While it's true that there may be no place like home, for some, home can be wherever you're following your passion. Traveling a long way from the Canfield area, 27-year-old Linnae Fath was recently accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Jamaica on March 13 to begin pre-service training as an agriculture business advisor Peace Corps volunteer.
"I have known about the Peace Corps since I was a child," said Fath. "After I completed my undergraduate degree at Ohio State, my mother encouraged me to become a volunteer. Through Peace Corps, I'll gain experience in international economic development and sustainable agriculture development."
The daughter of Joyce Latura, formerly of Canfield and currently of Arizona, and granddaughter of Dorothy Latura, of Poland, Fath is a graduate of South Range High School, and The Ohio State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in international studies with minors in Spanish and international economic and social development.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Linnae and Kevin Fath at the Mayan ruins site in Belize on their honeymoon in 2009. The Faths join the 332 Ohio residents currently serving in the Peace Corps, additional information on which can be found at www.peacecorps.gov.
Fath obtained her master's degree in 2011 in development economics and environmental economics.
While attending OSU, Fath met her husband Kevin Fath, of Wooster, who joined his wife in Jamaica, serving in the Peace Corps with her, also as an agriculture volunteer.
During the first three months of their service, according to Joyce Latura, the Faths have lived with two host families in Jamaica, becoming fully immersed in the country's language and culture; afterwards, the couple will be sworn into service and be assigned to a community in Jamaica, where they will live and work for two years with the local people.
Sharing that her daughter and son-in-law are doing very well, Latura said they will soon be given their permanent placement as well as attending their official swearing-in ceremony on May 18.
Because this is the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, according to Latura, "It will be a much bigger gala affair," adding that everybody this year is getting the benefit of the celebration.
According to information provided by Christine Torres, public affairs specialist with the Peace Corps Chicago Regional Office, "Upon graduation from volunteer training in June, Fath will work with local communities to assist with improved farming practices that are economically and environmentally sustainable."
With a mission to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and other countries, President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961. Since then, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries.
Fath calls her mother and grandmother often, and recently shared a trip highlight. While visiting the home of a Peace Corps volunteer who has already been placed, her daughter was delighted with the simple pleasure of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, a taste of home that provided a welcome respite from local cuisine. "She was so excited," said Latura.
Apparently, while there's much to be said about immersion into another culture, even Peace Corps volunteers know there's no place like home, even if only in the form of grilled cheese and soup.