I grew up in Bakersfield, California and received a BA in French from Stanford
University. As a college student I took my first plane flight to study in France where I
became entranced with the French language and travel in general. My second plane
flight, just after graduating, was to Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer where I worked
for two years as a French teacher in a rural, boarding high school.
My years in Ghana were transformative. I worked hard to understand the Akan
culture of my students while also learning how to teach. I was the first and, at the time,
only female member of the school’s faculty and was placed in charge of the girls’
dormitory. I was fortunate to have exemplary students and colleagues who taught me
and helped me succeed. After enjoying extensive travel in Africa, I returned to the US,
committed to introducing Americans to African history. At a deeper level, I want
Americans to see the common humanity that we share with people of other cultures.
Returning from Ghana, I studied history, with a specialty in African history, at
UCLA where I received an MA. Since that time I have had several jobs in education,
most recently teaching French and remedial reading in elementary schools in Eugene.
My husband and I raised two children in Eugene and are now enjoying two grandsons.
Our family has traveled extensively including living in Switzerland for three years.
French has been a useful language for us all.
I’ve stayed in touch with several friends in Ghana. My husband and I have visited
Ghana three times in the last 15 years. I’m very proud of my Ghanaian students’
ongoing efforts to gain an education and to encourage the same of their children. Their
work has inspired me.
As a teacher I always included African studies in my curriculum. Now retired, I’m
writing a novel of historical fiction for middle grades, We Are Akan, that describes the
Akan culture of the early 1800s when its kingdom was the most powerful in subsaharan
Africa. The story is told through three boys, ages 12 and 13, of different social strata
who are learning what it means to be Akan. Themes include family organization, the
education of children and adults in a preliterate society, structure of local government,
travel and trade within the kingdom, domestic slavery, and Akan participation in the
Atlantic slave trade as major suppliers of prisoners.
I’m pleased to have an excerpt from We Are Akan included in the Groundwaters
Groundwaters Publishing, LLC
"Bubbling up in our own good time-- online."
Website address: none
Index of Groundwaters contributions:
Groundwaters 2017: An Anthology: "Adae Ceremony; We Are Akan” (Fiction/Special
Places) - page 27