January 12, 2005: Headlines: COS - Guinea: The Springfield News: Amanda Rogers will be stationed in Guinea, West Africa, as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Guinea: Peace Corps Guinea : The Peace Corps in Guinea: January 12, 2005: Headlines: COS - Guinea: The Springfield News: Amanda Rogers will be stationed in Guinea, West Africa, as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps

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Amanda Rogers will be stationed in Guinea, West Africa, as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps

Amanda Rogers will be stationed in Guinea, West Africa, as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps

Amanda Rogers will be stationed in Guinea, West Africa, as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps

The adventure of a lifetime: Amanda Rogers is off for a stint in the Peace Corps - in Africa
By Ben Raymond Lode
The Springfield News

Caption: Amanda Rogers, shown packing for her trip, says her most important possession when she gets overseas will be her camera, which she'll use to document the experience. JOHN GUSSENHOVEN/The Springfield News

Amanda Rogers from Springfield was packing her bags at her parents' house last Thursday.

It seemed obvious she was itching to get started on the adventure of a lifetime.

For 27 months, beginning this week, the 25-year-old graduate of Springfield High School and Oregon State University will be stationed in Guinea, West Africa, as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps.

The assignment, which will give Rogers a prime opportunity to help others in need, is likely to be a life-changing experience.

That's something the energetic young woman is fully aware of.

"I think it will be real good for my own personal growth," said Rogers.

But experiencing daily life on a different continent is also attractive to Rogers, whose degree is in natural resources management.

"I'm most excited about just seeing how people in developing countries live on a day to day basis," said Rogers, "because that's how most people (on the planet) live."

According to World Bank estimates, in 2001, 1.1 billion people had consumption levels below $1 a day. Another 2.7 billion lived on less than $2 a day -- figures that clearly illustrate the gap between developing and industrialized countries.

While Rogers will spend much time helping people, she will also conduct research for her own graduate thesis while in Guinea.

That's because she is involved in a Peace Corps partnership with roughly 100 colleges and universities across the U.S., called Master's International.


According to Rogers, who will use her own education to help Guineans learn about sound agricultural practices and sustainable development, the program offers academic credit and financial incentives to volunteers during or after Peace Corps service.

Language barrier

One of the big challenges of being a Corps volunteer for many, in addition to being removed from the typical luxuries of modern life in industrialized countries, is learning a new language.

In Guinea, as in many of the countries on Africa's west coast, the people speak a localized version of French.

Rogers, who took French in high school, said she will go through a three-month language course while living with a host family in Carnaky, Guinea's capitol.

"Hopefully I can use some of my high school French," Rogers said.

While the Corps sends people to remote corners of the world, the perception that they send people just about anywhere isn't necessarily true, according to Rogers.

"I think the biggest myth is that the Peace Corps will send you to just any country," she said.

"I think they try to take care of our well-being," she said, adding that countries considered dangerous are taken off the list of countries volunteers are sent to.

When Rogers left for Philadelphia to meet other volunteers last Friday before departing to Guinea, two bulging orange Samsonite bags full of clothes and other essentials accompanied her.

But Rogers' most prized possession, besides a plethora of books, was her camera.

That will allow her to document experiences so that she can share her impressions from a land far away with families and friends upon her return to the motherland.

Guinea, a developing country sandwiched between Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone -- the latter a recent hotbed of civil unrest -- is rich in natural resources, holding 30 percent of the world's bauxite (aluminum ore) reserve, according to the CIA World Fact Book.

But the country is poor and has suffered from unrest spilling over from neighboring war-torn Sierra Leone and Liberia, threatening stability and creating humanitarian emergencies in the country, the fact book states.

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.

January 8, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 8 2005 No: 367 January 8, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Zambia RPCV Karla Berg interviews 1,374 people on Peace 7 Jan
Breaking Taboo, Mandela Says Son Died of AIDS 6 Jan
Dreadlocked PCV raises eyebrows in Africa 6 Jan
RPCV Jose Ravano directs CARE's efforts in Sri Lanka 6 Jan
Persuading Retiring Baby Boomers to Volunteer 6 Jan
Inventor of "Drown Proofing" retires 6 Jan
NPCA Membership approves Board Changes 5 Jan
Timothy Shriver announces "Rebuild Hope Fund" 5 Jan
More Water Bottles, Fewer Bullets 4 Jan
Poland RPCV Rebecca Parker runs Solterra Books 2 Jan
Peace Corps Fund plans event for September 30 Dec
RPCV Carmen Bailey recounts bout with cerebral malaria 28 Dec
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Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
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Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
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Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: The Springfield News

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