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From Estero to Africa

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Floridian Kathryn Taubert is going to live in a small West African village as part of an international volunteer effort.

  • From Estero to Africa and Back Again Posted 8/26/2009 at 12:14 p.m. 0 comments

    I chastised myself for worrying about Ghanaians holding their own on the world stage as I eavesdropped on the two very astute Ghanaian nationals giving my fellow Americans a real run. I already appreciate how good we Americans are in these matters. I felt pride, too for the Ghanaians so up to the challenge. These people are important to me now, too.

  • The Whole Pie Posted 8/26/2009 at 12:11 p.m. 0 comments

    Never assume that lack of education means lack of intelligence or drive.
    Growing up speaking three languages builds capacity. Living without pen and paper develops memory. Having few tools, no toys and practically no money generates resourcefulness. Collectively, these are some of the brightest people I’ve met in a while.

  • Ewe Justice Posted 8/11/2009 at 12:17 p.m. 0 comments


    The tro-tro was crowded, so my backpack went in the trunk. I didn’t realize there was a youth there also, until he banged on the window to alert the driver to “STOP.”
    I was mildly uncomfortable, dismissing it till I reached the hotel in Ho. Sure enough, my Treo (handheld computer and communication device) was missing. Hoping I’d left it in Kloe, I determined not to jump to conclusions and settle the matter when I returned after the weekend.

  • Old Ghosts Posted 8/11/2009 at 12:15 p.m. 0 comments

    I learn a lot by sitting on the front stoop, or at the market, or merely walking down the road. People tell me things that help me understand village life beyond what my handlers can. There is much to learn here.

  • A Dead Chicken, A Basket of Corn and Thou Posted 8/3/2009 at 5:17 p.m. 0 comments

    Church in the Village is a three-hour affair, with a minimum of two collections, lots of music, dancing in place, ritual and more contrasts.
    Ghanaians are well-dressed, in spite of poverty. They make most of their clothes. Tommy Hilfiger in the Village is a rarity. Large pieces of cloth artfully wrapped around the body, layered for decoration and shocked with contrasting head scarves (women), are as appealing as anything you’ll see in back home. I don’t know how they mix and match the plethora of colors and prints they do, but they are masters at it.

  • The Whole Truth Posted 8/3/2009 at 5:15 p.m. 0 comments

    The hardest part is dealing with the extraordinary need you meet everywhere. People think Americans live on streets of gold. Metaphorically speaking, we do. I see the look on the face of one youngster as she eyes my red baseball cap. I know she’s thinking “You have two and I have none, why can’t I have one?”

  • Going to school Posted 7/30/2009 at 12:14 p.m. 0 comments

    How do you, as an educator, resolve your obligation to prepare your students for the world, without paper and pencils or computers, or athletic equipment to stimulate play and incentive to study?

  • Being Nice Posted 7/30/2009 at 11:53 a.m. 0 comments

    I am ever mindful of my role here as a guest in someone else’s country in which I am “the foreigner,” who will, by virtue of my country’s limited representation in this part of Ghana, leave an indelible impression upon the minds of those whom I meet.

  • Another Slice Posted 7/23/2009 at 10:43 a.m. 0 comments

    Funerals are REALLY big here. I’ve been to three; two on the same day. Seems like the entire region turns out. It’s not merely a memorial, it’s a real celebration. When I die I want a memorial like the Ewe’s.

  • The Job We're Doing Posted 7/21/2009 at 1:14 p.m. 0 comments

    Today was an all-time high: watching two young men discover the world through computers.

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