It’s Often Not What We Expect
Experiences of a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic
Thursday, January 21, 2016
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Library
North Street, Bristol, Vermont
Kenyon’s talk will explore what he learned about himself as he stepped back from expecting results from his project. He paid attention, observing while also thinking critically about what he was seeing. “One doesn’t learn these things until one takes off the rose-colored glasses,” he says. “We often don’t get what we expect, but rather, we get what is there.”63-years-old when he began his work with the Peace Corp, Kenyon was much older than a typical Peace Corps volunteer, but he wanted to immerse himself in the experience and do something beyond his career in mechanical engineering. He wrote in a blog at the time that his intention was to find out what happens when a person like himself, a normal guy, goes into such a different experience from his life up until then. “It’s complicated; that was never in question. I knew it would be complicated. Normal respect for another culture tells us that. We know instinctively that we are setting ourselves on a journey of depth.”
His personal reflection has continued since he returned to Vermont in 2014 after three-years of service. “I never saw myself as ‘part’ of the DR while I was there,” he says. “In part, this is the Peace Corps ideal; it’s not ‘about us’, it’s about them.”A mechanical engineering graduate, Kenyon designed meteorological towers and wind resources sensors for NRG Systems for 12 years before starting his own company, Cumulus Engineering LLC in Bridport, Vt. An environmentalist and avid recreational sports participant, Kenyon has lived off the grid for 30 years. His home in Bridport relies on power provided by the wind and sun, and he uses a gasoline-powered generator only when “desperately needed.”
Kenyon will be making ginger tea in his cooking box for those attending the program. Prior to his talk, he will also share some of the music that infused his three years in the Dominican Republic.
For more information on the program, contact the Lawrence Memorial Library at 453-2366 or go to www.OneWorldLibraryProject.org or the One World Library Project page on Facebook.
We hope to see you at the library for this fascinating program!