Letter to the NYTIMES — Andrew McCormick (Ghana)

Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Carol Scott (Ethiopia 1966-68). — JC

To the Editor:

President Trump should skip Mar-a-Lago and spend a weekend in Mankessim, Ghana, on the farm of my friend Adjei, whom I first met nearly 40 years ago while serving in the Peace Corps. Contrary to his racist stereotyping, the president would learn from Adjei about the brutal economics of successfully farming eight acres using only a machete in the relentless tropical heat. He would see a work ethic that shames our own.

Despite having a small house with no electricity or running water, Adjei and his wife have educated five children on a daily income equal to a cappuccino. There are tens of millions of rural Africans living like Adjei. President Trump should get to know at least one.


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  • My experience 40 years ago in rural El Salvador was similar. Farmers with a tiny plot of corn and another of beans supported their families with very little cash income. Some had a few chickens or a cow for milk. Their tools consisted of a machete and a hoe. A slightly larger farmer might have a team of oxen and plow the plots of several of his neighbors in addition to his own.

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