August 1, 2004: Headlines: COS - Ghana: Beekeeping: NPCA: Chicago Sun Times: Adansi M. Norkware, Formerly Known as Albert Greenleaf Jr says "In May of 1978 I embarked on one of the most exciting, adventurous and memorable journeys in my life at that time"

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ghana: Peace Corps Ghana : The Peace Corps in Ghana: August 1, 2004: Headlines: COS - Ghana: Beekeeping: NPCA: Chicago Sun Times: Adansi M. Norkware, Formerly Known as Albert Greenleaf Jr says "In May of 1978 I embarked on one of the most exciting, adventurous and memorable journeys in my life at that time"

By Admin1 (admin) (151.196.239.147) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 5:06 pm: Edit Post

Adansi M. Norkware, Formerly Known as Albert Greenleaf Jr says "In May of 1978 I embarked on one of the most exciting, adventurous and memorable journeys in my life at that time"

Adansi M. Norkware, Formerly Known as Albert Greenleaf Jr says In May of 1978 I embarked on one of the most exciting, adventurous and memorable journeys in my life at that time

Adansi M. Norkware, Formerly Known as Albert Greenleaf Jr says "In May of 1978 I embarked on one of the most exciting, adventurous and memorable journeys in my life at that time"

Found in translation

August 1, 2004

Faraway lands, fascinating cultures and new adventures continue to call selfless men and women to the Peace Corps. It is a sense of common purpose that binds members of this special clan who dedicate two years of their lives to the cause. They travel, share their professional expertise and learn about ideals and customs that differ from their own. Since its 1961 inception, the Peace Corps has trained such people -- 170,000 to be exact -- to serve in 137 counties. Their experiences leave an indelible mark, so much so that many continue their commitments to global harmony, education and the Peace Corps' missions after their stint has ended.

Their vehicle is the National Peace Corps Association, which will gather here for a conference at the Palmer House Hilton Thursday through Sunday. The nonprofit group, celebrating its 25th anniversary, states it "fosters peace by working together in service, education and advocacy."

Inside, four former volunteers, who now live in Chicago, share the stories of how this journey took them beyond their comfort zones, allowing them to connect with humanity.

In May of 1978 I embarked on one of the most exciting, adventurous and memorable journeys in my life at that time. I, along with 109 young men and women from diverse communities throughout the United States, were all seated on a Pan Am jumbo jet out of John F. Kennedy Airport, ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Each passenger in our group was carrying all of the equipment he thought he would need for the next two years. We were the latest group of Peace Corps enlistees who had heeded the call to serve our country by volunteering as math and science teachers in Third World countries. My group was headed for Ghana, West Africa.

Ghana shares its borders with Cote d'Ivoire to the west, Togo on the east and Burkina Faso to the north. The Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean washes Ghana's southern shore. Ghana is a former British Colony, which gained its independence on March 6, 1957. It was the first country in sub-Sahara Africa to do so. After gaining its independence, Ghanaians in 1960 elected Kwame Nkrumah as president.

Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana played a key role for the Portuguese in the transportation of slaves to the new world. A number of slave castles were built along the west coast of Africa to house slaves captured in the inland rain forest. The slaves were kept in the castles until ships arrived off the Gulf of Guinea to take them to buyers in the New World.

During my four months of in-country training at a local prep school in Cape Coast, I received eight hours of language training a day, cross-cultural sensitivity training and historical and political overviews of Ghana. The curriculum also required that each volunteer live with a host family in various parts of the country for a week. After completion, we were assigned as math/science teachers.

I went to a small village called Asuom, which was in the Ashanti rain forest in the eastern region of Ghana. Asuom had 4,500 people. The houses in Asuom did not have electricity or running water, but the nearest town, Kade, about 10 miles away, did. Due to poor road conditions, this trip took more than an hour.

My initial impression of Asuom was dubious. Coming from Chicago and all it had to offer, I wondered if I could fulfill my two-year contract. On the other end of the spectrum, the beauty of the rain forest was breathtaking and there were exotic plants and lust vegetation everywhere.

The people and students were always smiling and very polite. The first day that I walked the 1-1/2 miles to school to teach, everyone on the streets stopped to greet me in their traditional language of Twi. Everyone had gotten word that an "obruni" African-American now was teaching at the secondary school. When I arrived at Asuom Secondary School, the students and teachers flocked around me because they also had heard an African-American was arriving. The first day was spent answering questions about the United States. After classes, I walked back home and, again, a normal 15-minute walk turned into a 1-1/2-hour excursion and cultural exchange. When I arrived at my two-bedroom bungalow, I found 500 tangerines at my doorstep. The tangerines were a gift from the village in appreciation of my coming to help educate their children. Over my 2-1/2 years of working and traveling in Ghana and the rest of Africa, I can never forget meeting a group of people so invigorated with living and enjoying life. The nights were magical, cool, somber and spiritual. They seemed to caress you and whisper in your ear, the pains and triumphs of how we, as African people, have struggled to overcome overwhelming odds so our contributions to humanity can pass it on. For the first three months back after I completted my service, often when I dreamt of my stay in Ghana, I would wake up crying. Evidence of paradise lost.

Adansi M. Norkware, Formerly Known as Albert Greenleaf Jr.
Volunteer, Ghana 1978-1980





When this story was prepared, this was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.





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Story Source: Chicago Sun Times

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ghana; Beekeeping; NPCA

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By George Adu (pool-71-251-34-127.nwrknj.east.verizon.net - 71.251.34.127) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 10:47 pm: Edit Post

I would like to get in touch with Mr.Greenleef,a former pcv who served in Ghana, Asuom.I'm one of his former students.I live in NJ,USA.I wonder how life is treating him now.My e-mail.Asuomgag@hotmail.com

By John Damico (99.8.121.32) on Sunday, March 02, 2014 - 10:17 am: Edit Post

My Wife and I were Peace Corps Teachers from 1978 to 1980. In fact we married in Africa at our school. Osei Tutu Teacher's Training College in Akropon Kumasi! Many volunteers attended the wedding. If you were one of them, or if your remember anything about that time, I would like to hear from you! Many lost friends out there!


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