BEYOND THE ROAD TO SINYEA by Ann Hales (Liberia)


 A Peace Corps Memoir — 1981–1983


Ann Hales

When a young woman strides into her dream adventure as a Peace Corps Volunteer, she gets more that she bargained for — the experience transforms her life. As nursing instructor in Liberia, West Africa, in the early 1980s, she witnesses gut-wrenching life circumstances of the Liberian people and their systems of education and health care. While living in a traditional village, she discovers that her neighbors believe she has magical pawers, encounters the “devil” from the Secret Bush Society, and finds “family” when she least expected to do so.

This deeply personal memoir is filled with stories of West African life as seen firsthand throughout the eyes of a person who wanted to make a difference in the world. The author revisits her younger self with compassion and curiosity, conveying to readers an understanding of culture clash and the helplessness anyone might feel when dropped into an unfamiliar world that is both painful and exotic. Frankly sharing her mistakes and confusions — some funny and some sobering — she can finally appreciate how this immersion experience ultimately leads to personal growth and a heightened self-awareness.

Ann Hales, Ph.D. is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, who has worked for almost fifty years providing mental health services to her community — whether it be Tennessee, Colorado, Idaho, Liberia, New York, New Mexico, or New Zealand.  Throughout her academic career, she was a Professor of Nursing at Cuttington University in Liberia, West Africa, and at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.  Prior to that she was the Director of the Housing and Feeding the Homeless Program in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, and taught the School’s first service learning course.

Dr. Hales served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia from 1981 until 1983. She received her Ph.D. at Cornell University. While teaching at New Mexico State University, she became the first psychiatric advanced practice nurse to receive prescriptive authority in the state of New Mexico. She was a visiting professor in New Zealand from 2000 to 2001 when she assisted the NZ Council of Nursing with their policies regarding prescriptive authority for advanced practice nurses. She currently works as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and lives with her husband in Upstate New York.

Peace Corps memoir

Beyond The Road to Sinyea: A Peace Corps Memoir
by Ann Hales (Liberia 1981–1983)
Peace Corps Writers
187 pages
September 2022
$12.95 (paperback), $3.99 (kindle), $14.99 (IngramSpark)

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