Dressed in my riga, a gift from the Sultan of Sokoto who gave me this made in his harem because I wore Nigerian dress in my summer experience doing surveys of agricultural life in the rural villages of northern Nigeria

Name: John Bewick
U-M Affiliation: Student

Where do you work?

Compliance Management Inc., Hingham, MA 02043

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

1963-1965

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Nigeria (VIII)

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

Taught Physics at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria

Is there a specific person (or persons) who made a strong impression on you during that time?

Bill Shurtleff, my friend from training

What was one of the most memorable moments you had as a volunteer?

Doing a study for FAO in remote villages of northern Nigeria in the summer of 1964

In what ways did your Peace Corps experience affect your life and/or career decisions?

I grew up in the Peace Corps. It changed my life and focus. I went into public service to bring integrity to government and got that chance several times

In what ways did your U-M education, both inside and outside the classroom, prepare you for your Peace Corps experience?

Taught me advanced physics

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating going into the Peace Corps?

Do it. It's a great experience

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

I matured and learned how to survive

What lessons did you learn in the Peace Corps that you carry with you today?

How to be self-sufficient and independent and be your own person

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I remember Kennedy’s remarks, esp his opening, “I come from the Michigan of the East — Harvard” which I relayed to Ted Sorenson recently who recalled Kennedy’s line about “You may think I came hear to talk to you, but I really came here to go to bed.”

Back to stories index.