I ate fried Mopane (Mopani) worms for the first time here in South Africa. Well, they are not actually worms, they’re caterpillars. So, I guess you can say that I’m officially an insectivore now. Mopani worms are a local delicacy especially for the Shangaan people. Sometimes they are fried and other times they are boiled. People eat them here like potato chips or popcorn. Eventually, if these creatures are allowed to grow, they will become a beautiful Emperor moth.
On March 1, 1961, President Kennedy signed the executive order establishing the Peace Corps. On September 22, 1961, Congress approved the legislation that formally authorized the Peace Corps. Goals of the Peace Corps included: 1) helping the people of interested countries and areas meet their needs for trained workers; 2) helping promote a better understanding of Americans in countries where volunteers served; and 3) helping promote a better understanding of peoples of other nations on the part of Americans.
The concept of volunteers serving abroad on grass-roots foreign aid projects originated in Congress in the 1950s. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order. President Kennedy then sent this letter to Senate President (Vice President of the U.S.) Lyndon B. Johnson describing the successes of the Peace Corps program he had established. Kennedy included a draft bill authorizing the Peace Corps with his letter. Kennedy’s draft bill was identical to the bill Senator Hubert H. Humphrey introduced on June 1, 1961. President Kennedy signed S. 2000 into law on September 22, 1961. The Peace Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011.
Letter from President Kennedy to Lyndon Johnson, 5/29/1961, Records of the U.S. Senate
S. 2000, Peace Corps bill, 6/1/1961, Records of the U.S. Senate
This picture may not mean a lot to you, but it means a heck of a lot to me.
My hands down biggest project that I did in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer was to organize and run a week-long leadership camp for about 30 girls from over 5 communities. It was a hell of a lot of work and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my fellow volunteers and the community that we held the event in.
One of the many activities the girls took part in during the week was the planting of vetiver grass. The guesthouse that we stayed in was situated on top of an incline and most of the top soil had been repeatedly washed away leaving the actual stability of the structure somewhat in danger. I have tons of photos that I took of the area before we set the girls to work that week, planting vetiver grass- one of the strongest and most successful grasses to help with soil erosion and slope protection.
We planted that grass last summer. The second GLOW camp (based off my camp) is happening this week and my friend sent me this picture to show how the grass has grown and is continuing to grow and support this building. In this whole scenario, the word “sustainability” actually means something.
Ibrahim was a resident at the Orphanage for Boys Handicapped with Polio located adjacent to the Koutubia Mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco. I worked at the orphanage and facilitated the adoption of a puppy to help enhance the quality of life for the boys and staff. The new addition was a huge success.
Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Dorothy Andrake - Morocco, 1974