A Pound of Flesh or Sixty…

Weight and the Peace Corps … where do I begin? I retired, from Duke University Libraries, at sixty years old. I was a hefty 225/30 pounds. Note, my 2017 Peace Corps Armenia swearing-in ceremony photo, directly below. By my Close of Service, two years later, I was 185 pounds.

My first service, in Peace Corps, was different. I was thirty years old and 126 pounds. That was the most I had ever weighed. I graduated high school at 83 pounds. It took me seven months to come close to gaining what I needed to enlist in the Air Force. They gave me a two pound waiver and took me at 95 pounds. I was a sergeant, before I hit 100 pounds.

I left the military, in 1980, used my G.I. Bill for undergrad and grad school (completing the former in three and the course work for the latter in one). Then, July 13, 1985, I watched Live Aid. The concert was held in both the UK and USA, to raise relief funds for the ongoing famine in Ethiopia.

The following Monday, I walked from my summer job, on G and 15th, in Washington DC, to the Peace Corps office, and applied. October 1986, I arrived in Kenya. By the end of April, my weight settled at 100 pounds. The PC nurse said she would terminate my service, if I went under 100 pounds. I was “forced” to travel, from my site to Nairobi, (darn) and weigh in, every month. I would arrive in Nairobi, have a nice lunch, and then go weigh in. I’d hit the perfect 100.

Today, I’m a Peace Corps volunteer, in Ethiopia. I dropped twenty pounds, during my pre-service training. The cardiologist, in Addis Ababa, that Peace Corps sent me to see, wants me to lose thirty pounds, by December. That will put me, at sixty three years old, close to my weight, when I began Peace Corps Kenya, in 1986.

I’ll just sit here, in my house, and enjoy this glass of water. I have two more months, until goal. I’ll let you know, if I make it! –GGT