July 30th, 2016 by bobebill
Have you signed up for Peace Corps Connect?
Have you signed up for Peace Corps Connect?
Pieces of Our Cores July 2016Salut PCCameroon from the past and present,
I’m Kevin, a current health volunteer in the country’s East Region, and one of the editors for the PCCameroon volunteer generated newsletter, “Pieces of our Corps.” If any of you are interested in taking a look at this month’s issue, Technology & Innovation, feel free to view it attached here. Hope all is well and on est ensemble! (Use the link below)
I’m personally writing to you about a new and exciting documentary about the Peace Corps, called A Towering Task, which is currently in production. Unlike previous documentaries, A Towering Task will focus on the bigger picture of the agency and tie the threads of the Peace Corps’ history, it’s impact on countries served, and why we need to bring peace to the world through the Peace Corps now more than ever.
You may have seen an email from the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), who has partnered with us to help us fundraise. We are planning a joint-crowdfunding campaign to ignite the entire RPCV/PC community of 220,000.
Why I call myself a Peace Corps Child
By Danielle Green on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
Bill Strassberger and Alphonse in his front yard. Njinikom, 1982
Like millions of people around the world, Chia Tasah encountered a Peace Corps Volunteer and it changed his life. Here, in honor of Peace Corps Week, we share his story.
My autobiography is the story of how I came to call myself a Peace Corps child. It begins in Cameroon 1980 when my life became entangled with a Peace Corps Volunteer and continues until I became a U.S. citizen in 2012.
My story begins with me being unable to continue my secondary education because of my family’s financial situation. At age 14, I was lured into Club 185, a popular bar in Nijinikom, to work as a bartender. It was there that I met Alan Lakomski and Danny Hunter who were serving as Cameroon Peace Corps Volunteers at the time. Lakomski occasionally visited the bar and was appalled at me working a bartender instead of attending school. He offered to sponsor my secondary education and allowed destiny to take its course.
When Lokomski and Hunter left, I was fortunate enough to met Bill Strassberger, another Peace Corps Volunteer, who offered to continue the payment of my school fees. Strassberger instilled a self-reliant spirit in me. He encouraged me to work holiday jobs to support my schooling. Eventually, I was able to receive a tuition scholarship that paid the rest of my school fees until I passed the General Certificate of Education Exam.
The confidence I gained propelled me to the University of Buea, Cameroon. It was here that I met my third Peace Corps mentor, Christine Swanson. She advised me to apply to the Human Resource Development Program at the University of Minnesota. I was admitted and Swanson assisted my visa process.
With only $85 in savings, I arrived in the U.S. to attend university. Swanson provided me temporary lodging in her neighbor’s condo but when money began to run low I fled to a friend’s home for fear of homelessness.
Reconnecting with Volunteers
I decided to reach out to my previous Peace Corps benefactors and Swanson was able to provide me with a contact list of returned Peace Corps Volunteers. I was able to reconnect with Lakomski and Strassberger!
Both of them readily accepted and supported me as they had years ago in Cameroon. Strassberger educated me on American culture and Lakomski forestalled the threat of homelessness by providing me with financial support.
I now hold a Master’s Degree of Education in Human Resource Development and am married with two kids. A world of thanks goes to the Peace Corps Volunteers that helped raise me.
Long live the Peace Corps!
Want to know more?
Currently Chia Tasah works at All World Languages and Cultures, Inc., in Kansas City. Check out his new book, “The Life of An African Peace Corps Child”.
Do you think more people should hear stories like this? Here are two things you can do:
Support NPCA’s National Day of Action for a bigger better Peace Corps.
Ignite our community by supporting the production of A Towering Task: A Peace Corps Documentary.
Welcome to Chop Fayner, the new and revised Chop Fayn (we don’t claim to be original). As with the last edition, the profits will go to support the PC Cameroon Gender, Youth, and Cameroon committee’s endeavors. We hope to have included a wide enough range of recipes to suit most PCVs. This time around, we have tried to favor interesting recipes for non-cookers, for PCVs who live in places where there’s almost nothing to buy, and for people without ovens.
If you live in a village where gas is rare and food variety rarer, you can still make tasty stuff by buying the herbs and spices listed here. If you have food and fuel available, you might want to add an interesting cookbook from the States to your Chop Fayn collection. The Silver Palate series is good, as is Mollie Katzen’s. For fat- and cholesterol-conscious people, The New American Diet Cookbook is good, basic, and contains a wide variety of recipes.
We would like to thank all who contributed time and/or ideas to this project. The cover was designed by a student, Ibrahim Ahmadou, in Bertoua. Glen Torbert, thanks for allowing us to use recipes from Clueless Gourmet. Thanks to Stephen Bobenhausen for all of your fancy typing. Jen-O (Mattison), you’re a life-saver for doing all that thorough editing. Comic Dr. Bunker, you are our font man. Thanks so much!
Thanks again for supporting women and youth in Cameroon by buying Chop Fayner. The cookbook is an on-going project, with revisions about every two years. Please let the editors know, through GYC in Yaoundé, if there is anything that you would change or suggest for the next edition.
Andy Kerrigan Karen McClish Hope Neighbor Karen Reed
It is count down to the Pan African Festival popularly known as Panafest. The Month of September is almost over and that cannot happen without this great celebration!!!!
Please join the ACCDF and the Montgomery County’s African Affairs Advisory Group (AAAG) on Saturday September 26, for Panafest 2015 at 1 Veteran Plaza, Silver Spring, MD from 12 noon to 10:00 PM. In keeping with our Theme “We Love African Heritage Unity”, we have a jam packed program this year with performances from over 25 African Countries and Special Guests and Dignitaries from round the globe.
This year, Panafest is honoring our brothers and sisters from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia after the Ebola Crisis. There will be special recognition of Dr. Salia (The Sierra Leonean Doctor who was flown to the U.S. after he contracted the disease and died) and Dr. Khan, the first Doctor who died from Ebola after saving the lives of hundreds of Sierra Leoneans.
We are honored to have the presence of His Excellency Bockari Stevens, the Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the United States. Also present will be representatives from the Guinean and Liberian communities as well as the communities at large.
Among the Performers for this year’s event are presidential Band Dambadjoya all the way from Chad, —– from Ethiopia, Guinean Artist Ramiro Naka from France and the International Acclaimed group Artist with One Voice.
The streets and platform will be loaded with vendors from all over Africa and the Caribbean. Come and experience Africa!!!!! Remember Its September 26, from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM, at 1 Veteran Plaza, Silver Spring, MD.
Have you ever wanted to learn Pidgin English? When I entered Peace Corps in Cameroon, we underwent more than three weeks of introductory Pidgin before we were posted. The manual may have been updated by now, but David Bellama’s team did a great job getting it started. Click the button next to “Have” and download the first six chapters.