Making a Difference

My daily routine is to get up, cook breakfast, go to school, then come home and lesson plan for the next day,” says Marc Flaherty ’19. Marc is currently teaching English to high school students in Ethiopia, and living in a region called Illubabor, which is in the southwest part of the country.

As a student at Colby-Sawyer, Marc was a history and political science major and a hopeful history teacher. While here, he completed an internship that gave him the opportunity to student teach at Proctor Academy in Andover. This is where Marc’s love was deepened for enriching the minds of the younger generations. In his final year at Colby-Sawyer, he knew that graduate school was not in his immediate future, but saw an opportunity teaching with the Peace Corps. Being an opportunist, he absorbed this contingency with open arms.

Marc explains, “Ethiopia is truly a beautiful country that has so much potential to become an example of what this region can be.” He said that the people have been very welcoming, and he has been actively learning a local language called “Afaan Oromo.” Although he has sporadic electricity and no running water, he was excited to share that he does have 3G cell service… most of the time. When cooking food, Marc uses an electric hot plate when there is electricity, and if not, he uses charcoal, which is very different from his days of cooking ramen in his dorm room.

Regardless of the lack of first-world technologies, Marc is loving the vivid knowledge that he is gaining through the experiential learning outside of the typical graduate school programs. His openness to experiences and willingness to explore opportunities has proven adequate in gaining the most out of this two-year excursion and it will be exciting to see what he does in his future. He says, “This is definitely the developing world, but it is most certainly developing in a positive direction. Hopefully, I’ll be able to contribute to that positive development in my two years of service here.”

Interested in following Marc’s journey? Find his blog at

by Cheyann Ellis ’20