Book Review

From Peace Corps with Love:  Letters from a Peace Corps Volunteer: 1970-1972.  Judythe Pearson Patberg.  Llumina Press 2007

As the title shows, Judythe uses her letters home and letters that she received to present a memoir of her Peace Corps experience in the Philippines.  The correspondence certainly brings back memories of how hard it was to communicate in the era before the internet and cell phones.  The slow sporadic mail service of the Philippines is made vividly clear through repeated requests and lost packages.

Judythe lived with a family in San Pablo and the growth of her attachment to that family is lovingly revealed.  Along with her Philippine family we are introduced to various members of her U.S. family and through their letters we learn about Judythe’s life before Peace Corps.

There seem to be a few dead-ends or letters that are not there that might complete the story.  Also it seemed at times that the details from home seemed to somewhat slow the pace of the story.  Of course, I know that those details from home are extremely important to a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Judythe included pictures of the Philippines and they are a welcome addition.  At times I was wished to see pictures of her home and family in Minnesota because they were so prominent in the story.

The struggles with climate and health were prominently portrayed.  All of her highs and lows and emotions were clearly illustrated through her letters.  I enjoyed reading about her trip to the Olympics and I was very pleased that she chose to include her trip home.  Both were essential piece of the overall experience.  The ending was unique and surprising.

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About Donna Strobridge Ianni

RPCV Philippines '67-'69
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