eBookfrom Amazon: “Hey Joe” – Poems and Stories from the Peace Corps
Paperback from Amazon: http://tiny.cc/1dilvw
Paperback from CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/4178119
Paperbackfrom Barnes&Noble: http://tiny.cc/eri4tw
Read review by P. David Searles on PeaceCorpsWorldwide. http://tiny.cc/cpl6xw
Get something to drink, take a nice comfy seat and settle down for the trip of your life. You’ve never experienced anything like this – Culture Shock! “Hey Joe” was a greeting of affection Filipinos had for Americans – and still do.
Have you ever lived in another country for any length of time? I spent two years on the remote island of Romblon in the Philippines as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1968-1970. It is amazing what a difference it makes to actually live in a different culture than to simply visit as a tourist.
Child a-l-o-n-e upon the beach gaze out upon the blue tableau endless waving back at you lapping at your feet sinking in the sand between your toes
Join me for my first day in Romblon with images, people, sounds and odors overwhelming me. See me dine on unimaginable things – especially in the poem “Love Potion”. Learn how I earned my nickname “Puti Iboy”.
Relax in the “Garden Beyond My Window”
Hibiscus blossoms scented flowers flood the trellis old orchids are in bloom Cacophany of colors shapes and mingled odors extract me from my room
Remember the Greek cynic philosopher Diogenes who walked in daylight with a lantern looking for an honest man and never found him? Well I did. He carried my bags off a boat outside a slum in Manila – read “The Tip”.
Experience my bewilderment as I witness the stone-age tribe in my poem “People on the Rock”
Stark dark naked bodies shining people on the rock Gazing skyward can’t believe you people on the rock Do you see us as we see you people on the rock
It was the era of the Vietnam War – Woodstock – the first man landing on the moon. Everything I took as a given was challenged. My pre-conceived ideas of life, community, family and friendship were turned inside out, shaken apart, dismantled and reassembled. I was advantaged and was going to live with those who were less so. First hand in the “third world” was going to be a shocker.
This is a collection of poems and stories about my experience. You will be learning some of the local dialect along with me as you read.
So come larga (sail) with me on a banca (outrigger canoe) across the Sibuyan Sea to the malayo (remote) isla (island) of Romblon in the Philippines. Take your siya (chair) at the lamisa (table) as my new panimalay (family) and I enjoy our panyaga (lunch) of kanon (cooked rice), isda (fish), utanon (vegetables), fried saging (banana) and tubig (water). Meet my host Nana Lola. Lakat (walk) down the dalan (street) with me as I join my migas (friends) Manny, Louie and Popeye to drink tuba (fermented coconut milk).
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed living it.
Here are some photos from Romblon/