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 the best-known coffee growers in Togo. In June of 1999, I was able to invite my father to the United States for a year-long visit, during which I was able to enroll him in Kalamazoo Adult Education as another way to fulfill his dream of being a student. In October 2001, I invited my dear mother also to the United States for a year-long visit, giving both my wonderful parents a unique and unforgettable FIRST plane ride experience. Travel along with me as I journey through a father and son’s dream to a better tomorrow.

Komi Adade recognizes Tom Buchanan (Togo 1981-83) of Tucson, Azoriza as the PCV who got him to America. JC Note

From Orphan to Greatness: An African Story 
by Pierre Komi T. Adade
Page Publishing
216 pages
February 2021
$8.99 (Kindle); $17.37 (Paperback)

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