Back Issues of PDAA Today

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John Dickson’s Peace Corps

by John Dickson

You can draw a direct link from Peace Corps to my interest in working in public diplomacy. As a volunteer English as a Foreign Language teacher [1976-79] in Gabon, I used to frequent the American Cultural Center in Libreville to read the latest newspapers (and get the baseball scores), often a couple of weeks late. I used the library for English teaching materials as well as Forum, the English language teaching journal, and taught evening classes there as well, to adults. All this led to selecting the preference of public diplomacy when I eventually took the test.

John Dickson, Gabon, 1976-79: From a Peace Corps English training graduation — I am the one not taking it very seriously, on the right. Duane Davidson, the PAO, is seated second from the left next to Lee Smith, the Peace Corps Director, who later joined the Foreign Service as well.

John Dickson: Me in the stream where I went to wash. With no running water and only a rain barrel to catch water off the roof, this nearby stream became my principal source of water, including daily baths. Also, served as my air conditioner cooling me down after a long day in the high equatorial temperatures. So, I was especially grateful at my first Foreign Service post in Lagos that the Embassy delivered water to our compound twice a day.

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