>> After reading MaryKate Morse’s article, “A Quaker at the War College,” I decided to send a note about my experiences in Iraq. I am a major and civil affairs team chief in the Army.
I have discovered I can make the biggest impact here by trying to influence the younger kids to show them we care and that the coalition forces are here to help. Most of my projects address the need for schools, hospitals, sewage pipes, drinking water, and electricity. I am currently tracking more than 27 construction projects from $15,000 to $500,000 for a total of more than $3 million — starting from identifying the need to getting estimates, then to contracting and final payments.
The overall attitude in the country has changed after the elections. Before, the general populace was very scared of the terrorists and would not help for fear of being killed as many had been in the recent past. Now we are hearing stories of very brave men and women standing up against the terrorists and protecting their property from the terrorists taking over their homes as hideouts. The people have really turned around, and many of the locals I have talked to agree. This does not mean the fighting is finished I am sure, but does indicate greater support for the coalition forces and United States. We still have a lot of work to do here.
I wanted my friends and George Fox family to know how things are here, at least a different perspective than what I can only assume is on the news back home — not positive, I’m sure.
U.S. Army Major Rick Stieber (DPS02)
EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ
>> We are young alums and have been receiving the LIFE publication since we were students at Fox. We are both very impressed with the new George Fox Journal and wanted to write and express our thanks. The Journal is much easier to read and higher quality than LIFE. It also serves to keep us intimately connected and engaged with George Fox. Bravo on the excellent upgrade!
Ben McGarry (G03)
Chelsea (Philips) McGarry (G04)
>> I was the third from my family to attend George Fox. I am from Kenya. My daddy went to George Fox in the 1960s and my brother John was there in the late ’70s to early ’80s. I visit the George Fox Web site from time to time and I came across your story of the Lost Boys (“Running for Freedom,” Winter ’05), and I really enjoyed it. The gentleman from Sudan who keeps mostly to himself is almost my model.
As a student, I kept to myself, and that can act as a downfall to classroom performance. I look back and I see that I was afraid to communicate many times due to inferiority of language and accent issues. I was a girl from the village. At George Fox, I found myself with too many civilized ideas and too much modern equipment to learn. All women around me in classroom and campus were painted in colorful make-up and appeared gorgeous. Men were well-groomed. Young people were driving, which was astonishing to me.
I was very emotional when I heard the stories of white and black. There was no white and black issue in my country, and I just was so scared to do things where I could be ignorantly offending others. The staff was wonderful, the students were great, and my teachers Ralph Beebe, Arthur Roberts, Mike Allen, Dean William Green, and pastor Ron Woodward helped me a lot in adjusting culturally and making me understand the U.S.A. By the time I opened up, I was almost completing my program. People adjust differently and need different durations of time.
I encourage students and alumni at George Fox to socialize with these young men. Take them out when possible. They need someone who can really be there for them, relate and talk about their previous world and the present world in a comparison manner to help them transition to American culture.
Please be useful mentors and help your lost friends. God will reward you.
Jane N. Wafula (G86)
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