A Ghana Adventure: Monica Arman of Central Point is a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana

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By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 12:54 pm: Edit Post

A Ghana Adventure: Monica Arman of Central Point is a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana

A Ghana Adventure: Monica Arman of Central Point is a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana

Monica Arman of Central Point is a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, where she lives in a village of about 1,000 near the Akosombo Dam on Lake Volta. Arman chatted with President Clinton on Monday.

A Ghana adventure

A presidential visit's even part of post


Since arriving in Africa last fall, Central Point resident Monica Arman has helped manage a forest nursery and taught locals English and the fine art of riding a bicycle.

And chatted with the president of the United States.

"Yeah, I had to go overseas to meet my president," said Arman, 31, a Peace Corps volunteer who lives in a rustic village in Ghana without electricity.

Arman was one of 30 Peace Corps volunteers who met with President Clinton on Monday in Accra, a coastal city and Ghana's capital. It was to Ghana that President John F. Kennedy sent the first Peace Corps volunteers in 1961.

"I shook Clinton's hand, and he put his arm around me," Arman said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. "It's very hot here now, thick and humid. But he was real light and funny. He was cracking jokes. He took a picture with all of us. It was nice."

Ghana was the first stop on Clinton's six-nation tour of Africa, the most extensive ever by a sitting American president. He will also visit Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana and Senegal to applaud gains in democracy and open the door to trade.

While meeting the Peace Corps volunteers, Clinton was accompanied by his wife, Hillary, Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings and American civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

Arman, a photojournalist who once worked as a free-lance photographer for the Mail Tribune, lives in Amedeka, a village of about 1,000 near the Akosombo Dam on Lake Volta about 100 miles north of Accra. She has a bachelor's degree in photojournalism from California State University at Long Beach with a minor in psychology.

She arrived in West Africa for a two-year tour early last fall, but wasn't assigned to the village until December. She is the only Peace Corps volunteer in the village. She uses a bicycle to travel.

"I don't have electricity, but I do have running water," she said. "I consider myself lucky. I live in a cement house. Most people live in mud huts."

In addition to helping a crew of six make the nursery economically successful, she has been taking photographs for the Peace Corps.

"I got to know people in the village before throwing a camera in their faces," she said.

Her photographs of Peace Corps projects were displayed during the presidential visit.

"He came to see what we do, and talked to volunteers individually," she said.

The personal problems hounding the president weren't apparent, she observed.

"He and Hillary seemed very cheerful to me," she said. "So did Jessie Jackson. They all seemed to be interested in what we are doing here."

Clinton was also cheered by crowds in the capital, she said. Accra's streets were festooned with welcoming banners reading, "Akwaaba, Bill Clinton."

"Everybody loves Clinton here," she said. "All the Ghanaians do. I'm not sure why, but they just love America."

Arman is the daughter of Central Point resident Joan Arman, a nurse at Providence Medford Medical Center.

"She's enjoying every moment of it," her mother said. "I miss her a lot, but she's doing what she wants to do."

Her daughter agreed.

"Joining the Peace Corps was a dream I've had for a very long time," she said. "If I could help somebody, I wanted to be able to do that.

"What I'm realizing is that it's done here on a small scale," she added. "You do things like teach someone to ride a bike, or people how to run a nursery or speak English. They are small things that help them become self sufficient."

Meanwhile, after the excitement of the presidential visit, she was eager to get back to the quiet village.

"I'm dying to get back there now," she said. "It's so nice to sit around at night. Everyone gathers and shares their meals. People don't have much, but they share what they have."

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Story Source: Mail Tribune

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ghana; PCVs in the Field - Ghana



By melissa arman (cache-ntc-aa03.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - 10:00 pm: Edit Post

hello my name is melissa arman and I am looking to see if we are related MY dad left me when I was young HE was married to Joan arman at the time. I know I have like 6 kids brothers and sisters. I have tried everything possible to locate him. So if this is true plese contact me.If not sorry to bother you wrire back plese, Oh by the way what your doing great keep up

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