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Storytime with Lois, Ethiopia Peace Corps Veteran

Greetings, book lovers! We have a guest blogger today with a great life story full of experiences. Lois Shoemaker has fund-raised for Ethiopia Reads to support the Awassa Reading Center: a rare public library that's full of eager, young readers in southern Ethiopia.

Lois recently went to Washington, DC for the Returned Peace Corps Gathering. She's in the image below during the Sunday walk featuring Country of Service flags. She served in Ethiopia as a teacher from 1962-64. 


"Oh, just hang up!  It’s probably one of my senior students calling to tease us.”  It was, in fact, Harris Wofford, calling from the White House. He was one of President Kennedy’s special assistants working with Sargent Shirver to “make the Peace Corps happen”.  Time:  June, 1962.

My fiance’ and I had heard JFK’s quote just a few weeks before on the car radio: “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.  Life was forever changed from that day forward. 

We said “Yes!” to that call, trained for eight weeks at Georgetown University and were then sent to Asmara for our two-year teaching assignment.  Amazing vistas... and a whole new life began. One of my favorite “spots” during those two years was the Itegue Menen Hospital Orphanage, where I did some extra volunteering. Yes, the very one mentioned in the recent best seller,  “Cutting for Stone”.  It was located near where we lived and also close to our assigned school, Haile Selassie First Secondary School. 

Life was changing indeed, and to this day, I still feel and enjoy many connections made so many years ago.  Ethiopia Reads is a wonderful addition to my Ethiopia connections! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


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