The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Student from Ghana visits Morenci 10.8

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

In America, we hear stories from the older generation about how they trudged long distances through the snow to reach school every morning.

Peter York’s story has some similarities, and maybe some day he’ll be the older generation who tells tales of hardship to his children and grandchildren.

As of today, his stories are still the daily reality in his native country of Ghana.

Peter, who was named Papa Arhin in his native village, is now a student at Siena Heights University and he spoke Monday to three classes at Morenci Area High School.peter.york.jpg

As a youngster growing up in rural Ghana, Peter arose in the dark and got busy with a variety of chores such as fetching water. Then he joined other children in the long walk to school—about 14 kilometers or 8.6 miles.

“We were gone all day,” he said. “We only saw our parents early in the morning and again in the evening.”

The kids walked together, often passing through the forest and spotting scorpions and snakes. They sang songs to keep their attention focused on the long walk and to make the time pass faster.

“When you go in a group,” Peter said, “you don’t feel the pain of walking.”

They chewed sugar cane during their walk and that was often their only food for the morning.

The concept of leisure time didn’t exist for children in the village. It’s a luxury that millions of people around the world don’t understand.

Peter’s life changed when he was eight years old. An uncle took him to the city to attend school.

“When I went to the city, I started over,” he said. “About 10 years ago I began to discover who I was.”

He developed hobbies and interests and had the opportunity to dream about a future for himself.

His initial trip to the city of Accra was astounding.

“I never knew you could see so many lights, that there could be so many big houses and so many people,” Peter said. “It was a very strange place for me, but that’s where I was able to develop myself.”

He hopes to dispel notions of Africa as a slave nation, always at war.

“Africa is a good place to be,” Peter said, while acknowledging the problems of the continent.

Helping people realize their dreams and lifting them out of poverty could bring an end to the fighting that goes on in many areas, he said.

Peter describes Ghana as a beautiful country and Africa’s first constitutional democracy, a status achieved in 1957.

The country’s flag—red for the blood of it struggle for freedom, yellow for the rich minerals including gold, and green for the leading industry of agriculture—is highlighted by a black star.

“This not only depicts our black heritage, but it’s a star for all of Africa,” Peter said. “We were the first to gain independence and the star gave hope to the remainder of Africa.”

The nation remains very poor. When Peter was asked about medical facilities, he told students that clinics are scattered here and there. From his village, you often need to carry a person on your back to walk to a clinic and sometimes they die along the way.

Peter showed two objects from home and explained their significance to the students. He also spoke about his clothing and showed a robe worn at his high school.

His time in America will be used to enhance his skills, knowledge and experience, and to take a good look at how the country functions.

“I want to learn about what makes your country so rich, what makes it one people.”

All the while, his home will remain close to his heart.

“I don’t life in Africa,” Peter says, “but Africa lives in me.”

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