1. Togo Returning to Togo 20 years later

    I served in Togo from 1991 to 1993 as a Guinea Worm Eradication volunteer. I was in an endemic area; almost everywhere there were people with worms emerging from their arms, legs, and other body parts. This was incapacitating for farmers; they were not able to work in the fields. Now twenty years later I was assigned by the CDC, my current employer, to serve as a temporary international consultant for the World Health Organization to certify the eradication of Guinea Worm disease in Togo. Twe...

  2. Paraguay Teeth-Brushing 101

    Although I was an Agroforestry volunteer, I helped out my nearest cohort, Erin, with health programs at a community school that was centrally located in the community of Santo Domingo, Guaira, Paraguay. My hometown dentist had sent down a duffel bag full of toothbrushes and toothpaste, so we decided to do a dental health program. Saw lots of bloody mouths and had to keep numerous kids from eating toothpaste like candy, but it was a great day.

  3. Uzbekistan The Peace Corps at 50

    I was a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1960 when John F. Kennedy famously spoke to students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The campaign was running late, and by the time his plane arrived in Ann Arbor it was 2:00 in the morning. Even at that late hour, a crowd of more than 5,000 showed up at the Student Union to listen to the young Senator from Massachusetts who was running for president. During his speech, Kennedy challenged students to use their educa...

  4. Nicaragua Gentleman on Corn Island

    I traveled for a weekend to visit a volunteer site, which happend to be on Corn Island. Corn Island has a serious Caribbean flavor and at the time many unspoiled beaches. On a trek around the Island I came across this gentleman collecting coconuts. He had a tough life but was content in that he could make a modest living.  

  5. Papua New Guinea Wah-kah

    It was my first week at homestay in Goroka, the southern highlands of Papua New Guinea. I was excited and nervous, and adjusting to all the details of a new life in a village with no electricity or running water. Over the first few days, my homestay papa Lomsea took me around to meet everyone in the village. I was just learning pigeon, so I didn’t understand much of the conversation, but I could follow that each family we met with talked excitedly about “wah-kah,” and confirmed that it would ...

  6. Ghana Funning with bikes

    My host brother and I were just funning around, taking silly pictures.

  7. Ghana Mind Bloom

    I was teaching science in Asesewa, in the Eastern Region of Ghana, in west Africa. Asesewa was mostly isolated at that time. It had no electricity, running water, or telecommunications. I was teaching core science class. I was explaining the Copernican theory of solar systems. I explained how we lived on a planet that revolved around our sun, and that there were other suns with planets revolving around them. One of my girls, normally quite talkative, went quiet. I went on with the lesson. Se...

  8. Albania Trials of a vegetarian in Albania

    I had been living in Albania for 3 weeks when my host mother invited me to go on a road trip with her to see a dear old friend who lived across the country in Pogradec.  We made the grueling car ride, stuffed in the back seat of a very small car.  Once we arrived we settled in to the small town, went for a stroll along Lake Ohrid and then returned for dinner.  Her friend had prepared a "special" meal for me.  Let me first explain I had only been in Albania three weeks, I lived with ...

  9. Senegal Rice Harvest

    This are women during the rice harvest in my village in southern Senegal.

  10. Mali rice harvest

    I had just arrived in the village of Ganale on our monthly baby-weighing day, greeted the "dugutigi" (village chief) and propped my bike up against a mud wall in our usual meeting area, when a small group of kids met me to take me out to a nearby field. Before getting to work, Mamine, our local village health volunteer, was bringing in some of the rice harvest along with other women in her family. I confess that until my time in Mali, I had no idea what rice looked like before it ap...

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