UCLA Affiliation: N/A
Country of Service: Kenya
I was a member of an agricutural group serving as agricultural extension agents to large scele (400– 2000 acres) farms. Our job was assiting new African farmers learn commercial farming skills.
I have often said that I still consider Peace Corps the best thing I have done. It made me a citizen of the world,and it also made me a better American.
It made me a citizen of the world because I encountered so much diversity in Kenya, a county of many nationalities (tribes) who were seeking to find a new collective, unifying identiy as Kenyans while being true to their tribal roots. It was also a place where Africa, Asis and Europe met in a post colonial arena. I met and saw the common humanity in all of them. Kenya taught me that.
It also made me a better American because I, a black American, became comfortable with my African heritage which made me more comfortable in my own skin and hence someone able to see my own country through a more complex and less symetrical lens.
I made life long friendships, gained a wealth of first hand knowledge about everything from how coffee is grown to why the Serengeti Plain is so important.
I learned much about myself that made me a better person. It was a time of great learning that serves me well today.
I will be happy work in a volunteer capacity. I am a post retirement attorney in LA.