Later Maybe: A Taste of the Tropics by Beryl Gutnick. Lots Wife Publishing, 2000.
Yet another point of view, this time from a mature adult woman. Beryl’s Peace Corps site was in Luna on the western coast of Northern Luzon just Northwest of Baguio. She often visited Baguio and other places in the region that are familiar to me; although she was in- country 20 years after my departure.
Beryl uses her letters to friends and family to tell us about her experiences. At times this method felt a little disjointed to me; yet her highs and lows came through clearly. When writing about our Peace Corps experiences we are apt to remember the good times and forget all those low time. The times of self doubt, isolation, loneliness, bug bits and illness. Beryl’s letters do not forget.
Her descriptions and perceptions of the people give clear insight into the Filipino people as well as to Beryl herself. I especially felt her isolation and problems with communication. Beryl’s portrayal of the importance of her friendships with other Peace Corps Volunteer brought back strong memories of my own friendships and the camaraderie among volunteers.
A fine read that clearly illustrates the frustrations of a volunteer. Even more importantly, you noticeably become aware of the many ways we change during our Peace Corps service.
In the Philippines it appears that much remains the same, even after 20 years. Things may change, later maybe.