International Educator - September/October 2011 - 31

Daniel Paracka

director, education abroad office associate Professor of education Kennesaw State university

PeaCe CorPS VoLUnteer 1985–1987

G

rowing up as the son of an accountant father, Daniel Paracka did plenty of moving in his early years—living in five or six U.S. states before settling in Georgia to finish high school. It was not until he was an undergrad at North Carolina’s St. Andrews Presbyterian College, however, that he traveled abroad—for five weeks in India. The experience left such an indelible impression that Paracka would later travel on Peace Corps tours to West Africa and China, marry a Chinese woman, and embark on his life’s work directing education abroad programs. “I tell students all the time: if your first impression of another person or culture on arrival is negative, that’s a red flag that you need more information,” says Paracka, who is currently director of the education abroad office at Georgia’s Kennesaw State University, as well as an associate professor at the school. “You just don’t know enough to come to a quick conclusion in a first meeting.” For his first education abroad experience in 1980, Paracka—then a junior in college—spent December and January in India. His study program spent time in Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Bombay (now Mumbai), Bangalore, Mysore, and Trivandrum. As the U.S. students delved into Indian politics, culture, and society, Paracka’s senses were assaulted by all that was new—the intense traffic, the strange food, the congestion of bodies on the streets. His first day in Delhi, after landing at the city’s airport, “there was a press of people,” recalls Paracka. “So many people and so crowded and a lot of different accents and languages all around me.” There was the day in Trivandrum when he spied fishermen pulling in nets and, when he went to help them, experienced a “sense of being accepted and being part of ” their everyday life. There was the afternoon in Agra—home of

the Taj Mahal—when he stumbled on an outdoor wedding party. The groom was astride a horse in traditional celebratory garments with money hanging from his clothes, and after the guests—all strangers—insisted he join them, he ate a wedding meal with his hands while sitting on the ground. “I’d been so welcomed and supported and helped by people abroad for years,” Paracka says “I wanted to do that for people coming to the United States.” After graduating from St. Andrews with a bachelor’s in economics and spending a brief stint at a New Jersey Revlon job he disliked, Paracka applied to the Peace Corps and was assigned to Sierra Leone, “which I’d never even heard of.” He was there 27 months helping rice farmers build irrigation systems so they could make better profits from their crop. He lived in the home of the local imam— the head of the mosque there. “If you ever paid [the locals] a compliment—you liked the shirt someone was wearing—the next thing you know they’d be taking it off and handing it to you,” Paracka recalls of those years. “Every day I would walk five to seven miles from the village to the farms to work. There was no TV, no running water, no electricity. It was a bit like camping out for two years. People always had time for each other because people were the most im-

daniel Paracka served in the Peace corps from 1985–1987. this past summer, he returned to Sierra leone for the first time in 24 years to work with a group of former Peace corps volunteers to offer teacher training workshops.

S E P T + O C T. 11 S E P T + O C T. 11 InternatIonal educator InternatIonal educator InternatIonal educator

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2011

International Educator - September/October 2011
Contents
From the Editors
In Brief
Building a Literate World
In Sync:  The Peace Corps and International Education
Expanding Cooperative Education Across the Globe
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
Partnering
A View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
Supplement: A 360º View
Supplement: Making the Numbers Work
Supplement: International Recruitment and Enrollment Listings
International Educator - September/October 2011 - International Educator - September/October 2011
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Contents
International Educator - September/October 2011 - From the Editors
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 6
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 7
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 8
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 11
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 12
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Building a Literate World
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 16
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 18
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 22
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 24
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Sync:  The Peace Corps and International Education
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 30
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 32
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Expanding Cooperative Education Across the Globe
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 38
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 40
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 42
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 44
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Education Abroad
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 48
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 49
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 51
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 52
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 53
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Partnering
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 55
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 56
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 57
International Educator - September/October 2011 - A View From Out Here
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 59
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Forum
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 61
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 62
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 63
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Focus
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover4
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS1
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: A 360º View
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S4
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S5
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S6
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S7
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S8
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S9
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S10
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: Making the Numbers Work
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S12
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S13
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S14
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S15
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S16
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: International Recruitment and Enrollment Listings
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S18
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S19
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S20
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS4
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