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Taking the Plunge Into Ethiopia

Tales of a Peace Corp Volunteer

134 pages
University of Akron Press
From 1968 until 1970, William Hershey served as the only Peace Corps volunteer in a small Ethiopian town. Hershey taught seventh and eighth grade students the English that they would need to continue their educations and brighten their futures. He became part of the community, eating the local food and doing his best to communicate in Amharic. He also navigated cultural gaffes-having his house stoned by disgruntled students, angered at being assigned to cleaning the outhouses, and nearly sparking international trouble by clashing with a player from a rival school during a heated basketball game. Decades later as a journalist, he used his once-in-a-lifetime Peace Corps experience to reflect on immigration, global goodwill and the hope the United States should share with the rest of the world.
Author Bio
William Hershey spent more than 40 years reporting on Ohio politics and government at the local, state and national levels. He was the Washington correspondent for the Akron Beacon Journal and Columbus Bureau Chief for the Beacon Journal and the Dayton Daily News. He is the author of three other books: Mr. Chairman: The Life and Times of Ray C. Bliss (with John C. Green); Quick & Quotable: Columns from Washington, 1985-1997 and Profiles in Achievement: The Gifts, Quirks and Foibles of Ohio's Best Politicians (with colleagues). He was a major contributor to coverage that won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for the Beacon Journal staff for reporting on Sir James Goldsmith's attempted takeover of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.