Softball, Snakes, Sausage Flies and Rice:
Peace Corps Experience in 1960s Sierra Leone

by Philip Fretz (Sierra Leone 1962-64)
Self Published
January 2014
148 pages
$0 (Kindle); $5.99 (Paperback)

Philip Fretz (Sierra Leone 1962-64)

Just a few months out of student life on the rolling green lawns of Haverford College, Philip Fretz was living in a small, remote West African city amid insect invasions, deadly snakes and coups. It was the tumultuous 1960s, in both the United States and Africa, and he had become an early recruit to the Peace Corps, founded in 1961.

He was the first volunteer to be sent to teach English at the Kenema Technical Institute in Sierra Leone, a former British colony that had been left in stark poverty and underdevelopment when colonialism ended.

Half a century later, he began to pore through the diaries he had kept, sporadically, during those two years in Kenema. When his father died in 1998, relatives found in his papers all the letters Philip had written home to his parents, recording his illnesses, his extraordinary adventures across West Africa, and the pain he felt watching his students struggle amid poverty and tribalism, in bare-bones classrooms without books and supplies, while keeping alive their hopes that they could have a brighter future.

Philip has lived in Philadelphia, southern Delaware, and in Baltimore, MD. He has been an active member of the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild, the Eastern Shore Writers Association, and the University of Delaware’s Osher Life Long Learning Institute. In Baltimore, he joined the Renaissance Institute, a division of Notre Dame University of Baltimore, Maryland. Through his participation in writers’ workshops, he has expanded his writing techniques. He has lived abroad for part of his undergraduate university training, for his service first in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, then in the U.S. Army. Back in the U.S. his completed his career in information science for firms in Philadelphia.

Phillip has written 10 other books and edited one.

Poetry Selections [2022]

Poetry to Stone: Years of a Partnership in Verse [2022]

Poetry Thru the Decade: 2012 – 2021 [2022]

Ten Years A Poet [2022]

Recipes Collected by the RPCVs of Sussex County Delaware (editor) [2019]

RPCVs of Sussex County, Delaware: Short biographical sketches of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers living in Sussex County, Delaware [2018]

Alfred in New York: The Lawyer from Philadelphia Finds a Niche in New York City [2018]

Poems of Life and Love: A Selection of Free Verse [2018]

Alfred and his Friends (Alfred in the University, Chasing and Chased by Romance) [2017 ]

Alfred: Coming of Age Amid Heartbreak, Corruption and Crime in Philadelphia over 100 Years Ago [2016]

Lost and Found on the Dance Floor [2015]





Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2022. Peace Corps Worldwide.