Newlyweds to Serve as Peace Corps Volunteers in Tanzania
August 23, 1999Washington, D.C., August 23, 1999—Many newlyweds think about where they are going to live or who is going to pay the bills this month. For newlyweds Jackie Forshay and Geoff Wilson, these thoughts have been put in the back of their minds as they leave to join the Peace Corps on September 20. Jackie Forshay, 29, of North Conway, N.H., and her husband, Geoff Wilson, 28, of Phoenixville, Pa., will begin their married life in a rural community in Tanzania. They have been told that they will have to pump water, and that there will be no electricity. "I need to see more of the world," said Forshay. "A large part of the world's population live in rural areas and I want to know what that is like. It is important to me." Both Forshay and Wilson are graduates of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and received degrees in natural resources. They will be working on a community-based natural resources project in Tanzania. She will be working in environmental education, and he will be working in forestry. The goal is to help the community find ways of better utilizing their sustainable resources. Forshay, a former eighth-grade science teacher, plans on utilizing her abilities in either a formal school or informal community setting. She will also draw on her extensive travels, including study abroad during college, when she arrives at her site. "I am looking forward to living with a family and learning the language, which is Swahili," she said. During the first 12 weeks, the couple will undergo extensive training of both the language and culture to prepare them for their tasks ahead. They will then be placed at their site where they will serve for two years. For Forshay and Wilson, who had planned to volunteer for the Peace Corps together, it will be the culmination of a common goal. Currently, nearly 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers are working in 77 countries to bring clean water to communities, teach children, protect the environment, help start new businesses, and prevent the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 155,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.