February 6, 2004 - The Tullahoma News: John Fort Takes Work Experiences to Malawi

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Malawi: Peace Corps Malawi : The Peace Corps in Malawi: February 6, 2004 - The Tullahoma News: John Fort Takes Work Experiences to Malawi

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-42-145.balt.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - 11:20 pm: Edit Post

John Fort Takes Work Experiences to Malawi

John Fort Takes Work Experiences to Malawi

John Fort Takes Work Experiences to Africa

By: Linda Trussell February 06, 2004

John Dudley Fort of Sewanee recently graduated from Swathmore College, but don't let this fresh-out-of-college kid fool you, he's truly not "just wet behind the ears."

Seeking even more adventure and challenge after graduation, John recently applied to the Peace Corps and was accepted to go to Malawi, a small country in Southeast Africa.

"I will spend two years there working on projects that help people to farm their land responsibly. In the two months before I leave, I have been doing an internship at Powers' Machine Shop in Decherd. Mr. Powers and his employees have patiently shown me the basics of precision metalworking. Their hospitality and craftsmanship are values that I hope to bring to the work that I do in Africa," said John.

John's resume shows an interesting hodge-podge of curious work experiences, much unlike most college students' resumes that merely list the usual part-time jobs such as waiter/buss-boy or carpenter's assistant.

Along with those, his resume lists, "Fire Ring Eradicator," "Mule Packer," "Cattle Ranch Hand" and "Building and Grounds Assistant."

John's resume speaks much about his outdoor interests and adventurous spirit. After his first job as buss boy in a local restaurant, he was eager to move on and let his audacious side take off.

John developed a love of landscaping and gardening skills while in high school when he spent afternoons working in a garden and greenhouse.

After high school, he received a full scholarship study at Deep Springs College, a small college in eastern California with a unique two-year program that offers students the chance to attend regular college courses while working 20-30 hours running farming operations.

Those duties included gardening and taking care of dairy and beef cattle. He gained much knowledge while working on the 350-head cattle ranch in Deep Springs, California, picking up a little bit of everything related to ranch life, including how to fix drip irrigation and sprinkler systems and how to use shop tools.

Another job later as a carpenter's assistant gave his a good general knowledge of using tools as he helped build houses in Maine. When another interesting job opportunity presented itself last year, John dove right in and became an emergency Fire Ring Eradicator, working to seek and remove dangerous illegal fire rings in the Sierra Nevada backcountry.

Having a sense of adventure is only part of what it takes to "seize the moment" and live life to the fullest, experiencing all, pushing one to achieve and learn about life hands-on. John will tell you that one shouldn't be afraid to jump in and get their hands dirty and accept menial jobs as he did while employed as a mule packer and live-in care taker for mules and horses. He did this backbreaking work that included hauling gear for guided backcountry tours in the Sierra Nevadas for two years.

John learned much from these jobs and is grateful for the life's experiences, saying, "In my life I have been blessed with several educational opportunities that have helped me to pursue my interests in agriculture and sustainable land-use.

He attended Swathmore College in Pennsylvania and took the opportunity to work outdoors on campus while sharpened his landscaping skills on their 350-acre Scott Arboretum.

It's certain John is one young man that will enjoy life and go far, not just globally, but in life as well, building on life's experiences, all the while seeking adventure and knowledge.

©The Tullahoma News 2004

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Story Source: The Tullahoma News

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



By Uncle Bill ( on Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 3:12 pm: Edit Post

Well John Dudley Fort,
It seems that you have finally done something important. John Fort, we always knew you would do interesting and important things. It's good to say that you're actually doing them now. Thank you, John Dudley for all of your efforts. They are much appreciated. I hope all is well in Malawi.

By Claire Dudley ( on Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 3:11 pm: Edit Post

Wow, look at John Dudley hard at work. We're so proud of him going off to do all that work in Africa. Way to go John.

Proud Cousin of John Dudley Fort,

Cousin Claire

By Zikomo Bwana ( on Tuesday, January 01, 2013 - 2:12 pm: Edit Post

Great follow up to this story at: http://bit.ly/JohnFort

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