Peace Corps Proverbs

Like every continent, Africa has its share of proverbs. These fun little sayings can impart important moral lessons. Plus, they are awesome. Here’s an example of a Ghanaian one:

Anoma antu a Ɔbua da.
If a bird does not fly, it starves.
Meaning nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I decided to come up with some of my own proverbs based on my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa. Can you guess the meaning of some of them?


You find patience and grace in a tro, they are sitting right beside you.

A cockroach in the latrine is a sign of a healthy diet.

If you throw the paper down the hole, you will never see it again. If you throw the paper in a bucket, you will have to see it many times. If you use your hand, you only see it once.

A run in the rain beats running in place.

Don’t ignore the roaring lion, he can run faster than you.

It only takes one drop in a bucket to bathe.

If you stand in the bucket, your water will become dirty.

A burnt finger is a sign of a good meal.

Fufu is in the eye of the pounder.

You can’t starve if you have good neighbors.

A fat cow produces better milk.

If you travel all day down a bush path you can look at yourself and think either “I’m dirty” or “I’m tan!”

A stich in time saves nine, but nine tailors can’t stich in time.

The cock that crows the loudest tastes the best.

The grass is always greener during the rainy season.

The bite of a mosquito only itches if you scratch it.

A good hoe should be between your legs.

Don’t put all your eggs in one Bolga basket, they won’t survive the taxi ride.

One yard of fabric can cover your head, but two yards of fabric can cover your ass.


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