Interview with Virginia "Ginny" Fornillo, October 30, 2020

Project: Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Virginia “Ginny” Fornillo was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone from 1974-1976 teaching math to secondary students. She signed up for Peace Corps without telling her family or girlfriend (now wife) because didn’t assume she would be accepted. The idea of going to another country to help was always appealing to her. Training in 1974 was very short, and Ginny, a New York City girl, ended up in a remote fishing village at the end of the road. There was also another Peace Corps volunteer, a volunteer from India, and missionaries in the village, and villagers were very grateful for the help they received. Ginny enjoyed teaching and has maintained contact with some of her students. She talks about some challenges she encountered, such as malaria, Tumbu flies, and a long visit from the Poro devil to the village, but also of the richness of living in another culture and sharing meals and ceremonies with them. Her biggest challenge was missing her girlfriend and family – letters took about a month each way. She transitioned home fairly easily with a job in teaching waiting and talks about her post-service career path.

Interview Accession

2020oh0615_pcrv0073

Interviewee Name

Virginia "Ginny" Fornillo

Interviewer Name

Candice Deihl Wiggum

Interview Date

2020-10-30

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Fornillo, Virginia Interview by Candice Deihl Wiggum. 30 Oct. 2020. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Fornillo, V. (2020, October 30). Interview by C. D. Wiggum. Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Fornillo, Virginia, interview by Candice Deihl Wiggum. October 30, 2020, Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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