

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: One time we went on a picnic with one of our students, do you remember?

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers recall a picnic with a student. The men led J. Schiffbauer into the compound to be with the women, where there was music and dancing. The women were curious what J. Schiffbauer's parents thought of her being so far away from home. She recalled seeing dung patties mixed with straw hanging on the wall to dry. This is what they would use for fuel.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Baghlan, Afghanistan; Foreigners; Peace Corps; Picnics; Traditional clothing

Subjects: Afghanistan.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:25:55 - A village wedding

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So men and women did not socialize, they never mixed.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer tells of going to a wedding at a compound, where she was a curiosity and an honored foreign guest. She tells of how the men were in one part of the compound and the women were in the other. W. Schiffbauer tells of being with the men - that it was a little boring. J. Schiffbauer tells of the women who were dancing in their best clothes. Even the babies would have kohl around their eyes. The women rule the domestic sphere. W. Schiffbauer tells of being with the men at a tea house.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Domestic life; Evil eye; Kohl; Peace Corps; Tea house; Tea houses; Wedding

Subjects: Afghanistan.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Weddings.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:28:57 - Jeshyn, the celebration of Afghan independence

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: I'm gonna tell you another story, another memory...

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers tell of the three day Afghan independence celebration in which men played Buzkashi and J. Schiffbauer was in a play.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Buzkashi; Celebrations; Dead calf; Festivals; Horses; Independence day; Jeshyn-Afghan Day; Peace Corps; Play

Subjects: Buzkashi--Afghanistan.; Buzkashi.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Peace Corps (U.S.).--1960-1970.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:33:14 - Teaching the neighbors to dance

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: I do have one more anecdote to tell you about our time in the village.

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers recall a story when their neighbor asked them to teach him and his wife to dance in the western way. This was highly unusual, but their neighbors wanted to be prepared if they ever traveled to the west. They had a meal together, with no sign of his wife. It is improper to ask about a man's wife. After the meal, the wife came in and Schiffbauers taught them to do the box step. J. Schiffbauer remembers it as surreal. When they left it was so dark. They had to gather rocks to fend off the dogs.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Afghanistan music; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Box step; Dancing; Dogs; Music; Peace Corps; Radio; Surreal; Waltz

Subjects: Afghanistan.; Dancing; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Peace Corps (U.S.).--1960-1970.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:40:49 - Going to India

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So how would you say that, um, like the first year, like how did that compare to your second year?

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers discuss going on vacation to India. They met a man from New York City on a bus to Pakistan who was very interesting to them. The man had a root canal in the bazaar. They traveled all over India by train. Coming back, they felt like they were coming home. They stopped trying to recreate American food and began eating like Afghans.

Keywords: Afghan food; Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street; India; Pakistan; Peace Corps vacation; Train travel; Travel; Travels to India

Subjects: India.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Peace Corps (U.S.).--1960-1970.

01:44:36 - Reflections on past students and the school

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: It was great! Our ti--our two years went very quickly there.

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers tell stories about their past students, some who have come to the United States and others who were killed or died of natural causes. Their school was the scene of a battle between the Russians and the Mujahideen. The school was destroyed, but has since been rebuilt by the Mercy Corps who got the money from the Czech Republic. The last time Bill was back was in 2005. He said the house still looked the same but they built a house next door.

Keywords: Ambition; Character; Drive; English; Immigrants; Mercy Corps; Mujahideen; Refugees

Subjects: Mercy Corps; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:49:37 - Afghanistan's Golden Age / Communism

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Our days there, from 1966 to 1968--

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers remember their time in Afghanistan in 1966-1967 as fun and idyllic. They say that the Afghans remember that time as their 'Golden Age.' W. Schiffbauer remembers the youth as being impatient with the progress that the country was making. There were whisperings of Communism among teachers and students. The military was funded by the Russians.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Communism; Golden Age; Peace Corps; Peace Corps Volunteers; Russian Military; Russians; Teachers; Youth

Subjects: Afghanistan.; Communism--Afghanistan--History--20th century.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:51:12 - King is overthrown

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: When th, when they overthrew the King, which was later on when we were there.

