Author Archives: GaryC

About GaryC

I'm a retired mental health worker, a returned Peace Corps volunteer (South Africa, 2012-2013), and a writer. I live in Eugene, Oregon with the world's best dog, Carly. My card describes me also as "Jack-of-few-Trades, Master of Some", non-profit supporter, friend, grandpa and world traveler.

The book is done and a release party is planned

For those who are Facebook friends with me or whom I see in person, or communicate with via email, there probably won’t be anything new here. This is mostly for those who follow my wandering via this blog. The book … Continue reading

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Parkinson’s Update, a New Life Back in Eugene, and Writing a Book

It’s been several months since I posted a blog entry, so I think it’s time for an update. For those who might have missed it, I am home from Peace Corps service in South Africa, a year earlier than planned, … Continue reading

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Gary acquires diagnosis that gets him sent home from Peace Corps

If you’re someone I communicate with regularly via email, or we’re Facebook friends, then you probably already know what I’m about to divulge here. But if you’re one of those who have been following my Peace Corps adventure in South … Continue reading

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Zulu food varied, delicious; differs in various parts of South Africa

I’ve been promising for months to write about food, but it’s such a huge topic I haven’t known where to start. Perhaps I’ll start with the Zulu word for tomorrow: kusasa. This is one of the first Zulu words I … Continue reading

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Domestic violence a big problem in South African culture

Today I observed first-hand a South African issue that is acknowledged, but rarely talked about in my experience: domestic violence. It’s Wednesday, late morning, the day our elders’ group, mostly older women – “gogos” or grandmothers – meets at Masiphile. … Continue reading

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In Honor of Rudy, the best Boston Terrier ever

AUTHOR’S NOTE: When I was married many years ago, my wife, Jan, and I had a dog, Rudy, a Boston Terrier, who was the light of our lives. We got him in about 2001 or 2002, so when he died … Continue reading

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Cultural Experiences May Seem Odd, but Remember that to Black South Africans, Some American Culture is as Well

I had a rather interesting cultural experience about three weeks ago. It demonstrated the significant differences at times between the old, traditional Zulu South Africa and the modern, ever-changing one. At the primary school next door to Masiphile, four or … Continue reading

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When does two equal three? Taxi culture, practices can take your breath away, but get you where you need to go

Not much will slow down a rural So. African taxi driver, but a speed bump will, most of the time. I speculate that most drivers don’t own the vehicles they drive – a fleet of taxis is probably owned by … Continue reading

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Making a Difference with Life Skills, Perma-gardening, and GrassrootSoccer

Have just returned from a week of training in Empangeni, a city near the Indian Ocean in the north of KwaZulu-Natal. Most PCVs were accompanied by a counterpart, or two, from the organizations they work for. This is in line … Continue reading

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Enjoying Pretoria for Independence Day, and speechifying in rural villages

My mother, Shirley, sent me a note recently (and a card and a nice gift) for my July 12 birthday and in it she said: “I know what you do for entertainment, but what do you do for work?” So, … Continue reading

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