Archive - February 7, 2021

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Carolee Buck’s (Senegal) Pandemic project gets presidential approval
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My Eritrean Sister by Laurel West Kessler (Ethiopia)

Carolee Buck’s (Senegal) Pandemic project gets presidential approval

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Laurel West Kessler (Ethiopia 1964-66)   by Jim Flint for the Mail Tribune Sunday, February 7th 2021     An Ashland woman’s pandemic project of putting together a memory book about her Peace Corps experiences in the late 1960s in Senegal led to a personal invitation from Senegal’s president to revisit the country.   Carolee and Art Buck (Senegal 1968-70) met years ago at the University of California at Santa Barbara and discovered they shared a desire to work and travel around the world. “We were young, starry-eyed dreamers,” Carolee said. They were inspired to join the Peace Corps by the compelling stories of people doing good works in foreign cultures and by the words of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” They got married and joined the . . .

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My Eritrean Sister by Laurel West Kessler (Ethiopia)

By Laurel West Kessler (Ethiopia 1964-66)   Mhret clasped my hand as she pulled her filmy shawl over her face, looked down at her lap, and shed silent tears. Sitting on low stools on her patio, we were looking at photos of her son, Tefera, who was living in our city in California. He had gone there in 1991 to earn a soccer coaching license. Now in 1996 my husband, Wayne, and I were living in their country, Eritrea. Mhret wondered when and if she would see her only child again.  Her diabetes — which occasionally put her in the hospital — certainly gave her reason to worry. I had first noticed Mhret and Tefera in October 1964, when they arrived by bus in Adi Teclesan, the village in Eritrea where we were Peace Corps teachers.  In the crowd of arriving and departing passengers, they stood together holding hands, a . . .

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