That is Sierra Leonean Krio for 'Hello,
What are Cotton Tree Tales? They
are stories I am writing based on Sierra Leonean proverbs,
colorful truisms with animals as characters.
My Cotton Tree Tales are born of
twenty years' living in Sierra Leone--and an enduring love of its
people, its culture, its languages, and its geography. First as a
Peace Corps Volunteer and later employed as a local contract teacher, I
served as an English teacher in secondary schools in all four
provinces of the country. I married a Sierra Leonean in 1971 and planned
to stay in Sierra Leone for the rest of my life.
However, I returned to the States
with my two middle-school aged sons in 1987. But I knew that Sierra Leone
would always remain with me. In the twelve years that followed, I
shared with my Texas secondary school students my stories, my
adventures, my desire for cultural understanding, my love affair with
Along the way I acquired a passion
for the poetry and the patois of the Caribbean...and I introduced
my students to wonderful writers who are not part of the mainstream
Today, I am no longer in the classroom,
though I will always be a teacher. I share my passions by
giving presentations on my experiences in Africa and the wonderful,
vibrant, literature of the Caribbean, reflected in its music, its
rhythms, its poetry, and its prose. My Cotton Tree Tales performances
are determined by the type of audiences I have---children of all ages,
adults, and teachers at every level. I live in the Dallas area but I
travel widely---and often!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Freetown Cotton Tree
Can you find Sierra Leone?
Here I am with Kabala students in 1967
At Kabala Secondary School with fellow volunteers; we were wearing