Daily Archives: October 20, 2010

Peace Corps Back in Sierra Leone

I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, 1974-76, and an important part of my life is to advocate for Sierra Leone and for the continent of Africa.  When I returned to the US no one had a clue where Sierra Leone was and even in the early 90s when the conflict started there was still minimal interest.  I worked with an advocacy group, The Friends of Sierra Leone, to get attention, but it seemed sadly hopeless — until the war came to Freetown where media had easier access. It then landed on the front page of US newspapers pretty much all about brutality.  I won’t go into the many experiences of racism, heartache, and more that happened around me when Sierra Leone came up other than to say we’ve still got a ways to go to even begin to help and understand Africa. Ten years ago one of my fourth grade classes tried to make a difference. They were wonderful.

That is long ago now.  And one of the happiest pieces of news I got this year was that the Peace Corps was returning to Sierra Leone (after leaving in 1994 during the worst of the conflict).  They returned a few months ago and I’ve been following several of the volunteers’ blogs (say this one and this one)  with great interest.  (Some things seem just the same — say the wonderful food —  and others — say having cell phones  and blogging — enormously different.)  Just now I  saw that NBC did a terrific feature on them earlier this month.  Please do check it out here.

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Travels with Tintin

Thousands of tourists visit Petra every week, but this summer I was part of the first small group of adventurers to arrive at the rose-red city in the footsteps of Tintin, led by one of the world’s leading Tintinologists, Michael Farr

Having been to Petra myself (one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to and I’ve traveled a lot), I was very intrigued to read The Guardian’s Georgia Brown piece on her Tintin tour to Petra: Blistering barnacles, Tintin, it’s the rose-red city.

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