October 3, 2003 - Chicago Sun-Times: Burkina Faso RPCV Marita Landa dies in tragic accident in Illinois

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Burkina Faso: Peace Corps Burkina Faso : The Peace Corps in Burkina Faso: October 3, 2003 - Chicago Sun-Times: Burkina Faso RPCV Marita Landa dies in tragic accident in Illinois

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 10:16 am: Edit Post

Burkina Faso RPCV Marita Landa dies in tragic accident in Illinois



Burkina Faso RPCV Marita Landa dies in tragic accident in Illinois

Interest in different cultures united 8 bus crash victims

October 3, 2003

BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter
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If they heard Father Time nagging them to slow down, they weren't listening.

One took up scuba diving in her 60s. Another joined the Peace Corps, living in a "deluxe" cement room in a West African village. And yet another took up the anti-Iraq War cry.

What united these eight worldly women, killed in the smoky chaos of Wednesday's chain-reaction crash on 1-90, was a desire to understand cultures different from their own. And, as members of Chicago-based International Women Associates, to make life just a little easier for newcomers to America.

Marita Landa

When Marita Landa's husband died of a heart attack in 1992, the Finnish native didn't give up on their dream of doing missionary work together.

She just changed it a bit.

In the late 1990s, Landa packed away her possessions and joined the Peace Corps.

She landed in a village in West Africa where she labored as a health services worker.

"She had deluxe accommodations, being in a cement room with no electricity and no running water," said daughter Marisa Ness.

Ness described her mother as a "humanitarian" with Grace Kelly-type good looks.

Landa, 66, took a deep and personal interest in international affairs, Ness said.

"As a transplant to the United States, she wanted to be able to help other people who came to Chicago," her daughter said, including international students whom she hosted at her home for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.



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Story Source: Chicago Sun-Times

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Burkina Faso; Obituaries

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