This past weekend, August 17-19, 2012, I had a reunion with a couple of my closest friends from the time I was in the Peace Corps in Venezuela. I had seen Bob Buffin a few times over the past few years, but this was the first time since 1968 I had met up with Bart Briefstein. Sure, we are 44 years older, but in most ways it didn’t feel as though we had changed very much. We quickly fell into the same character and relationship rolls we had all those many years ago.
Bart’s Peace Corps experience was perhaps more impactful on him than it was on all the rest of us, as he met Marina in Caracas.
Bob’s time in the Peace Corps was important to him as well. After his two year assignment, Bob became a recruiter with the organization for a number of years. Later he earned a law degree from the. They have been married all these years with two grown children. Bart’s business career took the family from NYC to Minneapolis for many years. Later they had stops in Austin, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Prescott, Arizona. They presently reside in Reno and take advantage of all that city’s cultural offering to keep active. Bart is still as clever as always.
University of Wisconsin and eventually went to work for the National Labor Relations Board for 35 years. Bob recently retired after 42 years of government service. Bob lives with his long-time partner, Karen, in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco. Bob plans to get back into music (he played his guitar on many a long bus ride in training to entertain the rest of the trainees) and keep up with his wine making (we all agreed his Shiraz was excellent).
My service was important to me as well. The association with other volunteers, many of whom were quite high quality individuals, gave me the confidence and desire to do much more with my life than I had heretofore considered.