Los Alamos High School alumnus describes her Peace Corps experiences for Rotarians. Photo by Linda Hull
BY LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
On Jan. 10, Toni Batha, graduate of Union College in Schenectady, New York, described her recent experiences serving in the Peace Corps in the southwestern African nation of Namibia. Although she had “expected to live in a mud hut,” she was assigned to Eheke, a small community with many modern conveniences in north-central Namibia.
After extensive Peace Corps training, she aught English to 10th-12th grade students in classes of 35-40 and led camps on HIV/AIDS prevention. She also served on committees
for youth health and student-friendly schools.
Batha said she still keeps in touch with many of her students who contact her frequently just to stay in touch.
The Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, ” to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling the goals of helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, and promoting a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
The Peace Corps in Namibia was established in 1990, the same year the country gained independence. There are approximately 150 Peace Corps volunteers serving in-country now.
Before living in Namibia, Batha studied in Argentina and Cambodia. In just a few weeks, she will begin teaching English in East Timor, an island country in the southern extreme of the Malay Archipelago.