Never the Same Again: Life, Service, and Friendship in Liberia is sponsored by Friends of Liberia (FOL) in celebration of Peace Corps 60th Anniversary in Liberia. All proceeds from this book will benefit education, social, health, economical and humanitarian programs in Liberia.
Along with Susan E. Greisen, Susan Corbett and Karen E. Lange (also former Peace Corps volunteers from Liberia) co-edited this powerful anthology.
About this Book
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural statement inspired Americans to serve their country for the cause of peace by living and working in the developing world.
His vision created the Peace Corps in 1961, and the first volunteers arrived in Liberia in 1962. Sixty years later, in 2022, we celebrate this anniversary with our anthology, Never the Same Again: Life, Service, and Friendship in Liberia.
Storytelling has a long tradition throughout Africa. Elders have used stories to share their wisdom and knowledge through the generations, passing along their history, traditions, and lessons. Our anthology continues this tradition through stories about relationships that provide a cross-cultural awareness we can learn from and share with others. We offer a window into everyday village life: work in the classroom or the clinic; living among the people; relationships that were formed and lost; and the trials and tribulations of civil unrest and epidemics.
About the Authors
Our authors belong to Friends of Liberia (FOL), a nonprofit organization. We are former Peace Corps volunteers, Liberians, missionaries, medical relief workers, and contractors.
Our service to Liberia mattered. Our footsteps left footprints – a human connection that has endured through a lifetime of service. This connection continues through FOL’s mission to support Liberia by funding educational, social, economic, and humanitarian programs. Visit FOL.org.
Now, more than ever, is the time to share our stories. Countries, communities, and even families are divided over our varying beliefs and values, whether it be religion, race, politics, pandemics, or climate change. How can we better understand and accept one another within these divisions? Many of the personal accounts in this anthology describe a culture that is unfamiliar to those who have not lived in Liberia. Our book provides a glimpse into the Liberian way of life, showing first hand, how living among its people fosters understanding and acceptance. The many people of Liberia who have survived the hardships of poverty, high morbidity and mortality, civil wars, and Ebola have something vitally important to show us about determination, resilience, survival, and hope. The relationships we developed with the people of Liberia instilled valuable lessons…ones that changed us forever.
How to Use this Book
This collection of stories and poems is rich with takeaways to inform and inspire you about the power of human connection. You will learn more about the vital importance of being a global citizen and how you can help through FOL. We also encourage you to use this book as teaching tools in your schools, faith-based communities, nonprofit or government agencies, publications, and social media. In the appendix you will find resources that help place these stories into context. You will also find information on a Speaker’s Match Program where former Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Liberia are available to share their experiences with you and your audience.
Sit back and join us on our vivid journey back in time to a place and her people loved by so many – the fascinating country of Liberia.
Susan E. Greisen
FOL Anthology Chief Editor
How did we begin?
The global COVID pandemic could be called a curse or a blessing regarding our anthology. All of us were home bound, to some degree, with no place to go. This provided an opportune time to sit, write, and conjure up plans. And that we did. Read below and how the pandemic may have helped us.
What did it take to make this book?
This anthology project was no small feat. Here are just some of the details surrounding this publication in under two years.
|Over 100 people were involved in the anthology||We conducted five 2-part virtual Writing Workshops plus 3 other training Workshops|
|One University Intern (Dontae McFadden for 3 months)||Six different committee and subcommittees were formed|
|99 stories/poems submitted – 63 selected||Stories depicted are from 1959-2021 (62 years)|
|50 Authors in the anthology||Age range of authors – 27 to 96 years old|
|Authors are from 23 states||Plus three foreign countries (UK, Canada and Liberia)|
|Over 70% of are first-time published authors||Work was conducted over seven time zones via Zoom, email, text, WhatsAp, Face Time, and phone.|
YouTube Video of event
Washington DC Book Launch at Busboys and Poets on 7/24/22
Click HERE for the blog regarding this launch.
Book Reviews and Comments about the book.
More coming here…