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Murphy, Thomas H. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Vol. 70, Number 7 (May 1969)

Schultz, Charles F.
$75 a month, plus pride,   pp. [4]-9

Page 5

There's something about the University of Wisconsin which produces a remarkable
sense of involvement in its students.
Who says? The Peace Corps, which has gained 500 UW Volunteers in eight years,
putting us in second place in the
nation and these kids in first place in our esteem.
W hatever happened to good old Seth Rockwell?
      Well, most of his fellow graduates of the Class
 of 1967 have gone on to pretty good jobs, but Seth
 is still plugging away for $75 a month. So are Arthur
 Eith, Lynne (Puttman) Santangelo, Terry and Carol
 (Gelhaus) Peterson and a lot of others.
   Besides not making much money, they have some-
 thing else in common: all are Peace Corps Volunteers,
 a not-too-unusual occupation for University of Wis-
 consin graduates. In the past eight years, 501 Badgers
have joined the Peace Corps, putting Wisconsin sec-
ond only to the University of California at Berkeley
as a source of Volunteers.
  But why Wisconsin? Sally Tallman, coordinator of
Student Volunteer Services and Peace Corps liaison
officer at the University, put it this way: "The image
the University projects draws students not just from
the Big Ten area, but from all over the United States
and the world. And the kind of student who is at-
tracted by this reputation tends to go on with involve-
ment after he has left school."
  Seth Rockwell exemplifies this perhaps as well as
anyone. He describes himself, when an undergraduate,
as "disturbed by what I saw among people my own
age-the searching aimlessness demonstrated on one
hand by conspicuous consumption and on the other
by the drug culture. Also, I'd studied African -history
and r wanted to see Africa; see just what went on in
an undeveloped country."
  He's seeing it first hand in Matunwa, a hamlet of
May, 1969
                      by CHARLES F. SCHULTZ
some 300 persons at the end of a dirt road in the
Kisii region of Kenya. The region, whose rolling hills"
are not unlike the Green Mountains of Rockwell's
native Vermont, has not shared in Kenya's relative
prosperity. The Kisii people are farmers, most barely
above the subsistence level, and Matunwa, which con-
sists of mud huts and a dozen tin shacks, is poor even
by Kisii standards.
  Rockwell is advisor to the Farmers' Cooperative, a
modest enterprise but revolutionary in Kisii country
where it has traditionally been every familyfor itselt.
Rockwell is on intimate terms with those self-doubts
-"Am I doing anything of value?"-that plague so
many other Volunteers. And he still struggles for ac-
ceptance by the villagers.
  "I feel a large part of my role has to be to change
the image these people have of a white man. Several
times my motorcycle has broken down and I've
walked to Kisii-it takes four or five hours. People
see me walking and they ask, 'Why don't you have
a car sent for you?' because I'm a white man and
white men ride in cars. They just can't comprehend
a white man living as they do, but I feel that I really
can't do my job while there's that barrier between
us," Rockwell said.
  "But I think things are beginning to change. People
are beginning to understand that I live pretty much
like they do. They know every detail of my life; they
know I'm not hiding anything. Believe me, I'd like
to have some privacy, but I'm really getting used to
  And it's worth it, Rockwell said. "Things here are
on a scale I can grasp-perhaps I can be better
equipped to deal with the problems of the States when
I get back."                            (continued)
k          *   *

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