Jerry and Betty Pasela meet and marry while in the Peace Corps
The following excerpt comes from The Morrison County Record in Little Falls, Minnesota and was originally published on May 16, 2012.
“Jerry Pasela met his wife, then Betty Ring, while training for his second stint in the Peace Corps. He was from rural Ohio, she was from Little Falls. She had just joined for the first time.
‘I had decided to rejoin the Peace Corps in 1966, and was training in Dartmouth, N.H. when I met Betty,’ said Jerry. ‘We were both learning French since we were being sent to Togo, West Africa.’
Jerry said they got to know each other well during their training.
Jerry, left, and Betty Pasela show off some of the items they have brought back from Africa. In total, they have spent 17 years in various countries while working with the Peace Corps and Save the Children.
‘She made me fall for her because she kept sharing her candy bars with me,’ he said.
From there, Betty went to Florida for field training and Jerry went straight to Togo, his second time in Africa.
The two were stationed close to each other, Jerry in the provincial capital of Lama Kara and Betty in Landa. He proposed to her on the beach about nine months after they met and they were married in Togo in September 1967.
When the Peace Corps was first created by Pres. John F. Kennedy in 1961, Jerry joined right away. He had been in the service from 1959-1961, and after a year at home doing odd jobs here and there, he decided to give it a try.
‘When I was in fifth grade, I read a book by Osa Johnson called ‘I Married Adventure.’ It was all about Africa and the seed was planted,’ he said.
‘I joined because I wanted to explore. I found out Africa wasn’t just a country. It is all about the people.’”
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