Thank You From Thomas Poeketie of Tio Boto

Thomas Poeketie (pictured below on the left), the Headmaster of the Elementary School in Masiakriki and founder of the Tio Boto Eco Lodge, would like to send a thanks to “all of Peace Corps and all Americans” via internet. Thomas dictated the following paragraph to Shannon (SUR16 from California who recently completed her two years in Masiakriki) and she translated into English. I thought I would pass along this message to my readers as a great reminder of the reason why J.F.K. launched Peace Corps.

“Tio Boto is one small place in one small country, that many people don’t know about.  Yet, Tio Boto sends one BIG thanks to all the people in the USA because they established Peace Corps in America. Because of this, Peace Corps worked in the country of Suriname. The work of Peace Corps Suriname came to help the village of Masiakriki and Tio Boto.  The good they did for us we can see.  If you come here, you will see it too.  We believe we can take the ideas that Peace Corps Volunteers gave us to move forward.  We will carry those ideas with us and spread them to others.”

I have had the pleasure of befriending Thomas over several gatherings at his tourist camp, which aims at helping teen dropouts find sustainable skills and work opportunities and doubled as the location for three of our youth development camps. My favorite memory with Thomas was when I started playing guitar one night and within seconds, he was charismatically belting out improvisational lyrics while drumming a beat on a wooden stool. We played well into the night, neither of us wanting the jam session to end.

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3 Responses to Thank You From Thomas Poeketie of Tio Boto

  1. Lawrence F. Lihosit says:

    It’s never too early to think about the Third Goal. Check out Peace Corps Experience: Write & Publish Your Memoir. Oh! If you want a good laugh about what PC service was like in a Spanish-speaking country back in the 1970’s, read South of the Frontera: A Peace Corps Memoir.

  2. sdmorrison says:

    John- I just came across this on a google search for something else! Thank you for the reminder of the good in the world! I really needed that this week. Peace Corps’ goal to promote world peace through friendship seems simple, but it can be impactful.

    • John Williams says:

      Shannon!!! Please forgive my tardy reply but hearing from you made my day (twice – now that I’m re-reading it!!). I’m so happy to hear that this post helped you! I have found that 3 years since Peace Corps, I feel a disconnect with the simplicity of life in the Surinamese jungle and the simple things that matter most (people for me!). I need to journal more! I miss that! Hope you are well! Congrats on your marriage!

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