Me with the son of one of the women who lived in my compound.

Me with some of the people from the school.

My wife Juliana and I when we were married in June.

Name: Darren Strickland
U-M Affiliation: Staff

Where do you work?

I worked at the Towsley Center in the Medical School.

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

Sept. 2007 - Nov. 2009

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Ghana

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

I was responsible for developing sustainable Agroforestry/Agricultural programs at a vocational school. They were intended to not only help the school, but also the 2 nearby villages of Praaso and Dwease. I implemented a variety of programs consisting of a Moringa Tree plantation, about 2 acres of Maize, and livestock programs consisting of the rearing of goats, ducks, rabbits, and the implementation of a snail farm. I was also presented a variety of HIV/AIDS presentations to students and community members.

Is there a specific person (or persons) who made a strong impression on you during that time?

Moses Anumley, he was my counterpart. One of the most hard working and dedicated people I know.

What was one of the most memorable moments you had as a volunteer?

I was married in Ghana on June 20, 2009 to a Ghanian woman I met during my stay.

In what ways did your Peace Corps experience affect your life and/or career decisions?

It makes me much more thankful for what I have.

In what ways did your U-M education, both inside and outside the classroom, prepare you for your Peace Corps experience?

I'm not sure anything could truly prepare me for the Peace Corps. It's one thing to to talk to people, read books, and watch programs on the Discovery Channel about Ghana, but its a completely different thing to be there. When you're standing there and it's all around you, that's when your true learning experience begins.

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating going into the Peace Corps?

You'll never know if it's in you until you try. Your experience is largely going to depend on you. Go with the flow but be firm when you have to. Have patience, and at times look the other way, you'll be fine.

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

You're going to find out what you're made of.

What lessons did you learn in the Peace Corps that you carry with you today?

Things could be a whole hell of a lot worse.

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