(Training pics are full size; some more recent pictures -- with a bluish outline -- can be clicked to enlarge)


Jim Kauppi
Allegan, MI
1967 Training Biography

After receiving a B.S. from Western Michigan, University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, in mechanical engineering last June, Jim worked part-time as a lathe operator for a company in that city. Prior to this, he was a plant engineer in the automotive industry and part-time mechanic and attendant at a service station. His hobbies center around amateur radio, building, and all kinds of mechanical work. In sports he prefers baseball, football, track, and swimming. He is a member of the American Society of Tool and Manufacturing Engineers. Jim is 25.

More Recent

click photo to enlarge

(1) Rice Thresher Jim built in Santa Cruz
(2) Linda and Jim Kauppi
(3) Grandaughter Paige and Jim Kauppi: Paige & family visiting from Tennessee
(4) Atocha, Bolivia, from above, hospital at right center, rail tracks behind were packed with vendors when the train stopped. Atocha was the center of commerce for many of the Southern mines. (a couple of Sue's photos are taken in front of hospital's masonry fence).

and Work

Atocha, Southern Mines (July 1967- July 1968 )
Atocha is a commercial rail side community of a few thousand in the Southern Mines area. Sue and I lived in an apartment above Ms Lopez’s store. A small group of priests and nuns (from Netherlands & France) had recently built a small hospital. Sue immediately found work at the hospital. I also did some work with the priests, but taught English at a local school, and worked on some activities with the missionaries. One of the more memorable efforts was to build/demonstrate a simple washing machine.

Santa Cruz (July 1968-July 1969)
We lived in a barrio about a mile from downtown Santa Cruz (I’m trying to determine its name), not far from a large Christo near the end of what was then a newly paved (with interlocking block) main artery. A group of central US based priests and nuns maintained an active church/school in the barrio. I taught basic electricity and auto mechanics ... complete with handouts, quizzes and certificates at completion within the structure of this local church. We had a functioning Willys engine that was secured from one of the US oil operations around Santa Cruz. Sue benefited from the same environment with her work in developing a well baby clinic which was well attended. I built a small hand operated demonstrator rice thresher, and provided instructions (see above).


We returned to Kalamazoo, where I attended Western Michigan University. Son Jeffrey was born in January 1970, and son Phillip in 1973. I received a MS degree, taught for a year then went to work for Clark Equipment Co. in Battle Creek, MI, then in Lexington KY for 12 years. I retired from Clark in 1999 after 26 years.

Sue and I divorced in the mid-eighties and I remarried in 1989. Linda, also a nurse, has three daughters. All five of our children are married and making their way in life. Including spouses we have two teachers, four in health related fields, and four in the commercial world. We have a total of nine grandchildren. We enjoyed the 12 years in Kentucky, but decided to return to Michigan where four of our five children were located (not fully appreciating how hard the Michigan economy had hit the skids!) We’ve traveled some, twice to Europe and have seen a fair amount of the USA and Canada.

We currently work part time, Linda at our local hospital and I work at a hardware store. I’ve taken several classes in digital graphic arts and photography areas since retiring, and most recently Intermediate Spanish during our winter stay in South Carolina.

PC In Your Life

I’d say having been a Bolivian PCV has improved my life, and I hope has made me a better person all-around. The youngsters in Bolivia were engaging and optimistic even as their opportunities for self improvement and making a better life were difficult.

Best/Worst PC Experience

Something I remember was from our group’s visit to Gino Bauman’s house was a large framed poster with the words “Viva la Huelga”.

RPCV Groups

I’ve not been associated with any RPCV activities to date, but will note that my brother served in the PC prior to me in Jamaica, and that his son, Matt has just completed a PC tour on St. Vincent, as a computer instructor.

In the Future
We plan to travel more now that we’ve got more (very) flexible schedules. We do like northern Michigan and the upper midwest (my grandparents immigrated to the UP from Finland around 1900), so if our federal (Bush) government continues to run the USA in reverse we may move to Finland to complete the cycle. But with my shaky PC Spanish, I doubt that I could deal successfully with Finnish
Favorites to Share
Movies: The White Countess, To Kill a Mockingbird, Driving Miss Daisy, and The Hunt for Red October (which I always suggest as a rental despite Linda’s groans). Also rented The Motorcycle Diaries and Spanglish at the suggestion of a fellow student in my Spanish Class.
Books: The Glass Castle, The Great Gatsby, On the Road