Monday, April 12, 2010


So what is up with the nicknames MoMo and PoPo?

A little family history will explain the slightly odd nicknames. Gary and I “blended” our families together in 1990. At the time, we had five teenagers/young adults. Calling us by our given names seemed too formal, but calling us mother or father didn’t honor their deceased parents. So what to call us? Lisa, Gary’s middle daughter, started calling her dad PoPo. MoMO soon followed and we have been Mo and Po ever since.

But now there are five grandkids and we get called all sorts of things: Grandma, grandmo, grandpa, and grandpo. Our favorites though are FarFar (Swedish for grandfather) and Gogo (siSwati for grandmother). But as long as it is the grandkids, we will answer to anything.


Thursday, April 1, 2010


We now have legal clearance and our medical clearances and all the formalities seem to be in order--up to staging instructions. So how did we get to this point?

On a business trip, the subject of Peace Corps came up while Mo was riding with a co-worker, a former PCV. It renewed her interest from college days, and she learned from Po that he, too, had had an interest in PC. (Po was in the class of '61 when John Kennedy created the PC; Mo trailed a few years later.) Neither of us acted at that time because life was calling in other directions, but for everything there is a season.

Our curiosity stimulated, we attended a PC meeting at a branch library (I think it was in April, 2008), picked up some pamphlets and the application forms. Over the next several weeks, we pondered the possibilities and began filling out the 16 page application, writing our essays, and asking for endorsements from several of you. Our applications were mailed off the end of August. At this time, we assumed we would probably end up in Africa: 37% of the PC was in Africa and our travels indicated our interest there.

On September 29, 2008, we had our interviews, were fingerprinted, and said we would be ready for service in January, 2010. Meanwhile, we kept an eye on Africa and checked out some books from the library to get a head start on learning a language.

On February 2, 2009, we got out serve in the Caribbean. Not only did we picture ourselves on a warm, picturesque beach, but we were told not to worry about learning a language. We immediately began reading about the Caribbean: history, travel brochures, novels, present and historical economics. We became rather well versed on the Caribbean.

Shortly after our Nomination, Debbie had an emergency appendectomy...and then gastric ulcers. We had already seen the voluminous detail of the medical qualifications, but with these new events, we spent most of 2009 working on medical questionnaires. One sticky point was a doctor who "didn't do forms". Debbie finally filled out the forms herself, and took them in for his signature. He graciously said he "wouldn't charge for his signature", but he accepted the bribe of a plate of fresh brownies. Our medical kits were submitted in November.

On January 11, 2010 we were Invited to serve in Swaziland.