October 30, 2003 - Dayton Daily News: Gabon article By Gabon RPCV Dan A

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: October 26, 2003: Dayton Daily News reports on Peace Corps Safety and Security: What RPCVs say about this Series on other Message Boards: October 30, 2003 - Dayton Daily News: Gabon article By Gabon RPCV Dan A

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-165-54.balt.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 5:08 pm: Edit Post

Gabon article By Gabon RPCV Dan A

Gabon article By Gabon RPCV Dan A

Gabon article By Dan A

Mei-Ling Hopgood interviewed me for today's piece on Gabon, and she was a complete professional. I cannot speak for the pieces on other countries' security issues, but I do think the article on Karen Phillips's murder was accurate and fair. And I am also a professional journalist. //

It is true that a reporter cannot always get a feeling for a place in a short time. While in Gabon, we wouldn't have expected a visitor from the U.S. to immediately understand why villagers walk down the road carrying machetes, for example; in the U.S. two-foot-long blades would seem terrifying. Our visitors wouldn't know that the machetes are simply for cutting vegetation in the forest and harvesting crops. Similarly, a reporter might have a hard time understanding that without the benefit of years spent in-country. //

This series will cause people, I hope, to discuss safety and security more openly (something I personally feel had been lacking prior to Karen's murder)--addressing both what some PC posts need to improve (site selection, information disclosure, record keeping) and what individual volunteers need to know and do (integrating in the community, behaving safely) to improve their chances of remaining safe. But above all, I hope this series will elicit some follow-through on the outstanding investigations, especially on Karen's. //

I treasure my PC experiences; I treasure my PC friends (including the three I have known who died in service). I believe in Peace Corps. But we have to remember that although (I can't remember where I'm borrowing this from: does anyone know?) "we are imperfect people doing imperfect work in an imperfect world," we can always try to do better. //

I would still recommend the Peace Corps to any of my friends or family. //

Dan Adkison
Gabon 97-00

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Story Source: Dayton Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Investigative Journalism; COS - Gabon



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