Peace Corps Gambia Swears In 22 New Volunteers

By Oumie Mendy

Peace Corps – The Gambia has Wednesday sworn in 22 agriculture and health volunteers from America in a ceremony held in the Lower River Region settlement of Massembeh training center.

The oath taking followed an 8 weeks pre-service training in languages, cross-culture, medical, safety and security professionals.

Kelleah B. Young, Peace Corps Country Director said Peace Corps’ founding mission of promoting world peace and friendship among all counties remains relevant, even after 55 years of service in the Gambia under the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Peace Corps have returned to the Gambia in a big  way this year, adding to global total today, over 950 volunteers are back in 41 countries and we are still aiming to return to our pre evacuation number of 7000 volunteers worldwide, even adding a few new counties to the mix. Our strength is to build on individual relationships, one connection and one interaction at a time,” she said.

She assures that peace corps is committed to the Gambia and the demands of communities, and Peace Corps yearn for more volunteers to place in all communities whose volunteers were evacuated due to the pandemic.

Young commended the volunteers for their services and urged them to keep up the good work.She equally thanked the staff for keeping Peace Corps alive and their intense dedication towards the pre-service training of volunteers, and the host families for their hospitality.

Change’ d’ Affaires, Erik Mehler said the history of volunteerism is deeply rooted in more than half a century ago when John F. Kennedy challenged American college students to leave the comfort of their homes and communities to devote two years of their lives to help peoples in the developing world, which led to the establishment of Peace Corps after he was elected president, on the principle that one person can make a difference in the world, and that a people to people approach is best to promote world peace, understanding and friendship.

He reminded the 22 volunteers that they are shining examples of the spirit of volunteerism and community service which has long been a defining characteristic of American society.

“Helping improve people’s lives, unite communities and strengthen democracy and building of capacity and promoting sustainable development had always been America’s strive,” he added.

In his keynote address delivered on behalf of the minister of agriculture, Musa Humma, said the Agriculture and Natural Resource Domain has been faced with a combination of adverse weather conditions, climate change and unsustainable human practices which led to deterioration of the environment and natural resources and poor agricultural production.

He said the priorities of the sector have during the decade been redirected to focus on achieving sustainable levels of food and Nutrition security at household and National levels, which is reflected in the ministry’s current policies and programs that are geared towards the transformation of the food system that levy the power of food in the attainment of the 17 Millennium Development Goals by 2030. Assuring Peace Corps of the Government’s continued support.


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  • YESTERDAY LONG AGO A Modern Parable by Edward Mycue an early PC Volunteer, Ghana 1961

    Long ago –yesterday–1960, I came from grasslands, North Texas State, Denton, to Boston University as a Lowell Fellow intern at WGBH-TV them a New England Television station at M.I.T. campus, Cambridge, just over the Charles River from Boston on Massachusetts Avenue. It was above a former roller rink.

    I became Louis Lyons’ assistant, twice weekly, on his 14 min.& 28 sec. programs of News and profiles and special subjects. In the summer June 1960, as his technical assistant, I began on one of numerous many programs about Senator J F Kennedy and others in their reaches for their Party’s nominations — Harold Stassen was Republican perennial nomination seeker. Hubert Humphrey, Adalai Stevenson, Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy came. Many-=most even–included talk about a PEACE CORPS, although it wasn’t called that there’d be discussion about the example of Friends service shared programs abroad, and some other similar one by others.

    The next year, still on the job, I took the test given in the Harvard center in the Sanders hall basement on a Saturday. In time, in June, the call to go to Ghana and I went first to Berkeley for training..At the end of August I headed after a visit home in Dallas up to D.C. before heading in that 2 engine prop Convair to the Azores, Dakar in Senegal.

    In Washington D.C. then Ghana my contingent of 50 went up to the White House and met Kennedy (for my third time since I’d met him when he was a Senator seeking the Party nod and then in the Fall as the Democrat Party candidate).

    Peace is not assured, nor may it ever be, but it is still sought. I was born in Niagara Falls, NY in 1937 in our Depression when WAR in Europe and WAR in the Pacific was already swelling and staining the world, our planet. Wars continues always while peoples and countries battle. Pandemics, weather, climate, wars signal the demise of our planet looking back, looking forward.

    Edward Mycue,3595 Geary Blvd, Apt.#320, San Francisco CA 94118 tel. (415) 387-2471
    (C) Copyright Edward Mycue

    • A FIGHT FOR AIR by Edward Mycue
      I. A Fight for Air
      Towels soak in the sink
      Roots crack, splinter
      Each sound’s a stone screaming
      successive millions
      of mute islands
      a secret care I keep folded
      under my fingernail
      dawn after dawn
      The thrill is uneven The saliva curdles
      Sunset climbs closely
      to the fight for air.

      II. Buried World
      The Great River
      plains desert
      Red Rock Red River
      Gulf of Mexico
      deltas bayous hill country
      conscribe an end and a beginning, leading
      from these years this journey back
      to nineteen sixty-one
      Dallas: blotch concrete spread out on the plains.
      We’d come to Texas thirteen years before
      in a slope-back forties Ford.
      I was eleven then.
      We passed through Erie, Kentucky, Delta States
      to arid, fissured land and bottomland and floods
      to dying apple trees.
      Then summertimes
      and othertimes
      Dad took us with him one by one
      to get to know us
      on his travels through his Southwest territory,
      him talking brakelinings for a Firestone subsidiary
      company that let him go not long before he died
      in a chaos of fear
      and pain he said was not like pain
      but was pulling him apart.

