June 8, 2005: Headlines: COS - Ghana: COS - Antigua: Augusta Chronicle: Loretta Dunbar served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana and Antigua

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ghana: Peace Corps Ghana : The Peace Corps in Ghana: June 8, 2005: Headlines: COS - Ghana: COS - Antigua: Augusta Chronicle: Loretta Dunbar served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana and Antigua

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Loretta Dunbar served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana and Antigua

Loretta Dunbar served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana and Antigua

Mrs. Dunbar backpacked alone in Europe in the 1960s and in Southeast Asia during the fall of 1989. She is a three-time Peace Corps volunteer. Last year, she spent 10 months teaching English in Thailand.

Loretta Dunbar served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana and Antigua


Jun 8, 2005 - Augusta Chronicle

If Aiken resident Loretta Dunbar ever moves into an assisted- living facility, she plans to bring along a narrow, 5-foot tall cabinet filled with mementos from her world travels.

However, the 74-year-old does not appear headed for a retirement community anytime soon.

Instead, her next excursion will take her to nine countries in 65 days.

Mrs. Dunbar sets sail Thursday, June 16, with Semester at Sea, a global studies program administered by the Institute for Shipboard Education and sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh.

"It's a floating university," said Mrs. Dunbar. "You have your university and campus atmosphere on the ship. Then they have room for another 40 to 50 continuing education students like myself."

The ship, Explorer, will leave from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and dock in ports in Iceland, Norway, Russia, Poland, Belgium, England, Ireland and Spain.

Mrs. Dunbar will audit two writing courses, Writers' Journals and Creative Nonfiction.

She also will take a few of the excursions offered by Semester at Sea, including jaunts to Moscow and to Iceland's Blue Lagoon geothermal spas.

In addition, she said, the continuing education students act as mentors to the 400 undergraduates aboard the ship.

"I show young women that the world is their oyster," she said. "I'm an example of an older woman who's flying high."

Mrs. Dunbar backpacked alone in Europe in the 1960s and in Southeast Asia during the fall of 1989. She is a three-time Peace Corps volunteer. Last year, she spent 10 months teaching English in Thailand.

"I'm very curious and adventuresome," she said, "And I like meeting new people and learning about new cultures."

Mrs. Dunbar, who went to 11 schools in 12 years as a child, said she makes friends wherever she goes.

"Strangers are just like you are," she said. "If you're courteous and open-minded, you can find a lot of similarities and a lot of ways to enjoy each other."

The globetrotter, who makes meticulous plans for all of her trips, has spent the last four months researching the places she will visit this summer.

"I'm an investigative type," she said. "I enjoy getting on the Internet and finding out what I can do."

This will be Mrs. Dunbar's second Semester at Sea voyage. She sailed around the world with the program in 2001.

She first learned about the maritime university in 1992 when she was living in South Africa and saw the ship docked in Cape Town.

"I thought, 'Well, someday I'm going to do that,'" she said.

She never forgot the promise she made to herself. In fact, she said, the subject came up in her last conversation with her husband, a Scotsman whom she met in Ghana, just before he died in 1999.

"He asked, 'What will you do?' " recalled Mrs. Dunbar. "And I said, 'I think I'm going to do Semester at Sea.'"

Mrs. Dunbar, who prefers to travel alone, said she rarely visits the same place twice.

"My favorite trip is probably going to be the next one I take," she said.

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (803) 648-1395, ext. 113 or betsy.gilliland@augustachronicle.com.

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Story Source: Augusta Chronicle

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