January 6, 2005: Headlines: COS - Ghana: Masters Programs: Ithaca Journal: Taylor McLean is working toward her master's degree while serving with the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ghana: Peace Corps Ghana : The Peace Corps in Ghana: January 6, 2005: Headlines: COS - Ghana: Masters Programs: Ithaca Journal: Taylor McLean is working toward her master's degree while serving with the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-43-253.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, January 08, 2005 - 10:04 am: Edit Post

Taylor McLean is working toward her master's degree while serving with the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa

Taylor McLean is working toward her master's degree while serving with the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa

Taylor McLean is working toward her master's degree while serving with the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa

Generosity, poverty mark life in Ghana





Taylor McLean, 1998 graduate of Lansing High School, is working toward her master's degree while serving with the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa. She will be there until November 2006, which seems to be a very long time off for her family -- parents John and Linda McLean of Ridge Road, and brother Brian, who's completing his medical training in Hawaii.

Linda invited me to her home this past week and she talked about Taylor, how she played high school polo and then went on to play for Cornell University's team, winning four national championships along the way, and her love of animals, especially strays who need tender care. She told me that Taylor, whose degree is in international studies, is now considering going for a degree in education.

The following is an excerpt from an e-mail from Taylor dated Dec. 21:

"It's Christmas time again and for the first time I do not find myself in Lansing, NY, but instead bouncing along a rough road on a bus in a West African country, while a remix of 'Macarena' and 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas' plays on the radio. I am three months into my two-year Peace Corps Service in Ghana, West Africa. I will be volunteering for Ghana's Ministry of Food & Agriculture as an extensionist working with small-scale rural fish farmers, as well as working with resource-poor schools on HIS/ AIDS education and other health-related topics.

"Ghana is a beautiful country, filled with friendly and hospitable people, not so different from home after all. In fact, I tell the people in the small community where I live that Tano-Odumasi is a lot like Lansing and that the caring community atmosphere I find here makes me feel right at home. Everyday people who have nothing, by American standards, offer anything they can in an attempt to make my stay more pleasant. Day after day bunches of bananas, papayas and various other fruits and foods show up at my door as gifts from well-wishers. Strangers on the public transport often pay my fare or go out of their way to make sure I get wherever it is I'm going safely, while asking nothing from me in return.

"I truly feel that in the end, I will get more out of this experience than I will ever be able to give back, but one thing I will try to do during my stay here is help the two primary schools in my community; Kona Zonga Primary and the Tano-Bdumasi Seventh Adventist Primary School. Last week I went to visit both of these schools and as I listened to the kindergarten class recite the English alphabet, I was touched by what these kids do with so little. This community has already given me so much that I can only hope to be able to help them in some small way as well.

"I'm writing to you, another community that has given me so much, to give you the opportunity to help out as well. I met with teachers from both schools to learn about them and what kinds of materials they are in need of. Both schools have almost 200 pupils, aged 4-14 years. All classes learn English, math, science, religion and environmental science. One school has recently added a computer theory class for the oldest students, but they do not yet have access to a computer. Other materials specifically mentioned were: Library books of all kinds, sports equipment, educational toys, jigsaw puzzles, dominoes, a blackboard compass and ruler for teaching math, picture and story books, a globe, a demonstration clock for teaching time, various other teaching aids and a first-aid kit.

"I have also met three wonderful orphaned children who are currently being cared for by the church, who could use help with school fees and uniforms. I am working on finding help from nonprofits and other organizations.

"If you want to contribute something, please contact Linda McLean at 533-7504. Also, please feel free to contact me here in Ghana at P.O. Box 3820, Jumasi, Ghana, West Africa, or e-mail tayinghana@yahoo.com. I would be happy to answer any of your questions or tell you more stories about my experiences here in Ghana. I hope that your holiday season was filled with family, peace and happiness. I miss you all! Sincerely, Taylor McLean."

Closing comment

Afeyhyiapa ("happy holidays"). Mafe mo nninyeana ("I miss you all") -- From Edwoa ("Monday Born," aka Taylor McLean).

Lansing Town Talk by Carolyn Montague appears every Thursday in The Journal. To send items of local interest, comments or information, you can reach her by phone at 533-7571, by e-mail at lmontague@aol.com, or by regular mail at 33 Fenner Road, Lansing, NY 14882.

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Originally published Thursday, January 6, 2005

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Ithaca Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ghana; Masters Programs



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