2010.12.07: December 7, 2010: Ruth Hogan, who joined the Peace Corps right out of college and spent time in Liberia, always wanted to go back to Africa

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Liberia: Peace Corps Liberia : Peace Corps Liberia: Newest Stories: 2010.12.07: December 7, 2010: Ruth Hogan, who joined the Peace Corps right out of college and spent time in Liberia, always wanted to go back to Africa

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Ruth Hogan, who joined the Peace Corps right out of college and spent time in Liberia, always wanted to go back to Africa

Ruth Hogan, who joined the Peace Corps right out of college and spent time in Liberia, always wanted to go back to Africa

In 2006, she saw slides from a trip her friend, Erma Perkins, had taken after starting a partnership with a South African hospice. Hogan knew it was her opportunity to go back to Africa. That year, she took her first trip to Empangeni in Zululand, South Africa. She has been going back every year since. The experience, Hogan says, has been eye-opening as she has realized how much we have here. Even the latest economic crisis has affected her differently. She notes that though many like her have watched their retirement savings dip, she focuses on her warm house, plenty of food and the means to take care of her pets.

Ruth Hogan, who joined the Peace Corps right out of college and spent time in Liberia, always wanted to go back to Africa

Henrietta retiree brings solace to Africa

Lisa Tiffin –

December 7, 2010 - 5:00am

Retired Rush-Henrietta special education teacher and longtime Henrietta resident Ruth Hogan has been a hospice volunteer for 19 years. But her lifetime of service doesn't stop there. Hogan, who joined the Peace Corps right out of college and spent time in Liberia, always wanted to go back to Africa.

In 2006, she saw slides from a trip her friend, Erma Perkins, had taken after starting a partnership with a South African hospice. Hogan knew it was her opportunity to go back to Africa. That year, she took her first trip to Empangeni in Zululand, South Africa. She has been going back every year since.

Through a joint pairing of Lifetime Care, provider of home health and hospice care in the Rochester area, and Zululand Hospice, Perkins organizes and leads the annual trips. She is retired from Lifetime. Team members accompany hospice nurses on their visits to people suffering from AIDS and tuberculosis in Africa. Hogan notes that though they are there to encourage and comfort patients, as visitors they are often honored with the best seat in the house because the patients are grateful to have visitors from so far away.

The experience, Hogan says, has been eye-opening as she has realized how much we have here. Even the latest economic crisis has affected her differently. She notes that though many like her have watched their retirement savings dip, she focuses on her warm house, plenty of food and the means to take care of her pets.

Many of the patients she has visited in South Africa barely have the means to pay a taxi to get to a hospital for the free medication the government offers those suffering from AIDS. Visiting the patients has truly grabbed her heart, and the Zululand Hospice staff has noted that the Rochesterians who visit have brought so much more to them than the money (this year's trip included a donation of more than $20,000 and supplies). Hogan notes that it has touched her far more than had she merely written a check. It is why she continues to pay out of her own pocket to make the trip each year.

Hogan wishes she could do much more for those suffering in Africa. In fact, she and other volunteers spend much of the year raising money for the cause. Each trip includes some time spent on a game reserve where team members take pictures that are matted for resale. They also visit markets and purchase fabrics that are turned into placemats and purses, and bring home carvings and beaded jewelry to sell.

Hogan adds that members of the group will speak or go anywhere they are invited in order to raise awareness and funds to support the Zululand Hospice.

Their next sale is 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Rush United Methodist Church, 6200 Rush-Lima Road. The sale will run in the church's community room even through Sunday services. All are welcome to join the church for brunch following the sale for a donation of $1.

If you are interested in donating supplies or money, inviting Hogan or Perkins to speak to your group or even joining them on their annual trips, you can learn more at www.zululandhospice.com or by e-mailing Erma Perkins at ermaperkins@gmail.com.



Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: December, 2010; Peace Corps Liberia; Directory of Liberia RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Liberia RPCVs; Return to our Country of Service - Liberia





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Story Source: ROC Now

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Liberia; Return to Our Country of Service - Liberia

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