Ripples of Influence

This morning, CNN posted a fascinating article about business life in Lagos, one of the fastest growing cities in the world. To better understand business culture in Lagos, CNN asked Lagos business workers to tweet responses to the question, “You know you’re running a business in Lagos when….” Some of the responses included Nigerians telling CNN the importance of electric generators, proper business meeting etiquette, and an ability for creativity and flexibility.

52 years, ago Peace Corps Volunteer Duane Hudson arrived in Nigeria to assist youth in science education. He educated young Nigerians as they prepared for their futures. Many of his students wrote to Hudson, telling him about their hobbies, their favorite subjects, and what they wanted to be when they grew up. Many wanted to give back to Nigeria with the hope of becoming doctors and lawyers. In one letter, responding to why he liked math, a student wrote, “It is this subject I like in school Since I have wished to become an engineer by profession, and this math is one of its main branches, I liked it much. It also helps the doctors, scientists, technologists, and lawyers in their studies. You can earn your living by teaching math. You can study mathematics for a Ph.D.”

From the time of Hudson’s service to today’s article on Lagos business culture, Nigeria has experienced much economic, cultural, and developmental change. Although difficult to quantify the results of Peace Corps service, the qualitative influence of volunteers such as Hudson on developing communities and individuals makes the Peace Corps an evergreen opportunity for fostering positive change throughout the world.