Peace Corps Cameroon Director’s notes

October 26th, 2006 by bobebill

Peace Corps/Cameroon Director Robert Strauss recently agreed to share the notes he emails out monthly to the PCVs in Cameroon. This first one is full of information about staff transitions as well as information that might give you an idea of what PCVs are doing these days in Cameron.

Director’s Monthly Mailing –
November 2006
To: All Volunteers/Staff/Trainees

Transitions – George Yebit

Saturday, October 21, was a very sad and tearful day. The Presbyterian Church of Bali, NWP, was overflowing as hundreds of people came to pay their final respects to George Yebit. As much as Cameroonians are inclined not to show emotion in public, many eyes were damp with grief!

We have received dozens of phones calls, cards and emails of sympathy. These will be assembled into a memorial book that will be on display at the reception desk in Yaounde. A collection for George’s widow and children continues to be gathered. Contributions can be given to Nancy Mbong. The funds will be given to George’s family at an appropriate time in the next few months.

For the time being, George’s technical responsibilities as APCD will be covered by technical trainer Clement Njiti. Dr. Njiti can be reached at 755 -3531 or cfnjiti@yahoo.co.uk Dr. Njiti will do his best to respond to technical questions as soon as he can, but please realize that he is also in the middle of PST. Non-technical questions (vacation, policy, CoS, etc.) can be referred to Dr. Sammy or to Genevieve.

In early November, Ga! by Kwen thieu and I will begin the process of going through George’s office, emails, voice mails, etc. Therefore, it may be a while until non-critical communications sent to George are handled.

Also in November, we will begin recruitment for a new APCD-Agroforestry. Although no one will be able to or be expected to replace George, I am confident that we will have several outstanding candidates to choose from.

Transitions – Chief Dr. Sammy Enyong

After very nearly 20 years with Peace Corps/Cameroon, APCD Chief Dr. Sammy Enyong will be retiring in January 2007. Having joined Peace Corps in 1987, Dr. Sammy is one of Peace Corps’ true “old timers.” Over these two decades, he has managed more than 400 volunteers, wor! ked wit h nine country directors, been instrumental during many transitions at Peace Corps, served as President of the Local Employees Association at the Embassy as well as President of the American Embassy Credit Union. Dr. Sammy has also been Peace Corps/Cameroon’s institutional memory. We hope that even in retirement we will see him regularly and be able to call on his extensive knowledge of Peace Corps, Cameroon, and Cameroon’s educational system.

Pending the approval of Chief Dr. S, we expect to have a major send-off for him in mid-January. In the meantime, he will be finalizing the education project plan up-date for headquarters and turning over his education responsibilities to Gaby.

Transitions – Gaby Kwenthieu

After more than two and a half years as APCD-Generalist, Gaby will become APCD-Education upon Dr. S’s retirement. A! ll seco nd year education PCVs should begin copying Gaby on all correspondence so that he and Dr. Sammy can have a smooth transition of responsibilities.

Transitions – APCD Kim Ahanda

Kim left for the USA on October 21. She plans to be back, en famille, in Jan-Feb.

Transitions – Robert Strauss

My five years as Country Director will conclude February 27, 2007. As this date approaches, time continues to accelerate. Over the next four months, I will spend a good deal of my time wrapping up activities and preparing for a smooth transition to the next country director. I also plan to spend a significant amount of time in the field visiting volunteers.

Peace Corps Policy

I’d like to again remind all PCV/Ts that Peace Corps and Peace Corps/Cameroon take our policies very seriously. Once again, I request that everyone adhere to policy and not place staff in the position where action must be taken.

Living Allowance – TWO MONTHS ONLY

Because Congress has not yet passed a budget for fiscal year 2007, which began in October, PCVs’ next living allowance will cover only two months – December and January. Hopefully, Congress will soon pass a budget and we will be able to regularize the living allowance schedule on a quarterly basis.

Post Books

I’d like to remind PCVs CoSing in the next few months that nothing is more important to sustaining the work you have done than leaving a comprehensive post-book behind. If you have ever complained about Peace Corps reinventing the wheel (over and over and over again), please realize that a well-written post-book, handed down from volunteer to volunteer, can help everyone gain tract! ion. >

So, in the immortal works of one about-to-CoS agro-PCV, “Write your %!$@#&*%$# post-book” and get your successor off to a flying start.

Acting Country Director

I will be on annual leave October 30-November 3. James Beighle will be Acting CD.

Thanksgiving

As in previous years, PCVs will be able to travel within province to celebrate Thanksgiving with fellow PCVs. We ask that you explain this and clear it with your supervisor at work. If you want to travel out of province, clear it with your APCD. If you are going more than one province away, you’ll need to take annual leave.
Regards to all.