Eva Baisan: Teaching and temple-painting in Japan

By Christian Lampart ’16

“My real passion is working in communities where there is more immediate need,” explains Eva Baisan ’12. To gain experience working internationally, Eva is teaching English at five public schools in Japan through Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET), a Japanese government program. “During high school I studied abroad in Japan, and years later, I met several people connected to Marlboro who had taught through the JET Program as well, who later encouraged me to apply for the job.”

Each day Eva is at a different school teaching students in either seventh, eighth or ninth grade. “The best thing about my work, hands-down, is the rowdy kids. Some classes are absolutely wild, but we have such a great time. And even on days when my classes haven’t gone well, I’ve always had a great moment with a kid that’s made my day.”

When not teaching, Eva spends a lot of time planning lessons, painting at a nearby temple, chatting up the ladies at the octopus dough ball stand, taking yoga and hula classes, festival hopping, teaching adults English, hiking on the nearby ancient pilgrimage trails or searching for fake mustaches at the 100¥ store. After Japan, she hopes to spend time teaching English in migrant communities in the U.S. and Mexico.

Kelly Baur: Filming social issues in Chile

By Christian Lampart ’16

In January, Kelly Baur ’08 will be studying economics and preparing a documentary film at the Universidad de Concepcion in Chile, with support from a Rotary International’s Ambassadorial Scholarship. Kelly’s documentary will focus on the environmental and social costs of the Chilean paper pulp industry.

“I studied economics and film at Marlboro, and I’m decidedly sticking with that combination in Chile,” said Kelly who produced a film about German reunification called “What Revolution?” “Ideally my past studies at Marlboro will help inform the content for my documentary in Chile.”

Since graduating, Kelly spent three years teaching German, economics and math at a non-traditional high school in Portland, Oregon. She also taught German at the pre-school and kindergarten levels and taught English in Chile for a summer.

Three years ago Kelly moved out to her family farm in Washington, where she now manages her pear orchard and garden (pictured above) and prepares for her Chile adventure—in other words, she says, she’s “funemployed.” She has made good use of her time, visiting and bringing resources to women in jail, organizing with the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, volunteering with high school exchange students and teaching English at the day-labor hire site in Portland. After Chile, Kelly is considering pursuing work as a documentary filmmaker or teaching Spanish in the U.S.

Chris Boyle: Exploring culture with kids in Armenia

By Christian Lampart ’16

“I’ve wanted to serve in the Peace Corps since I was in the eighth grade,” says Chris Boyle ’10, who is teaching English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Berd, Armenia. “I like traveling, languages and culture, and as I learned more about those three things at Marlboro, I thought why not live somewhere else for two years? I don’t regret it, and I am happy to follow something I’ve always thought about doing.”

After working at the schools for a few hours in the daytime and planning lessons in the evenings, Chris integrates into the local community and practices his Armenian with his neighbors over coffee.

“Adjusting to a new country can be stressful. You may not have all the comforts you are used to having in the States. You are always surrounded by people speaking in a different language, and there are so many cultural differences. These factors, among others, could leave you feeling lonely and sad sometimes. However, when you know you have kids looking forward to seeing you, it makes everything more worth it”

Chris feels positive that his Peace Corps experience will open doors for him in the future. “I will have more opportunities to travel or work abroad, or maybe I will return to the States and teach. What matters now is to enjoy and learn from this experience.”