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April 19, 2022

Understanding a New Meaning of Home

Tales of Togo A Young Woman’s Search for Home in West Africa By Meredith Pike-Baky Peace Corps Writers   Reviewed by Bill Preston   This candid and heartfelt memoir chronicles the twists and turns, the ups and downs, and the sometimes sideways arc of Meredith Pike-Baky’s time teaching English and living in Togo in the early 1970s. Eager to escape political turmoil in the U.S., she finds in Togo a nation “in the beginning stages of delayed independence, having declared an end to French rule a decade earlier ... on the threshold of a new era, a heady, hopeful time for both...

April 18, 2022

A Memoir of a Journey from a Farming Village in Togo to Study in the U.S. And a Tribute to a Father Who Was Orphaned Before the Age of Two.

From Orphan to Greatness An African Story By Pierre Komi T. Adade Page Publishing   “All his life, my father has done everything he could to help his children succeed,” writes Pierre Komi T. Adade. “As he likes to tell us, ‘My main goal in life is to help you succeed whatever the cost so you won’t have to suffer the way I did. I wasn’t fortunate enough to have someone help me.’ Yes, indeed, his life story has been full of tough experiences that bring him to tears whenever he talks about them. My father lost both his parents...

December 20, 2021

First Comes Belonging

Part of the discussion on “Building a Community of Black RPCVs: Recruitment Challenges and Opportunities”   Photo courtesy Hermence Matsotsa-Cross   By Hermence Matsotsa-Cross Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo 1999–2001 | Founder and CEO of Ubuntu Speaks   Below are edited excerpts. Watch the full program here.   My father was a Volunteer in Gabon in the early ’70s, where he met my mother, a Gabonese woman from one village he worked in. So I’m very much the product of Peace Corps. Growing up, I always heard Peace Corps stories; more important was the idea of volunteerism, how important that was, and working...

August 18, 2020

Coming Home: Togo

Togo | Sarah Bair Home: Bethesda, Maryland The village of Alibi II is in the center of the country.
“It’s basically the Muslim capital of Togo,” Sarah Bair says. Working with a clinic, she focused on maternal and child health, serving some 3,000 people. “I went to mosque every Friday. I learned a lot about religion and how that affects health — and how to be conscious about health education through religion.” For attending mosque, she wore a headscarf; walking to work, not necessarily. That led to conversations with people in the village about personal choice. She coached two girls’ soccer teams,...