Segment Synopsis: The King was overthrown in 1973 and the youth were excited because they thought things would move faster, and 'it sure as hell did, unfortunately.' according to W. Schiffbauer. He questioned why the Russians did what they did.

Keywords: 1973; Afghanistan; Kings; Republic

Subjects: Afghanistan--History--20th century; Afghanistan--Kings and rulers; Afghanistan--Politics and government--1973-1989


GPS: Afghanistan
Map Coordinates: 33.93911, 67.70995300000004
01:52:07 - Going to Kabul

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: We did a lot of other things at the school, that I can just quickly recount.

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers would go to Kabul about every three months. They would buy 10 cans of soda pop, one can at a time. On Friday nights they would split a can of Coke and watch the ants. They listened to the BBC at night and read through the books in their book locker. It was a happy time for them.

Keywords: Ants; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Cokes; Entertainment; Kabul (Afghanistan); Radio; Reading; Soda pop

Subjects: Recreation


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:54:04 - Hearing about Vietnam / Visit from Spiro Agnew

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: What was it like to, um, hear about what was going on in the United States while you were over there?

Segment Synopsis: They recall getting their news from the International Herald Tribune and organizing the paper into chronological order before reading them. They would only get the newspaper when other volunteers would bring them through Baghlan, so they were weeks to months old. Spiro Agnew (Nixon's Vice President) came to visit Afghanistan. Peace Corps Volunteers were against the war, and one Peace Corps staff got called back to Washington to be reprimanded for speaking out against the war. For the most part they just concentrated on their jobs.

Keywords: Anti-war; International Herald Tribune; MLK; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Newspapers; Protests; Speech; Spiro Agnew; Vice presidents; Vietnam; Vietnam War; War in Vietnam

Subjects: Civil rights--United States.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
01:56:40 - The pastoral beauty of rural Afghanistan / The Buddhas of Bamiyan

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: We went up to Kunduz to visit a poet.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer recalls going to Kunduz and seeing the pastoral beauty of rural Afghanistan. Later on in their time in Afghanistan, they traveled to the Buddhas of Bamiyan (since destroyed by the Taliban in 2001) and they stayed in a yurt. J. Schiffbauer recalls there were difficult things happening like child abuse, spousal abuse, people dying of cancer, etc., but there was also the beauty and joys of a simple rural life.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Bamiyan Valley; Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan; Buddhas of Bamiyan; Kunduz; Kunduz, Afghanistan; Medieval Book of Hours; Pastoral; Pastoral beauty; Peace Corps; Peace Corps Volunteers; Rural; Rural life; Taliban

Subjects: Afghanistan--Antiquities.; Afghanistan.; Bamiyan (Afghanistan : Province); Bamiyan (Afghanistan); Bamiyan Site (Afghanistan); Bāmiyān Region (Afghanistan); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Taliban.


GPS: Buddhas of Bamiyan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 34.8320633, 67.82675819999997
01:58:50 - 1968, a tumultuous year in American politics

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: The other parts of what we paid attention to here, it was really later that, that you sort of needed, needed to know what was going on.

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers recall how it felt to be away from America during 1968, when America was in turmoil. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were both assassinated that year. J. Schiffbauer was in Rome, Italy with her parents when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. She recalls it being an odd feeling to be away from America when that was happening; she wanted to be home to understand how people were feeling. She also recalls where she was when John F. Kennedy was shot. They saw Lee Harvey Oswald shot live on television. W. Schiffbauer recalls the front end of the Sixties being very different than the back end. Personally, they were in a new phase of life - they were new parents. They feel like they missed a lot of tumultuous years by being in Afghanistan, and are experiencing it for the first time now.

Keywords: Afghanistan; American politics; Assassinations; JFK; Jack Ruby; John F. Kennedy; Kabul (Afghanistan); Kabul, Afghanistan; Lee Harvey Oswald; MLK; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Peace Corps; Peace Corps Volunteers; RFK; Robert F. Kennedy; Rome (Italy); Rome, Italy; Television

Subjects: 1968 A.D.; Assassination--United States--History--20th century.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Peace Corps (U.S.).--1960-1970.; United States--History--1961-1969.


