Making the world better (January 25, 2013)
This interview tells a complex story of romance, success against great odds, and unexpected disaster. The children of two Hyde Park Rotarians met as young adults at a function, fell in love, married, and together joined the Peace Corps in Madagascar. The Rotarian in-laws, Sue Osterhoudt, Pompey Delafield, and spouses, visited the Madagascar village and asked what was most needed. The simple answer of “books” led to amazing results: building a library, creating a manual (by Ms. Osterhoudt, a former librarian) about how to set up a library, villagers young and old wanting to read both in English and in Malagasy (the language of Madagascar), volunteers teaching villagers to read, peer tutoring to expand the reading population in the village, literacy improvement in which the village moved from last place in Madagascar to first place, a business selling vanilla beans to support the project, and more. Then a Class 3 cyclone hit the village.