Archive - May 27, 2021

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RPCV Charles R. Larson, pioneering scholar of African literature, dies at 83 (Nigeria)
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RIVERBLINDNESS IN AFRICA: Taming the Lion’s Stare — Bruce Benton (Guinea)
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FROM ORPHAN TO GREATNESS —How A PCV Helped His Student

RPCV Charles R. Larson, pioneering scholar of African literature, dies at 83 (Nigeria)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Marty Burns (Somalia 1963-65)   Charles R. Larson was a pioneering scholar of African literature in the United States. By Emily Langer Washington Post May 26, 2021   By his own account, Charles R. Larson knew almost nothing of Africa — not even where Nigeria was located — when he arrived in the West African nation in 1962 with one of the first cohorts of Peace Corps volunteers. What little knowledge he had came from two books by Nigerian writers that he read in preparation for his experience, Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” and “The Palm-Wine Drinkard” by Amos Tutuola. A budding literary scholar, Dr. Larson planned, upon completion of his Peace Corps service, to pursue a doctorate in American literature. But “Nigeria totally altered my worldview, mostly by showing me the failure of my earlier education,” he later recalled. “Not only did I begin reading . . .

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RIVERBLINDNESS IN AFRICA: Taming the Lion’s Stare — Bruce Benton (Guinea)

  Reviews of Riverblindness in Africa: Taming the Lion’s Stare by Bruce Benton   Reviews on Johns Hopkins University Press Website “In this book, Benton combines a huge amount of research with his unique insight into the evolution of riverblindness programs during his career at the World Bank. For those interested in the complexities of managing disease control programs and the need for strong partnerships, this is a must-read.” — David H. Molyneux, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine   “An inspiring and essential contribution to the literature on international development and public health.” — Jean-Louis Sarbib, former Senior Vice President, World Bank   “The authoritative record and historical account of one of the most ambitious and successful parasite control approaches from someone who has been a key part of onchocerciasis control from just about the beginning.” — Gilbert M. Burnham, MD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health   “Comprehensive, detailed, inspiring! Highlights . . .

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FROM ORPHAN TO GREATNESS —How A PCV Helped His Student

  During one of his memorable speeches, President JFK declared, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” This speech marked the beginning of the Peace Corps program in the United States, which in turn led a young American to my small farming village of Agadji in Togo, West Africa. This young American sponsored me into the United States in June of 1989, a fulfillment in itself of my father’s secretly held dream to see one of his children educated in an English-speaking country, better yet in the United States of America. Education has always been very important to my father because he was denied that opportunity due to being an orphan at a very young age. He wished to attend school and become a lawyer or doctor, but instead, he was forced to become a farmer and eventually one of . . .

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