GPS: Kabul (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 34.5553494, 69.20748600000002
02:02:03 - American politics in Afghanistan / Becoming citizens of the world

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: By being over there though, politics, American politics, was there among the American community.

Segment Synopsis: Talking about American politics in Afghanistan, W. Schiffbauer tells how the Peace Corps volunteers and staff tended to not be Richard Nixon fans. The USAID and Embassy staff were mostly Republican. The Republicans were big supporters of an idealized, theoretical American country. Most of the Americans that they knew in Kabul were career people with the Embassy or USAID. They were raising their children over there so their children didn't really grow up as Americans. They were being raised as citizens of the world. The Schiffbauers feel like they became citizens of the world too, since they were over there at such a young age. When they had to decide if they were going to stay in that line of work with their children, they decided not to. They wanted their children to know their family and to belong as Americans.

Keywords: Citizens of the world; Kabul (Afghanistan); Kabul, Afghanistan; Peace Corps; Peace Corps Volunteers; United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Peace Corps (U.S.).--1960-1970.; USAID/Afghanistan.


GPS: Kabul (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 34.5553494, 69.20748600000002
02:04:05 - Plans after the Peace Corps

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So, when your time was winding down in the Peace Corps the first time, did you think that you would come back?

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers were planning to come home after their service in the Peace Corps ended. W. Schiffbauer had plans to attend graduate school. But while they were being debriefed from their service in Kabul, W. Schiffbauer was offered a position to become a Peace Corps staff member. There was not a lot of debate when they agreed to stay on in Afghanistan. J. Schiffbauer said, 'It sounds fine to me!'

Keywords: Afghanistan; Baghlan (Afghanistan); Graduate schools; Kabul (Afghanistan); Kandahar (Afghanistan); Peace Corps; Peace Corps Staff; Peace Corps Volunteers; United States

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Kabul (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 34.5553494, 69.20748600000002
02:06:07 - Coming back to the Untied States / Reverse culture shock

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: We, we left. We got home December the 19th.

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers describe coming home for the holidays after their Peace Corps assignment was over, and before W. Schiffbauer went back to begin his job in Kandahar. There was color television, and they felt like America was a lot cleaner than before they left, thanks to a successful anti-littering campaign. J. Schiffbauer realized that her family was a lot more affluent than she previously thought and that they lived in luxury. Everyone in her house had a bed, and the house was cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It was not at all like the poverty that they saw in India and Afghanistan. She recalled going to the grocery store and being overwhelmed by the choices. Having potable water was exciting to them. They talk about the raw sewage they saw in India.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Anti-littering campaign; Color television; Corn; Culture shock; India; Paregoric; Poverty; Raw sewage; Reverse culture shock; Sewage; World poverty

Subjects: Culture shock.; Reverse culture shock.; United States.


GPS: Hopwood (Pa.)
Map Coordinates: 39.8770205, -79.70198849999997
02:10:33 - Realizing how highly educated Americans are

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: And the other thing--of course this comes from at the very end of our many years there, but you come to realize how highly educated we are.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer came to realize how highly educated Americans are, even only with a high school education. In Afghanistan she was asked about all kinds of things because she was seen as an educated person. She taught a basic hygiene class to a group of Afghan women during her volunteer service in the Peace Corps. Hygiene was not common knowledge.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Americans; Basic hygiene; Education; Health; High school education; Highly educated; Hygiene

Subjects: Education.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
02:11:34 - Health-based literacy program for women

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: I can tell you some tales from our more recent stay.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer remembers teaching a health-based literacy class to women. It taught basic hygiene, childcare, nutrition, and learning about germs, all the while learning to read. At the end of the program all the women were interviewed. One woman said that in the class, she realized that she was responsible for her child's death. Her child had diarrhea, and the advice she received was that she should withhold food and water. It was the exact opposite of what she should do. The Afghans were running dramas on the radio that served as public service announcements to promote hand washing. 'Afghans are storytellers,' said W. Schiffbauer.

