Out of Africa

Agnes Essien left Nigeria three decades ago, earned a Ph.D., and ended up minding a market

Agnes picks up a pencil as she starts to describe her plan to build a hospital in Nigeria where children of all walks of life will be able to get treatment. She hopes to make it a teaching facility where doctors from around the world can practice. "I will build it on my father's land," Agnes says, while scratching out diagrams of her plans on a sheet of fax paper. For the moment she is once again a schoolteacher, sharing her knowledge with whomever wants it. Then, when she finishes the drawing and puts down the pen, she decides it's time for the scholar to revert to janitor. She can't wait until the morning to clean, so she prepares the bucket and mop. She won't run the store forever, but for now Agnes wants it to be spotless.

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