Second Time Around

Second Time Around

by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia 1965–67) The following essay was published in September, 2007 at, and in 2008 received the Moritz Thomsen Award for Best Short Work about the Peace Corps Experience • I JOINED THE PEACE CORPS at 21 because I was restless for adventure and after two years in Ethiopia, discovered that true adventure lies in the relationships and routines of daily life. I was delighted to live in a tiny mud house with the tin roof, thought the sound of roosters in the morning and the whoop of the hyenas at night exotic, learned to prefer fiery food that made me sweat and cry, but the surprise was my students. I fell in love with them — 75 kids in an unlit classroom with mud walls and a tin roof, 75 kids who walked an hour or more to get to school, kids whose parents I never . . .

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