My Years in the Early Peace Corps

My Years in the Early Peace Corps

Ethiopia, 1965-1966

Sonja Krause Goodwin


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The author describes her second year as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching Chemistry in the Gondar Health College in Gondar, Ethiopia, a branch of Haile Selassie I University where she lectured, taught laboratory courses, and mixed solutions for her laboratory courses. The students were not prepared for the classroom and she delves into her efforts to motivate them. The college was also the local hospital and she describes her interactions with many physicians she met working at the hospital — mostly expatriates. She also describes her vacation travels during that time in and around Ethiopia, and also to Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. She visited several game parks and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Goodwin also writes about her interactions fellow college teachers, Peace Corps volunteers, and Ethiopians. She describes several instances of anti-Peace Corps agitation in Ethiopia, especially its effect on the local secondary school.


Sonja Krause Goodwin:

Sonja Krause Goodwin is professor emeritus of chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.