RPCVs host Thanksgiving for African friends

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: November 22, 2004: Thanksgiving in the Peace Corps: RPCVs host Thanksgiving for African friends
Thanksgiving in the Peace Corps Thanksgiving in the Peace Corps
A band of idealists battles illness, disillusionment and homesickness in a foreign land. The Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock? No, Peace Corps volunteers in Gabon. Also read about how to find turkeys in Tunisia and RPCVs who host Thanksgiving for African friends and for foreign students.

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-36-89.balt.east.verizon.net - on Monday, November 22, 2004 - 2:29 pm: Edit Post

RPCVs host Thanksgiving for African friends

RPCVs host Thanksgiving for African friends

RPCVs host Thanksgiving for African friends

Africans share experience of giving thanks

By Kevin McKenzie
November 29, 2002

Nathaniel Kpurubu learned most of what he knows about Thanksgiving from watching American television since he fled Nigeria.

The holiday reminds Kayivwambile Siwakwiof the traditional harvest festival back home in Zambia.

And Nyaniki 'Niki' Quarmyne celebrated her third Thanksgiving since arriving at Christian Brothers University from Ghana.

She believes the custom is afine idea.

Everyone has reason to be thankful, Quarmyne said, "because they are alive and well and have seen another year come by."

Thanksgiving had a distinctly African flavor at the Midtown home of Janet and Michael McCord and their 8-year-old daughter, Caitlyn.

Janet McCord, 48, is an assistant religion professor at Christian Brothers University, where Quarmyne, 23, is an electrical engineering student and Siwakwi, 19, studies computer engineering.

Kpurubu, 35, his wife, and their 4-month-old son are McCord family friends.

The McCords began growing African roots in the early 1980s, when both went to Zaire - now the Democratic Republic of Congo - as Peace Corps volunteers.

In the 1990s they went back, living in Kenya and Uganda.

Working in "micro-finance," Michael McCord, 41, helped steer a movement that has helped thousands of poor women become entrepreneurs.

Janet McCord, 48, maintains ties to Africa, leading students on research projects in Uganda through a grant program in CBU's Biology Department.

Waiting for the Thanksgiving turkey to take its place of honor on the dinner table, Kpurubu said he and his wife fled Nigeria because of government-led murder and repression sparked by demands the Ogoni tribe made for compensation promised decades before when Shell Oil began extracting oil from their lands.

Kpurubu, a minister, said the story of Thanksgiving and the pilgrims shows the importance of God as a foundation for the United States.

"This country was founded on God and by God," he said. "I think that Americans should thank God that they are who they are today."

Siwakwi said Thanksgiving is similar to Zambia's annual harvest festivals.

"To speak from my background, it's a time to thank the spirits, ancestors, for allowing us to be here to harvest the fruits, or rather the presents they have given us," he said.

- Kevin McKenzie:


When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Go Memphis

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Congo Kinsasha; Thanksgiving



By LASSANE OUEDRAOGO ( on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 7:49 pm: Edit Post

Thanks for sharing with African friends and Foreign students the thanksgiving.

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