Interview with Donna Marie, April 7, 2021
Project: Peace Corps: COVID-19 Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers Oral History Project
Interview SummaryDonna Marie grew up in a family dedicated to community service. She graduated from Northern New Mexico College with a degree in eco-psychology and indigenous studies. As a 55+ applicant, Peace Corps invited Donna to the Kyrgyz Republic to teach English. She trained in Ivanovka, a village outside of the capital, Bishkek. Assigned to Kara Kulja, Donna co-taught at the Orozali Saidilkanov Author School, at extra-curricular English clubs, and camps. She used student-centric teaching methods with songs, games, music, plays, etc. in the open air. Students learned to research and teach their own subject of interest. Challenges included bridging the traditional rote educational approach with an interactive one, as well as reducing corporal punishment. She estimated that 35% of the residents worked outside of the country, sending back remittances. Many grandparents raised their grandchildren. Donna presents a detailed chronology of the evacuation of Volunteers due to COVID-19, including their uncertainty, trauma, and consequences.
Interview KeywordNorthern New Mexico College Eco-psychology Indigenous studies 55+ applicants Bishkek (Kyrgyz Republic) Ivanovka (Kyrgyz Republic) Banya (Bath house) Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) Osh (Kyrgyz Republic) Oblast (Kyrgyz Republic) Kara Kulja (Kyrgyz Republic) Orozali Saidilkanov Author School English clubs Manas (Cultural hero of epic history) Grandparents Remittances Ramadan Bozuy (Yurt) Evacuation Multi-generational 2018-2020 (Date of service) Peace Corps Volunteer Job: Education Collectivist society Youth suicide Bride-kidnapping Older Americans Training sites Soviet bath houses Southern Kyrgyzstan Silk Road Black Mountain Ibex Orozo (Fasting) Yurts Semi-nomadic Education sector Regional library Older volunteers Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Interview LC SubjectPeace Corps (U.S.) Peace Corps (U.S.)--Kyrgyz Republic Kyrgyz Republic Acculturation Communication and culture Culture Culture shock Intercultural communication Interpersonal communication and culture Interpersonal relations Interpersonal relations and culture Language and culture Language and languages Lifestyles Manners and customs Voluntarism Volunteers COVID-19 (Disease)
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Marie, Donna Interview by Randolph A. Adams. 07 Apr. 2021. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Marie, D. (2021, April 07). Interview by R. A. Adams. Peace Corps: COVID-19 Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Marie, Donna, interview by Randolph A. Adams. April 07, 2021, Peace Corps: COVID-19 Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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