Keywords: Child care; Child mortality; Childcare; Dehydration; Diarrhea; Germs; Hand washing; Handwashing; Health; Hygiene; Infant mortality; Learning; Learning to read; Literacy; Materials; Nutrition; Public service announcements (PSAs); Radio; Reading; Storytellers; Storytelling

Subjects: Health education.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
02:13:53 - Changes in American television commercials

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: The thing that I noticed whenever we first came home, was that television commercials became so much more entertaining.

Segment Synopsis: W. Schiffbauer remembers television commercials got more entertaining and sophisticated while they were away. When they left for Afghanistan, the commercials were mostly Ready Kilowatt and Speedy Alka Seltzer. When they returned a few years later, he recalls that commercials had more humor and sophistication, and he found himself entertained by them, rather than just waiting for them to be over.

Keywords: Commercials; Reddy Kilowatt; Speedy Alka Seltzer; Television

Subjects: Classic TV commercials; Television commercials


Hyperlink: Reddy Kilowatt commercial
02:14:36 - Travel in America compared to Afghanistan

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Well, it's just you know, when you've been in a country like that, one of the most undeveloped countries in the world, and you come back to your country, for even a short time...

Segment Synopsis: Going back to America, J. Schiffbauer was scared by the traffic and the speed they would travel in cars. In Afghanistan there were cars, but there were also pedestrians, camels, and men pulling carts that were sharing the road as well, so the speed was a lot slower. W. Schiffbauer noted that most of the camels are gone now; 'landmines tended to get rid of camels.' They describe the different carts and vehicles in Afghanistan, and detail the method of traveling between cities.

Keywords: Camels; Cultural differences; Horses; Landmines; Traffic; Vehicles

Subjects: Afghanistan.; Transportation; United States.

02:17:25 - Poetic culture of Afghanistan

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: There are, there are other things that, that you, you don't appreciate about Af, Afghanistan and Afghans.

Segment Synopsis: In Afghanistan a lot of the country is illiterate, but knowledge of poetry is very high. They would pass on the poems as an oral and aural history. They built statues to poets. W. Schiffbauer tells of word games that sophisticated Afghans would play. He tells a story about the town poet coming to the school to recite his poetry.

Keywords: Aural history; Illiteracy; Monuments; Oral history; Poetry; Rumi

Subjects: Afghan poetry (Arabic); Afghan poets


GPS: Baghlan (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 35.8042947, 69.28775350000001
02:19:48 - Working for the Peace Corps

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: When we got back home, it was an experience being back home.

Segment Synopsis: As a Peace Corps staff member, you can only extend your contract for two times what you signed up for. If you had a two year contract, the longest you could stay would be for four years. This high turnover rate made W. Schiffbauer feel like he was constantly 'reinventing the flat tire.' He feels like this is accurate metaphor for working in the government. Going back to Afghanistan felt like coming home.

Keywords: Contracts; Government contracts; Government jobs; Jobs; Peace Corps Volunteers; Peace Corps staff; Term limits

Subjects: Government jobs; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.


GPS: Kabul (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 34.5553494, 69.20748600000002
02:21:29 - Their 20s in Afghanistan

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So you were there when you were like 23 to 25?

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer was 21 and W. Schiffbauer was 23 when they got married in 1965. The were in Afghanistan from 21 to 26, and 23 to 28, respectively. W. Schiffbauer says he got old in Afghanistan.

Keywords: 20s; Getting older; Growing in your 20s; Travelling; Twenties; Young adults

Subjects: Young adults.

02:22:05 - J. Schiffbauer recalls a specific cultural difference

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: I was thinking one more thing, you said, "What was it like when we came home?" I remember driving to Washington, D.C. with you.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer recalls driving with W. Schiffbauer to Washington, D.C. and stopping at a roadside diner. W. Schiffbauer went to use the restroom and the diner was full of men. J. Schiffbauer was uncomfortable, her fight or flight response was heightened, because she was conditioned from their years in Afghanistan to not be alone with men. She was also never unaccompanied unless she was in the presence of women. 'What a strange way to feel.' W. Schiffbauer noted that that women she taught were pretty cut throat - she taught some classes at the women's prison. Most women were in there for trying to poison their husbands.

