[Newspaper Clipping: Help Solve JFK's Murder: $1,000,000 Reword] Part: 2 of 4
This clipping is part of the collection entitled: John F. Kennedy, Dallas Police Department Collection and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Dallas Municipal Archives .
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36 A ^Ihe iBallas (iMormng Sunday, January 8,1978 ++++
Peace Corps worker found
generosity in Niger desert
By DOUG DOMEDER
Allyn Writesel is still going through
"culture shock" — only a matter of
weeks ago she lived in a mud house in
a desert village in sub-Sahara Africa.
She ate meals of millet paste and
sauce, taught native women to make
porridge and worked through days so
hot even warm water tasted good.
"People lived together and knew
they had to accept each other," said
Miss Writesel, 26, of the villagers she
met as a Peace Corps worker in Niger.
Nomads who had "absolutely noth-
ing would give you what they had," she
said. "People were generous, welcom-
ing. Anyone who walks into an African
tiome at mealtime can sit down and eat.
If y0u like something they're wearing,
they'll give it to you."
RETURNING to the United States,
she found Americans "are living in
their own boxes. There's no communi-
cation. There are so many things peo-
ple think they have to have. They just
don't know what it is to be deprived."
For more than two years in the
Peace Corps, Miss Writesel lived with-
out most things Americans take for
granted. Instead of running water, she
used water from an artesian well.
Instead of speaking English, she
learned the native tongue of "Hausa."
Instead of working in an air-condi-
tioned office, she bent over cooking
pots in the open sun to teach sanitation
"Once I almost came home," she said
during an interview at her parents'
Oak Cliff home. Stationed for four
months in a remote village named
Abala, she was the only Peace Corps
worker there. She had no friends. "I
was really, really depressed."
Then she grew to like it so well she
reluctantly returned to Filingue, the
town of 6,000 people where she spent
most of her time in Niger.
Despite days when the temperature
reached 120, and almost daily
encounters with ants and roaches, Miss
Writesel found adjusting to conditions
easier than she expected. She adopted
the native dress and she found people's
emotions are much the same beneath
differences of culture and language.
THE BLACK villagers, most of whom
are illiterate, were "very accepting and
very friendly and they're great
talkers," she said. Conversation is a
Those who finish high school usu-
ally are from more affluent families
who see the value of education. Most of
the natives are Moslems.
Miss Writesel taught women how to
Chances for growth cited
by Peace Corps volunteers
How many people still join the Peace
Corps — and why?
Created in President John Kenne-
dy's administration, the Peace Corps
began in 1961 with 300 members and
grew to 15,000 in five years. Member-
ship has declined since, to 6,500 last
But the program continues — in 62
U.S. dues to L.N.
top $100 million
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — American
dues to the United Nations have topped
$100 million a year for the first time in
the world organization's 32-year histo-
The U.S. government has been
billed for $121,942,800 as its share of
budgeted 1978 expenses totaling
The U.S. assessment for 1977 was
$99,397,207 out of total budgeted
expenses of $352,901,765.
developing nations. An applicant must
be an American citizen, at least 18
years of age, medically qualified, and, if
married, serve with his or her spouse.
Opportunity for personal growth
was a major motive in joining for 79
percent of returned volunteers answer-
ing a recent survey. Sixty-five percent
considered helping others' as their
main reason for joining. And 46 per-
cent felt they had succeeded.
Consultant E.A. Winslow selected
201 of 2,152 recently returned volun-
teers for the study. Of these, 92 percent
had no regrets about joining the Peace
Corps and would do so again.
A majority felt volunteers of the
1970s are more realistic than volun-
teers of the 1960s.
Most Peace Corps training now
takes place in the country in which the
volunteers will be serving; it lasts
eight to 12 weeks, and learning the host
country's language is stressed. Normal
tour of duty is two years.
The Peace Corps is part of Action, a
U.S. government umbrella for VISTA
and other volunteer programs.
make better use of the millet raised by
village farmers to sell and eat (millet is
a cereal grass and its grain is used for
To most Westerners, the diet is
extremely limited — different sauces
poured over a paste made from millet.
