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The shape you take

For her summer reading project, my cousin, Geneva Kalinowski, read Step to Freedom, the book that Frank the Beachcomber and my father, Joseph, wrote together. This is the paper Geneva submitted to her teacher:

31 August 2010

The way you portray yourself as a person, shapes who you are to society. One wonderful man, Joseph F. Zuiker, shapes his life through many harsh and excruciatingly painful devastations. Although the pain contributes to the past, it also reflects what he has become today. The book STEP TO FREEDOM, by Francis C. Zuiker, depicts the events that happened to Joseph while he was in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. While there, he was put to the test to determine weather he could help their country or not. Trust had to be built and friendships made, all while building a school. So what characteristics shape him as a person of kindness?

As Joseph ventured his way through the Dominican, he had a different mind set than the people. He was determined not only to make a difference for the culture, but also to make a difference in the lives of the citizens. His determination shapes who Joseph is today by one particular event that he overcame while in the Dominican Republic. As he was working toward making their society a better place to live, he encountered a problem that really needed to be fixed. The children of the Dominican Republic had horrible living conditions during the day. Their schools were not up to standards and the many children that were forced out of school because of its small size, were left with nothing to do. Joseph made it a priority to himself to recreate their school. Joseph feels a sense of purpose in his life to help others.

While striving to rehabilitate the society and school for the Dominicans, he ran into another problem. The Dominicans had a trust issue for Americans coming into their country. The Peace Corps in the past would help the economy of the Dominicans, but not as much the people themselves. Joseph built a honest bond with the Dominicans through many hard tasks. As a determined man in the peace corps trying to make a difference, Joseph had to show the citizens that he was one of them. Many people thought of him as a no-good rich American. He had to build electricity and lighting into the shack he was living in and the Dominican children offered to help if he could pay them. He needed the Dominicans to trust that he wasn’t just a good for nothing rich American, so he said no and worked on the lighting himself. The children later worked along side of him.

Helpful is a word that shapes the entire image of the life of Joseph F. Zuiker. Starting with the Peace Corps and ending with the school, Joseph has always been a big help. As said in the book STEP TO FREEDOM, while spending almost two years in the Crossroads of Santiago de la Cruz, Joseph helped the citizens rebuild their country. He wanted to make a difference in the older citizens and younger citizens lives. He was helpful because he not only created the idea to build the school, but he also contributed to the construction of the school and the quality of the education for the children.

Joseph Zuiker is a wonderful man with a big heart. While in the Dominican, he was determined to help the citizens, had to prove himself as an honorable man and was very helpful to the contribution of the school. These qualities and the events of which they are shown by Joseph Zuiker are only a few to display. These not only shape what he was in the peace corp, but also develop a sense of what he is today. My uncle, Joseph F. Zuiker is a wonderful man that cares for people of all kinds. Through this story I believe that the shape he developed was a big heart because of the caring things he does for others.