      III. Father
      “We brought our children from New York
      to take a better job.
      My wife supported me.
      Her hair turned white that first year.
      She was thirty-three, had borne us seven kids
      in our hometown, Niagara Falls.
      We fought and stayed together
      pounding with our love.
      I was thirty-six that year
      nineteen forty-eight.
      Our oldest son was twelve.
      The baby was a year.”

      IV. Rain
      Being passed
      My father seems beautiful
      his geographical eyes a cage
      of ocean dreams
      who’ll never dream again
      so stubborn, gentle, singing anytime
      some snatch of song he’ll never sing again.

      Nostrils flaring, lungs honking, at the end
      he couldn’t hold his teeth
      only wanted air Air
      His food came back
      I hear him say NO, No not pain I’m
      falling all apart.

      No steel,
      green-painted, rented tank of oxygen could help
      since death will come when cancer eats the brain.
      It rained the day he died
      and it rained again on burial day. Good Luck,
      it’s angels’ tears, they say the Irish say.
      The dog killed cat run off morphine soaking into sand.
      Gigantic stones snakes apple trees his eyes.

      V. Grave Song
      End of night
      threw my heat in the fire
      O my mama place in the white
      it was too big for me
      I wanted out out I got out
      Go downstairs
      say off wiz de light off wiz all de lights
      up up up
      up wiz de fire up wiz de fire
      (say ‘UP’ with the fire)
      I am afraid
      of the door rats on the stairs miles
      miles miles to the light and I can’t
      say it
      there’s only me
      and and everybody
      and that is no body nobody
      but some thing
      Lock it! Lock it!
      Go go downstairs
      Run Run Run Run out out out
      They are moving
      is light Things in the air
      Tie Ta Tie Ta
      Tie Ta Tie Ta
      people gone
      Cows moo in the fields and are gone
      It does not hold
      Hums Hums Hums
      Hung birds in bottles, eggs writhing like worms
      and the fire burns.

      VI. Little Lifetimes
      Children crush crackers between stones
      celebrating luck and joy
      seeing with ears, breathing music from trees, flowering
      in pure deliciousness
      awakening graves, unarmed against the rain. In time — silence:
      stoning sterile trees,
      praying the dead will sleep between the swollen roots.
      The wind rushes in saying hold my ground, carve
      your own road — the design that develops.

      Now a face begins to emerge seeking air
      examining death to discover patterns
      in the movements of little lifetimes.
      © Copyright Edward Mycue

        heard the muffled advent of bright, new angels. Margo surprised or I might say for me shocked the whole family. Margo experienced much in her life including being a Grail Movement teacher in Lawton, OK, then lots of educational adventuring. Including the Interlochen national music camp summers in northern Michigan, Colorado summer theater and Show Boating and later on the Mississippi;

        she taught at Santa Clara University in the 1960’s in theater, speech, and the like and then began with the beginning of ACT and then went to the SF Mime Troupe and helped begin the New Shakespeare Company –SF performing across the USA and the same with the Bread and Puppet Theater.

        When I came to San Francisco June 1. 1970 I took over the bookings job through the end of that year while Margo and Lee Chu went with our Danish friends Jouko and Marianne across country east where they went home from New York and Margo and Lee continued to Virginia Beach and the Edgar Cayce institute while she was pregnant with Zen born July 8, 1971; went up into the mountains to teach in a beginning multi racial elementary school in Tyro, Virginia (where Lili was born); and after that adventures onward and then into Hawaii so the kids would have the experience on shared Asian experience where she taught; then back to San Francisco where she administered a small old college;

        then back to Dallas (where when she was age 8 and we were 9 Mycue first moved from Niagara Falls, NY in 1948) taught disabled students and then in a college in Denton, TX. Along with more teaching along the Rio Grande; then back again to teaching in Dallas and Denton. Just before she died she had begun the transition to Los Angeles living first with Zen who teaches both there and alternating with M.I.T. in Cambridge, MA. She and Zen went on a three week vacation including Las Vegas.

        The day she died, seemingly ok for a 1940-born woman, she and Zen had lunch and then went for a nap and when Zen looked in on she had died. Now I begin my life without Margo in it just as this Spring our sister Jane Mycue died in Santa Cruz CA. There are other wonderful awesome stories:. Both of my brothers David, and Peter, such grand men have died in the last 23 and 10 years; and surviving with me my remaining two sisters, Agnes (Cookie) McGaha in Claremont CA and Gerarda Koehne in Lincoln CA , who are equally superfine and loved as siblings can have when blessed. Our brother David and Elena de los Santos Mycue had 3 children (former “children” Alfredo, Victoria, Marcelo);

        neither Peter, nor I, had issue; Margo has Lili and Zen with their children; Cookie and Mike McGaha have Joe and John and their superior wives Katie and Sharon; Arda and Helmut have Johann + Ulrike who have Niklas pursuing graduate school and Oliver in college. Zen has two boys Max and Sam in graduate and college levels and Vivian just entering college; & Erik and Bella with 3 year old+ Helen. Alfredo and Sheri have Leah-Elena graduate study in Berlin, Victoria Ruth graduate and in journalism in Austin TX and Dito (Alfredo III — the third on the old De los Santos side) studied international nursing in Seattle WA.

        Well there is much I don’t know or remember. Not all I recall is of complete description, maybe but it raises Richard’s and my 51+ years together even more meaning filled along with the history of his late two brothers Philip, and David, and Charmaine, in Roseberg OR, his sister’s 3 children (Natalie, Katie, Cristal — in San City UT, Brooklyn NY, Nantucket MA) and her grandchildren and Philip’s two sons Thomas and his two sons, and Tim up in Sonoma County.
        I have been maundering and meandering some, how freewheeling from bursts of light and fog comes to me — and somehow i pounce on these keys and I claim no historical certainty.

        (C) Copyright Edward Mycue Thanksgiving notes

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