November 30, 2003 - Harrisburg Patriot: Malawi RPCV Dale Mcfeatters hitchiked all over Africa

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Malawi: Peace Corps Malawi : The Peace Corps in Malawi: November 30, 2003 - Harrisburg Patriot: Malawi RPCV Dale Mcfeatters hitchiked all over Africa

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Monday, December 01, 2003 - 10:40 pm: Edit Post

Malawi RPCV Dale Mcfeatters hitchiked all over Africa

Malawi RPCV Dale Mcfeatters hitchiked all over Africa

Getting around, then and now

Nov 30, 2003 - The Harrisburg Patriot

Author(s): Dale Mcfeatters

My son had the dilemma of how to go some place without the benefit of his car or public transportation. He eventually resolved the problem by bumming a ride with a friend, but I know how I would have solved it when I was his age -- hitchhiked.

Times have changed and you'd probably be foolish to hitchhike and even more foolish to pick up one, but for decades hitchhiking was how college students and members of the armed services got around.

The interstates have helped end the practice too, since drivers are more likely to pick someone up for the short hop rather than the long haul. Back then it was possible to make a trip of several hundred miles in 10-mile increments.

Back in the dark ages, we were not allowed to have cars our first two years in college so as a freshman and sophomore I would hitchhike the 45 miles to Syracuse University and then when my date had to be back in her dorm at midnight -- I told you it was the dark ages -- I would hitchhike back to school.

I was only blanked once, on a street corner in Cazenovia, N.Y., when a fog settled in that was so thick I was invisible to the handful of cars on the road. After several boring hours, the problem was solved by the arrival of dawn, a rising breeze and an obliging farmer on his way to visit kin several towns down the road.

A SUREFIRE RIDE was a middle-aged male in a sedan with a backseat full of sample cases. These were traveling salesmen, the original road warriors, gregarious and always glad of company and given to telling you that in their business you were only as good as your last commission.

I hitchhiked all over Europe, which was surprisingly easy and there, too, I was only blanked once -- by a whole country. A failed attempt to hitchhike through Czechoslovakia was my introduction to communism, which had successfully kept cars and, indeed, many other trappings of prosperity -- decent clothes, travel, citrus fruit -- out of the hands of the proletariat.

As a Peace Corps volunteer, I easily hitchhiked over large swaths of Africa in a way that would be difficult and dangerous today. In Malawi, where I was stationed, travel consisted of stuffing a change of clothes in a knapsack and hiking out to the main road.

Back in the United States, I picked up hitchhikers if they looked like college students or members of the military with less and less frequency even as I encountered hitchhikers with less and less frequency.

The last one I picked up was 10 or so years ago, a well-dressed man about 40 whom, it turned out, I knew slightly. He was a writer who had hoped to get a magazine piece out of all the different types of people who picked up a hitchhiker in Washington. He was giving up on the idea, he said, because all the people who offered him lifts turned out to be journalists who thought they might get a column out of it.

DALE McFEATTERS writes for Scripps Howard News Service.

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Story Source: Harrisburg Patriot

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Malawi; Humor



By Octavio Saenz MD Sr ( - on Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 7:37 pm: Edit Post

All That Our Whole World Has Ever Needed – And Still Presently Needs Foremost and More Than Ever – Is An Incorrupt National Reevaluation!

Evil, Religionist, Corporatist, Criminal Global Desecration of True Democracy’s Highest Divine Human Rights!

(In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Most Patriotic Legacy!)

The Nucleus of Our Whole World ever-growing Suicidal Nuclear Crisis is created by none other than The Most False as Most Greedy Ultra-Conservative and/or Ultra-Libertine Politico-Religionism everywhere – Universally. The World has No True Religion Anywhere!
The only and Nuclear ambition for all this Universal “True Atheism” is none other than The Most Voracious Global Inhuman Corporative Economic Exploitation – all by extreme disregard of The Most Basic Universal Human Literacy and The Most Basic Universal Good Samaritan Health Insurance. These two together are Almighty God’s True Democracy’s vitally essential means for True Individual Equal Opportunity to reach HIS BEST Personal Human Gifts (RIGHTS).
All of Our Vast Perpetually Dehumanized Illiterate and Sickly Western World is so ever more and more so “CRUCIFIED” or threatened with impunity by The Religionist-Instilled Fear of “Going to Hell” – if they have no “Faith” or disobedient to their Politico-Religionist Leadership: “’Heaven’ is ‘Living’ in Satanic Exploitation”!
Our Thoroughly Politico-Religionist Western World has always even tried to expand our Most Voraciously Greedy Corporatism to Our Islamic Eastern World’s “Friendly” Governments, but I most strongly suspect that Islamic Religionism has an opposite but Equally Religionist Inhuman Self-Defense: when our Western Corporatistly Imposed Inhuman Intervention reach their Eastern Critical level – like in our Iraq’s Unending Perplexity – the Islamic Religionist “Inspiration” to go to Heaven is The Super-Terrorist “Salvific” Individual Self-Immolation. All of these are for sure the portending Symbolism of A Most Certain Nuclear Armageddon! NO WAY FOR NUCLEAR SALVATION!!!

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