“They talked in the shorthand of old friends and shared memories.”

My friends have left. The house is just so quiet without them, but luckily Gracie is snoring which is sort of keeping me company. We had a wonderful time together. The weather was perfect, nearly 70˚ each day. Today is raining but ever so lightly. It is still warm. I have had the heat off and windows open the last three days. The cold will start returning tomorrow.

On Wednesday we rode around Hyannis and Hyannisport. We went by the Kennedy Compound then drove a different road back, all the more to see. That night we had dinner at Karoo’s, a South African restaurant with a cuisine quite different from Ghana’s. Two of my other friends joined us. We stayed talking and laughing long after we had finished dinner. Yesterday we went to the Kennedy Museum and the Kennedy Memorial then I took my friends to lunch at Jerry’s where I’ve been eating since high school days. The original Jerry is long gone, but the name and the good food remain. I showed my friends where my family lived, and we did a nostalgia tour. Last night was dinner at home.

The three of us, Bill, Peg and I, will be going back to Ghana together next October. We’ve already started talking about the trip. Grace, a former student, is building a house in Bolga and hopes to have it finished so we can stay there. We’re making a list of places we want to see. I mean, really, it’s only a year away!

Being with my friends is always comfortable. They are family. We shared a unique experience which created a bond so strong that time can never break it. We have stories which still make us laugh and we have a history. We met during staging in Philadelphia at the Hotel Sylvania. Staging is when the trainees get together for the first time, meet each other, have all our paperwork checked and see slides and hear lectures about Ghana. Bill and Peg were my kindred spirits as we skipped the large group events and went sightseeing. In Ghana we were first posted far apart as Peg was pregnant and PC wanted her near a decent hospital. They stayed there for a year then I talked my principal into asking Peace Corps to transfer them to my school. The three of them, Bill, Peg and Kevin, came and we lived in a duplex. That was the beginning of all our adventures.

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10 Comments on ““They talked in the shorthand of old friends and shared memories.””

  1. im6 Says:

    How wonderful to have such good friends. This song immediately came to mind.

    • katry Says:

      I did not know this song. It is wonderful, and I get right away why it came to mind.

      I love the pictures in this video.

  2. Birgit Says:

    Is Kevin their son? Without knowing him it’s funny to think that he must be over 40 now when looking at the picture. Your PC Ghana stories are so lively that I sometimes forget that it happened more than 4 decades ago. The time with your friends sounds like fun, I hope you can make it to Ghana again together next year.
    My best friend turns 50 next week, big party 🙂 I know her for about 48 years now.

    • katry Says:

      Kevin is their son, and they stayed an extra year in Ghana to have another baby, a girl this time, Lisa. Each has a Ghanaian middle name.

      Kevin and his sister are both over forty. Lisa has two girls of her own while Kevin has no children. Neither seems interested in going to visit Ghana.

    • Bill S. Says:

      The aforementioned Bill here, father of Kevin, born in Ghana and now 45, and Lisa, born in Ghana and now 43. I gave Kat a dvd of some 8mm films we took in 1969-1972. That dvd revives a lot of good memories.

      • Birgit Says:

        Bill, it must have been a great lively time in Ghana back then and it’s even more impressive that you gave birth and raised two children there and then.
        Good luck for your Ghana 2016 tour!
        I hope to read about it on KTCC next year.

  3. Richard Says:

    I enjoy it when friends come to visit, but I’m also equally happy when they leave. That old ‘three-day’ thing, y’ know … I thought we’d be having rain today, but alas et alack, non … wir haben nichts. I’m about ready to do my ‘snow dance.’

    Sounds as if y’all had a thoroughly enjoyable visit together, and that’s good. Some things can’t be replaced, and sharing common memories and thoughts are but two.

    Back to Ghana, eh? Be careful. You still need to make it back here to tell us about the trip, y’ know …

    You’re right about friends and shared history. There are things that just can’t be shared – at least not in the same way – with strangers. The ‘You weren’t there, man!’ meme has a basis in fact. Upon reflection, there are some things I’d never share with anyone who wasn’t in on ‘the story’ … and yeah, as you might suspect, I’ve lived a ‘cloistered and sheltered’ kinda life … right up to the point that I didn’t.

    • katry Says:

      These friends make visits easy. They made breakfast for all of us and even cleaned up. Peg brought dinner and dessert for one night. I did less work than when I’m alone. They didn’t even mind when I took a nap.

      Bill and Peg have been back only once while I have been back twice. The three of us are a formidable group, and don’t worry: I’ll get back hale and hearty!

      It is so true. It’s like sharing a secret when you have had these wonderful mutual adventures. A single word can bring back all the memories. I say Password and Bill and Peg start to laugh. Anyone else would be totally perplexed.

      We did have some great experiences!

  4. olof1 Says:

    I’m like Richard, I like it when old friends come and visit for a while but I’m just as glad when they elave 🙂 I’m used to a quiet little cottage so even if it is fun that they come I dolike it when it gets quiet again. I am more and more becoming a hermit 🙂

    You do have a special bond since You’ve done something not too many people have done. I can imagine how much fun You’ll have next October, I do hope the house is built by then 🙂

    Unusually warm for the season over here too, just above 50F, but still much cooler than You have it. They say therain will start coming here now, the low pressures are standing in line to fly over us since the high pressure that stopped them for so long now is leaving us. Well, I have lots of dvd’s to watch anyway 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      When I was in Ghana the first year, I sort of became a hermit. I was far away from any other volunteers, and I came to love my isolation. I did not enjoy visitors.

      Even if the house isn’t finished, we’ll stay somewhere, probably a hotel, together.

      I can’t believe how hot it has been this whole week. Today, despite the rain, was really warm. I guess it is leaving this weekend and we’ll have more seasonable weather, in the 50’s. It was fun while we had it.

      Have a great night!

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