A bamboo model of a Filipino nipa hut is displayed on Hiller’s bookshelf in her Evanston home. Hiller was sleeping on the second floor of a hut like this when she was awakened in the middle of the night to news of President Kennedy’s assassination.
This room in Hiller’s home is filled with photos and artifacts from her Peace Corps years. Hiller said two things surprised her when she arrived in the Philippines: the sincere warmth of the people in the community and the extremely hot and humid climate. “By the second year we were there,” Hiller said, “if it went [down] to 90 degrees, we put on a sweatshirt!”
Hiller met her husband, Phillip, during Peace Corps training, and they went on to marry in the Philippines in 1965. In this wedding photo, they stand next to a couple with whom they both lived. Phillip passed away in 2006.
Listen to then-Sen. Kennedy announce the idea of the Peace Corps to University of Michigan students on Oct. 14, 1960.
Barbara Hiller shares favorite keepsakes from her Peace Corps service.