It’s not every day that you’re invited to a party at the local palace. As a Peace Corps Volunteer working with the Andhra Pradesh Science Workshop in Hyderabad, Steve Bossi received an invitation to attend a celebration at the new Nizam’s home. The celebration took place the evening of April 6, 1967 at the Chow Mahala Palace following the formal instillation of Mir Barkat Ali Khan as the Nizam. This example demonstrates the unique opportunities presented to Peace Corps volunteer while living abroad.
In a letter home, written the following day, Bossi detailed the evening’s events and reflected on the significance of the experience. Bossi wrote, “They really turned out to be very gracious and very approachable—both Ray and I shook his hand and spoke to him (Ray got a picture of me with him—Hope it comes out.)” Bossi’s photo with the Nizam did in fact turn out.
Stephen Bossi (right) meets the Nizam. Caption on image reverse: “Meeting the Nizam of Hyderabad—grandson of the former Nizam—April, 1967”
He continued, “But the most exciting part was just seeing first hand the kind of pomp and tradition which surrounds even the modern shadow of a court with the kind of history this one has.” Not only did the Peace Corps offer volunteers a chance to travel to a foreign country and provide service, but also gave individuals an opportunity to learn about the country’s government and history personally. This event reflects the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities presented to Peace Corps volunteers during their service. Peace Corps was not only about working hard. It provided volunteers with diverse occasions to experience and enjoy the local culture.
The Wait. Copyright for image is held by Ron Dizon.
Ronald Dizon served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan from 1971-1973. During his time abroad, he worked with Operation Help—a joint project between the US Peace Corps and USAID. The project fed the Afghan people who suffered from starvation, disease, and destitution worsened by a severe two-year drought.
Dizon created a photo essay about the project for the Afghan Government. The images capture the effects of drought on the lives of people. Not only informative, the images are simply fascinating.
Food Transport to Darzak Valley. Copyright for image is held by Ron Dizon.
Additional images from the project are located in the collection. The collection also includes a letter from the Afghan Government noting the importance of Dizon’s contribution to Operation Help in Afghanistan.
Village Wrestling Match. Copyright for image is held by Ron Dizon.