“While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man’s humanity to a man.”

When I went to get the papers, I was surprised at how warm it is. The sun is out, but there are clouds. Rain is coming tomorrow. Today will be a pleasant day.

YouTube has been my go to station lately. I’ve watched black and white science fiction and a few disaster movies. I’ve also watched some Peace Corps videos posted by trainees and volunteers. I envy those just starting out in training. They have a most interesting two years ahead of them, two years they will forever treasure. I remember my training. We were the first group to train entirely in country. Our first stop was Winneba for two weeks. My room was on the second floor. I remember the first morning when I was standing by the rail outside my room for my first up close look at Africa. I saw palm trees, thick green undergrowth and tin roofs. During those two weeks we went to meet the chief of Winneba. I can’t imagine what the Ghanaians were thinking when they saw all of these white people walking through their village. It must have been a strange parade.

Training lasted nearly three months. We ate Ghanaian food nobody identified for us. I remember a lot of green which I later found out was kontomire, never a favorite. We got shots, a multitude of shots. We Upper Region trainees finished our live-ins with our Ghanaian families then traveled by ourselves from one end of Ghana to the other to Koforidua and the rest of training. During the three weeks in Koforidua we got together many nights at a spot, a Ghanaian term for a bar, for beer, conversation and mostly companionship. In my mind’s eye, I can still see that spot on the corner of the main road. We hitched to Accra for the weekend. We got one ride all the way. By the end of training, we were comfortable riding tro-tros, walking all over Accra and eating all sorts of strange foods. Ghana had stopped being a foreign country.

I could have gone to law school or accepted a teaching position, but I chose the Peace Corps. For a long time it had been my only real choice. The other two were backup plans I hoped never to use. I remember a January afternoon my senior year in college when the doorbell rang. It was a postman with a special delivery manila envelope for me. On the upper left corner was the return address. It was from Peace Corps. I tore that sucker open and found out I was going to Ghana. I was beyond thrilled. I was joyful. I still feel the same way!

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6 Comments on ““While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man’s humanity to a man.””

  1. Bob Says:

    I thank you for your work in the Peace Corps. Think of how you and your fellow baby boomers positively affected the people of Ghana and their opinion of our country. You were the best ambassadors representing the best values of this country to the third world. While you were bringing the best of America to Africa our military was bringing the worst about us to Southeast Asia. I don’t know which will be remembered as our worst political and military blunder, the Vietnam Nam war or the invasion of Iraq? Unfortunately, two Texans, Lyndon Bains Johnson and George W. Bush were responsible for those mistakes. People will do strange things when fighting the current boogeyman, Communism and Radical Islam. 😦

    Today will be gorgeous with clear skies and pleasant temperatures in the low to mid 80s. We got about two inches of rain in the past couple of days. Every May, Ft. Worth holds an art/music festiveal called Mayfest. The weatherman on channel 8 was asked why we get so much rain canceling some of the days of the Mayfest festival. He answered because it’s May. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Thank you, Bob

      I have always said that Peace Corps is the best bang for the buck of any government program. Last year the marine band had a bigger budget.

      When I returned 40 years after I had left, I was thrilled to find my former students remembered me well. They even had Miss Ryan’s song, Leaving on a Jet Plane. One of my former students told me they loved Peace Corps because we taught in Bolga and Ghanaians did not want to teach there because of the climate among other things.

      I’m thinking the invasion of Iraq tops the blunder list. Look where that has led us even now so many years later.

      It is 69˚ right now then tonight it will get down to 59˚. We will be in the 50’s every night.

      • Bob Says:

        Obviously, to the current administration the Marine band is more important than any diplomacy because of his planned dictator type military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. The State Department is in disarray since Secretary Tillerson’s orders from 45 was to cut their budget to help drain the swamp. 😦

      • katry Says:

        Some embassies have not had ambassadors since 45 took office. Trump had demanded that every ambassador in countries all over the world who had been appointed by President Obama had to leave their embassies by midday on 20 January. Around 80 embassies were then vacant. Even now not all of them have been filled. The US has no top representative to 57 countries and territories with a total population of 3.9 billion.

  2. olof1 Says:

    It feels a bit more chilly here this morning than it did yesterday even though it actually is a bit warmer 🙂 🙂 The sun is trying hard to shine through thin clouds that covers the sky but hasn’t much of a chance doing so so far. They say it’ll be warmer today than yesterday so I guess the sun will win in the long run and I won’t complain if it does 🙂

    It is always a special feeling waking for the first time in a new place and I guess it must feel even more so when one know one won’t go back home for a couple of years. Sometimes it’s a bit sad that it is so easy to get used to the new situation, I have always liked that first feeling.

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      It is definitely chilly this morning. The warm, summer like days are gone.

      During training we were all over different parts of the country so we had new food, a strange country and different places to rest our heads. Other than the three weeks with a family, we were altogether in school dorms. Once training ended, I could live in my own place. It was wonderful.


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