1. Ghana I Am a Mere Person

    Life is sometimes an evanescent state in Ghana. John and I came back to Kumasi in 1974, after we’d been in Ghana for about a year, to find that one of my workers was very sick. I had a crew of men who helped me do a survey of the geology around the city. The man’s name was Awuni Frafra, the surname taken from the northern tribe to which he belonged. He was only 22 years old, at least a head taller than the other workers (common for people from the north) and strong and vigorous. Since he was...

  2. Yemen The World is a Funny Place

    We were invited to a celebration luncheon at a tiny village in Northern Yemen near the Saudi Arabian border. It was 1976, and some civil engineer Peace Corps volunteers had just completed building a concrete rain water catch basin to improve this village’s clean water supply. There were 30 people lounging on pillows in a circle on the floor of the village sheikh’s sumptuous living room in this expansive mud and stone home. He wanted to show us his gratitude, and a feast of roasted lamb, ...

  3. Ghana Meeting the Ambassador

    I was in Ghana in 1974-76 and was there when Shirley Temple Black was the Ambassador. I had grown up knowing that she and I have the same birthday, April 23. On our birthday, April 23, 1976 I was in the capital city, Accra and decided to see if she would meet with me ( I had met her before at a Peace Corps dinner).  I went to the American Embassy and ran the doorbell and was greeted by the Marines at the front desk.  I explained that I was a Peace Corps volunteer who had the same birthday as ...

  4. Micronesia Fifi, Dandan, Karenkaren

    This photo is of my wife Karen (on the right) with a couple of the teenage girls in our host family. They are all wearing typical floral-print Trukese dresses and maramar garlands in their hair.

  5. Micronesia Bring the World Home -- Greg Knudsen in Chuuk, Micronesia

    This is a half-hour interview of ME by the Hawaii Returned Peace Corps Volunteers about my 1974-76 Peace Corps experience in Chuuk (formerly Truk), Federated States of Micronesia. The video was for HiRPCV's "Bring the World Home" and aired on Olelo (Hawaii's public-access cable channels) during Sep./Oct. 2010. It was recorded in Aug. 2010. Mahalo (thanks) to producer/interviewer Linda Chock. Links to other "Bring the World Home" videos are posted by the Hawaii Returned P...

  6. Sierra Leone Yawei Ferry River Crossing

    My Peace Corps home was the town of Pujehun, scattered along the meandering banks of the Waanje River and pushing back against the pervasive tropical rain forest of southern Sierra Leone.  The town was 40 miles south of the city of Bo but only 20 miles north of the Atlantic Ocean.  However, there was no road south through the coastal waterways and swamps.  Therefore the crusty road to Bo was the shortest route to needed supplies and a link to the rest of the world.  The road was an undulating...

  7. Ivory Coast Unexpected pleasures of travel

    Traveling by Peugeot station wagon bush taxi from Abidjan to a small town just inside Liberia, in the iron-rich area around Mount Nimba, upon arriving at the frontier, a small river, the customs agent pointed out that I couldn't enter Liberia -- I should have had my passport stamped at the last town through which I had passed, twenty some kilometers back - and only one last taxi-brousse would make the trip that particular evening. As the Peugeot finally headed back for Danané, where I had not...

  8. India A Different Way to Achieve Immortality

    I opened the paper some months ago and came across a funny article about ear hair that transported me back to my Peace Corps days in village India, over half a lifetime ago. The article was by local columnist David Shapiro, who must be about my age – give or take a few summers – because he wrote, quite entertainingly, about a battery-powered ear- and nose-hair trimmer, a gift idea for males, like me, who have started on their second half-century. “Can you imagine if teen-agers had...

  9. Senegal Brothers

    Bok bene yaye ak bene baye (sharing the same mother and same father).  Family is important and sharing the same father and mother is a special relationship.

  10. Senegal Three Children

    Senegalese children, like children everywhere, are beautiful

Countdown to Weekly Contest Deadline!

“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.