October 2, 2002 - San Diego Union Tribune: Local Ivory Coast volunteer from Escondido is safe

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 10 October 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: October 2, 2002 - San Diego Union Tribune: Local Ivory Coast volunteer from Escondido is safe

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Local Ivory Coast volunteer from Escondido is safe

Read and comment on this story from the San Diego Union Tribune on Amanda Pincock who escaped the violence of a bloody military uprising in Ivory Coast, traveled for two days and is now staying at an upscale hotel with other Peace Corps volunteers in Accra, Ghana at:

Local Ivory Coast volunteer safe*

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Local Ivory Coast volunteer safe

Escondido woman with Peace Corps

By Daniel J. Chacón

October 2, 2002

ESCONDIDO From more than 7,500 miles away, Amanda Pincock telephoned and uttered the words her parents had prayed for three days to hear.

She was alive and safe.

Pincock, 26, a Peace Corps volunteer and Orange Glen High School graduate, had escaped the violence of a bloody military uprising in Ivory Coast.

"She's frustrated because she had to leave everything behind, and she's fearful she won't be able to go back and say goodbye to everyone," her mother, Bonnie, said yesterday.

Amanda Pincock joined the Peace Corps about a year ago and had been teaching English in the Ivory Coast village of Dasso, about 375 miles northwest of the capital of Abidjan.

"She had just left, as far as she knew, for a couple of days," her mother said. "She didn't really realize that she was leaving. She didn't get her things. She didn't say goodbye. Nothing. She just had a backpack on."

Yesterday, France deployed additional soldiers to the former French colony, reinforcing U.S. special forces, the Foreign Legion and others trying to avert full-scale war between loyalist and rebel forces. At least 270 people died in the first days of fighting after a failed coup attempt Sept. 19. The uprising, Ivory Coast's deadliest, follows years of instability and increasing religious, regional and ethnic tensions.

Bonnie Pincock said her daughter traveled for two days and is now staying at an upscale hotel with other Peace Corps volunteers in Accra, Ghana. She called home from there Monday.

"It doesn't really seem like it's real, so it's hard for us to get our hands around it, to really realize it's the real thing," she said.

"We don't have anything to compare it to. It's eye-opening as to what the rest of the world looks like. It's made us all of us appreciate the blessings that we have here as Americans."

Before Amanda Pincock called her parents to let them know she was fleeing to Ghana, her mother described the situation as "pretty horrifying."

"Once we heard her voice, that made it much, much better," she said. "We're pretty religious, so we had our faith, which we relied on quite a bit."

Pincock said her daughter is hopeful that she can return to the village she left behind. Despite the turmoil, she said, that decision is one she and her husband, Norman, support.

"We've just said that we want her to be able to complete what she started because it's important to her. But of course we want her to be safe," she said. "We don't think the Peace Corps will let them go back if it's not safe."

Daniel Chacon: (760) 752-6731; daniel.chacon@uniontrib.com

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