March 19, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Tsunami: The Santa Fe New Mexican: Santa Fe lawyer and former Peace Corps volunteer David Davenport is one of eight Crisis Corps volunteers who will be aiding in constructing homes for tsunami victims in Thailand

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Disaster Management: February 11, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Tsunami Relief : March 19, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Tsunami: The Santa Fe New Mexican: Santa Fe lawyer and former Peace Corps volunteer David Davenport is one of eight Crisis Corps volunteers who will be aiding in constructing homes for tsunami victims in Thailand

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Santa Fe lawyer and former Peace Corps volunteer David Davenport is one of eight Crisis Corps volunteers who will be aiding in constructing homes for tsunami victims in Thailand

Santa Fe lawyer and former Peace Corps volunteer David Davenport is one of eight Crisis Corps volunteers who will be aiding in constructing homes for tsunami victims in Thailand

Santa Fe lawyer and former Peace Corps volunteer David Davenport is one of eight Crisis Corps volunteers who will be aiding in constructing homes for tsunami victims in Thailand

SANTA FEAN HEADS TO THAILAND WITH CRISIS CORPS
Mar 19, 2005 - The Santa Fe New Mexican
Santa Fe lawyer and former Peace Corps volunteer David Davenport is one of eight Crisis Corps volunteers who will be aiding in constructing homes for tsunami victims in Thailand.

Davenport, 59, left Friday morning for Bangkok. He'll spend a few days there at an orientation covering what he and other volunteers can expect once they get to the disaster-hit regions of the country.

The Crisis Corps, created in 1996, sends former Peace Corps volunteers around the world to assist with natural disasters or humanitarian crises. Crisis Corps assignments are short-term, usually up to six months instead of the 27-month commitment of the Peace Corps.

Davenport heard about the project from a friend's email saying the Peace Corps was looking for volunteers to help with tsunami relief.

"It's going to be a challenge living with people who have been through a disaster," Davenport said. "These are people who have been hurt and I think it will be a challenge to be helpful, and not intrusive and be sensitive to how they are feeling."

Davenport's Peace Corps assignment was in Thailand from 1967 to 1971. He was chosen for his current assignment in Thailand because of his knowledge of Thai culture and fluency in the language.

"The first two years I was a teacher of English off the Gulf of Siam," he said. "The last two years I was there I was supervising volunteers in the southern region of the country and that includes the area that was hit by the tsunami, in the area of Phukhat."

After the Peace Corps, Davenport went on to become a lawyer. He now teaches law in Cambodia for the University of San Francisco and the American Bar Association. He lives in Santa Fe when not teaching abroad.

Out of the group of volunteers, Davenport is the only one that can speak Thai, so he will be translating the language and the culture to the other volunteers as well as assisting on construction projects.

"It's always hard for Americans to go abroad and adjust to how other people live, think, speak. Hopefully I'll be able to help the other people in the group," he said.

He and other volunteers will be responsible for rebuilding permanent housing for tsunami survivors and they will also assist with other projects, such as packaging donated goods for delivery to families.

"I think the living conditions will not be great," Davenport said. "The latest word that I got, we'll be jamming three people to a room and there are some showers and toilets in the camp but it's not going to be fancy. But I don't mind that because it's a challenge."

For the trip, Davenport packed a camera, a laptop, work clothes, some good books and a Thai dictionary. Possibly joining him in April will be his wife Beth, who he met and married while they were both in Thailand for the Peace Corps, where she taught English- writing courses at a college in Bangkok.

"We're planning to meet up there at the moment," she said. "Peace Corps is sending another group in April and they're looking to see if I can work in the second group that is going in a more administrative role."

More than 300 Crisis Corps volunteers have worked in 22 countries since the program began in 1996. To date, most Crisis Corps assignments have been related to natural disasters, according to the Peace Corps website.

Davenport said this is his first time doing Crisis Corps, and he doesn't have any inhibitions about going.

"I'm not scared at all. I'm excited and look forward to getting back to a country that I think is a great place and having a chance to speak Thai again," he said. "Also I have friends there, so I look forward to seeing them."





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Story Source: The Santa Fe New Mexican

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; Tsunami

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