Keywords: Cultural differences; Poison; Segregated by sex; Women in prison

Subjects: Gender issues; Sex role; Women

02:24:18 - How the Peace Corps changed their lives / How Afghans really are as compared to how they are portrayed in America

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Should we keep, should we keep going?

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer describes how being in the Peace Corps and being in Afghanistan changed their lives, and enabled them to go back to Afghanistan post 9/11. 'So much is by chance' J. Schiffbauer said. W. Schiffbauer discusses the need to help the poor, but he says that they are lucky to be born in the United States. He said the Afghans are friendlier than they are portrayed in America. Afghanistan has been invaded six times since 1776. When they were young they were optimistic and positive. W. Schiffbauer says the Afghan are war-minded but that is because they have fought many wars on their own soil. 'The terrain matches the people, they have to be tough,' says J. Schiffbauer. 'They have to be as tough as what they have to deal with.'

Keywords: Afghan people; Afghanistan; Afghans; Peace Corps; Post 9/11; Post September 11th; Risks; Tough; War

Subjects: Afghanistan; Afghanistan--History.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan--Biography.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Afghanistan.; Stereotypes (Social psychology)

02:31:20 - An Eid celebration in Lexington, Kentucky

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: They're also fun.

Segment Synopsis: The Schiffbauers ate at an Italian restaurant where the owner and cook is from Afghanistan. They met him and he invited them to an Eid celebration at the restaurant. They had a great time, even though they didn't know anyone. The men and women were on separate sides of the restaurant and then men ate first.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Afghans in America; Celebrations; Eid; Paisano's restaurant

Subjects: Afghans--United States; Lexington (Ky.).


GPS: Paisano's Restaurant, Lexington (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.0028547, -84.52036900000002
02:32:56 - Women's wishes in Afghanistan / Arranged marriages

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: There's so many things I could tell you and it's just jumping around from time frame to time frame.

Segment Synopsis: J. Schiffbauer recalls a time during a program in Afghanistan, the women drew photos of what they wished for. One drew a photo of an ill daughter-in-law being lovingly tended to by her mother-in-law. That was not always the case. She said arranged marriages could turn out great or they could be hell on earth and you can't get out of it. They tell a story of a woman who worked in W. Schiffbauer's office who got married and they never saw her again. Her best friend who continued to work there never got to see her again either. It was sad because that woman had a lot of ambition.

Keywords: Afghan culture; Afghan society; Arranged marriages

Subjects: Afghans.; Arranged marriage.

02:35:12 - Afghan refugees / Afghans in America

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: But, you know, since we've left and war has continued, lots of Afghans we know had been--were able to leave, have left.

Segment Synopsis: A lot of Afghans that the Schiffbauers knew were able to leave Afghanistan. There is a family in Louisville, Kentucky that they keep in touch with. They live in a housing project and the wife has been mugged twice, but they are still happy to be here. J. Schiffbauer worries about how our country treats refugees, specifically Afghans. W. Schiffbauer notes that 'Afghans are loyal to all people and we have repeatedly disappointed them.'

Keywords: Afghanistan; Afghans in America; America; Refugees

Subjects: Refugees--Afghanistan.

02:36:57 - Interview conclusion

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Alright, well thank you so much.

Segment Synopsis: The interview is concluded and the Schiffbauers give a little preview of what will be discussed in the next interview. W. Schiffbauer tells of meeting American servicemen at events in the U.S. and talking about Afghanistan with them. He tells of an irrigation project in Afghanistan and the smuggling route through Pakistan. He tells of a vaccination program that combated smallpox.

Keywords: Cholera; Irrigation; Kandahar (Afghanistan); Mummies; Opium; Pakistan; Poppies; Poppy; Smuggling routes; Vaccinators; Vaccines

Subjects: Cholera.; Kandahār (Afghanistan); Smallpox.