This video was submitted for consideration in the Peace Corps Week 2014 (#PCWeek2014) Video Challenge, "Cultural Windows: What I wish Americans knew about my Peace Corps country."
My wife Jodie and I were married for six weeks before arriving in Western Russia for our Peace Corps service. That was almost 20 years ago, in the pre-digital era. In fact, only one volunteer in our group had a video camera, and he visited one weekend and we shot this footage one weekend on the only tape we could find - a grainy, black and white tape found in a corner stall of the market.
The tape has been stashed in a bin for the past twenty years, slowly growing moldy. I dug it out for this contest, showed it it to our two kids, and then digitized it so I could edit together some clips; apologies for the roughness of the cut - videotapes don't hold up so well after 20 years in a series of basements and garages.
The poem "Central District" is about the region of the city we lived in. it was written and performed by my wife, Jodie.
While this footage lacks the beautiful color and clarity of today's digital videos, even after twenty years, feels true to my memory of service. We were privileged to serve in Russia at a unique moment in its history. The Peace Corps served in Russia from 1992-2003. My wife and I served in Russia III: 1995-1997.
This video was submitted for consideration in the Peace Corps Week 2014 (#PCWeek2014) Video Challenge, "Cultural Windows: What I wish Americans knew about my Peace Corps country." This contest encourages currently serving and returned Peace Corps Volunteers to help Americans better understand their country of service through engaging videos. This video does not reflect the official views of the Peace Corps or U.S. Government.