Or a mixture of millet flour and sour
milk. Occasionally rice and a sauce,
bread and coffee, or tomatoes, carrots
and lettuce. Meat is a rarity, tea a
Those eggs that were available
either went to children or were given
to guests, she said.
"ONE OF THE biggest killers is
diarrhea," Miss Writesel said. Tubercu-
losis, malaria and malnutrition are
other key medical problems. Medicine
The biggest challenge and the big-
gest reward was "getting women to
take advice," she said. "It would make
you so happy when they told you about
something you'd taught them to do, or
when you saw that in their homes. I
think I gave them some curiosity and,
perhaps, the courage to seek new ways
of living," she said.
Still, the native women were not eas-
ily convinced and, in some cases, some
Niger residents grew dependent on
donated food from foreign countries,
.But this case stands out: A 4-year-old
boy suffering from malnutrition
looked "almost like a skeleton," Miss
Writesel recalled. "I didn't even want
to work with him because I didn't
think it would do any good. His mother
was a prostitute who was pregnant and
cared more about her expected baby."
But "she saw I cared and then she
cared," Miss Writesel said. She taught
the mother to make porridge for the
boy, adding peanuts and other ingred-
ients. A year later, "I wouldn't have
known him, he was such a fat, healthy
A graduate of Kimball High School
here and the University of Texas at
Austin, Miss Writesel hopes to blend
future careers in anthropology and
creative writing, as well as returning
Languages appeal to her. In Niger,
one word, "son," had four meanings: "I
want, I need, I love and I like."
Dallas News staff photo.
Home from Niger, former Peace Corps worker Allyn Writesel wears
native hat and dress and carries decorated stick used by African
nomads for self defense.
Italian lire coin drops
ROME (AP) — The 200-lire coin
issued recently to help solve a peren-
nial shortage of change dropped out of
circulation because they are consid-
ered collector's items, officials say.
About 16 million of the coins carry-
ing the date 1977 were distributed. The
mint resumed production but is dating
out of sight
the new coins 1978.
The 200-lire piece has a face value of
about 23c but collectors are paying
1,000 lire for them. The mint said it is
considering resuming production of
1977 coins to destroy their numismatic
Fort Worth Bureau of The News
FORT WORTH — A lawsuit filed
Thursday by Texas Electric Service Co.
could have a major impact on future
electricity bills paid by residents of the
Dallas-Fort Worth area and other parts
of the state, officials are predicting.
The lawsuit, which was filed in
response to the Public Utility Commis-
sion's November decision to trim $35
million from a TESCO rate request,
challenges the PUC's policy of includ-
ing in rate computations the construc-
tion costs of new generating facilities
only if those plants will be in use
within two years.
TESCO, as have its sister companies
Dallas Power & Light and Texas Power
& Light, included the millions of dol-
lars being spent on the nuclear gener-
ating plant near Glen Rose and on
other lignite-burning plants in its rate
Dallas Power & Light, in requesting
a 23.8 percent rate increase from the
Dallas City Council Dec. 28, also cited
the expected costs of construction as
justification for the hike in rates, the
largest increase ever requested in
But in the TESCO rate case, the PUC
refused to permit the costs for the Glen
Rose plant, which will not be in opera-
tion for another six years, and reduced
the rate increase from $79 million to
The Dallas city council has not acted
on DP&L's rate request, which would
go to the PUC if the electric company is
unhappy with the council's decision.
But DP&L, TESCO and Texas Power
& Light, all subsidiaries of Texas Utili-
ties, could miss out on millions of dol-
lars if the court upholds the PUC's pol-
icy on construction costs.
The TESCO lawsuit, which was filed
in 98th District Court in Austin, chal-
lenges the PUC's interpretation of a
state law which requires the commis-
sion to consider the current construc-
tion activities as a factor in setting
rates if the costs affect the "financial
integrity" of the company.
The law does not, however, define
The commission voted 2-1 to include
the construction costs only, if the facil-
ity will be in use within two years.
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Dallas (Tex.). Police Department. [Newspaper Clipping: Help Solve JFK's Murder: $1,000,000 Reword], clipping, January 8, 1978; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth339362/m1/2/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Municipal Archives.