|(Training pics are full size; some more recent pictures -- with a bluish outline -- can be clicked to enlarge)
Saint Paul , MN
1967 Training Biography
click photo to enlarge
(1) David White in Cochabamba in service with Maria Natividad Cejas and her friend Teresa.
(2) David on rented 250 Jawa in Cochabamba...(see description below)
(3) More recent photo of David and Dawne, 2006
We were originally assigned to the mines but political problems caused delays. Re-assignment sent us to Cochabamba, then out to the campo - a town whose name I no longer remember. We were to live with local patrón while his housekeeper and her children lived in a stall under a wagon. It seemed a situation that needed Ché more than urban volunteers. We rode a boxcar back into Cochabamba soon after.
Joan’s successes as an urban social developer are described in her bio. My own work was more limited in scope and affect. I set up a small mechanic’s shop in the front yard of the two rooms we rented east of the University, where I taught automotive theory and repair using books from GM and scrounged parts --- a 1953Buick Straight 8, a Ford truck rear end, miscellaneous carburetors and other accessories. Eight mm films loaned by USAID also helped, although the 15 min. feature on the use of the pry-bar could have been better.
I also taught English classes for U of San Simón medical students, helped public health workers install potable water pumps, and translated some technical manuals for them. I wasn’t nearly as busy as this sounds. A lot of mornings were spent on coffee and salteñas – just a ten minute bike ride into town. In the evening it was sometimes a lomo montado and cacho at a sidewalk place on the Prado. Once there was a roast duck dinner with Dwight and Peggy Steen’s parents up at Tunari (I think). And I had time to practice guitar and read most of the books in the locker.
I was a passable volunteer, but I took a lot more from P.C. and Bolivia than I ever contributed – an appreciation of Spanish and Latin American music, insights into U.S. culture and foreign policy, and friendships with some fine people – Sr. Bustamante, with his museum Castellano, and the Argentinian, Sr. Ferrufino of the Cochabamba office.
That motorcycle photo -- I rented this
bike, a 250 Jawa (I think), across from the Hotel Colón
and tried to drive it under a bus, nearly succeeding. The
cast on my left hand protected a finger broken in a football
game with the Mormons (do you remember the peculiar vocabulary
they used to avoid saying swear words?). One day, Director
Bauman came to my site after visiting Santa Cruz. The second
thing he said to me, looking serious "Where is your motorcycle?" Now
I finally know where he got the idea -- Jim K.
I never completed my Plan B Master’s in Latin American Studies. Plan B was actually a return to mechanics, working 26 years as a Tech for Northwest Airlines. Joan and I divorced after P.C. I married Andrea, an attorney and we raised three good kids – Julia, David and Daniel.
I married a third (and last time) in 1996 – Dawne Brown, a Canadian girl from Edmonton and career non-profiteer. We have a 7 year old son: Will. When not tired or hungry, he is an exceptional boy with his mother’s great smile. We look forward to seeing you all in August.
PC In Your Life
The effect of P.C. in my life has been pervasive in ways already described in other bios. It has even indirectly affected my siblings John & Joe, who both married women from Argentina and have traveled extensively in Latin America. Although I’ve never returned to Bolivia, I have worked in Mexico and traveled there many times.
Best/Worst PC Experience
In the Future
Continue retirement pursuing hobbies of genealogy and music and enjoying my family.
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