February 11, 2005: Headlines: COS - Togo: PCVs in the Field - Togo: Safety and Security of Volunteers: Blogs - Togo : Personal Web Site: Erin Reynolds in Togo

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Togo: Peace Corps Togo : The Peace Corps in Togo: February 11, 2005: Headlines: COS - Togo: PCVs in the Field - Togo: Safety and Security of Volunteers: Blogs - Togo : Personal Web Site: Erin Reynolds in Togo

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-123-27.balt.east.verizon.net - on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 5:01 pm: Edit Post

Erin Reynolds in Togo

Erin Reynolds in Togo

Erin Reynolds in Togo

Friday, February 11, 2005

I came into Sotouboua today for my weekly call with my parents and Plan Togo was nice enough to let me use their state of the art computer center! It helps that Steven, the SBD volunteer, is the only one here who really knows how to work the network and internet in the center so they have given him (and now me) free reign in the center! I have been using the memory stick that mom and dad sent for my birthday to record my thoughts this last week during the interesting events taking place in Togo;

Sunday February 6, 2005

I found out this morning that the President of Togo died on Saturday. I was waiting at the deserted USP for the Club des Meres in order to work on our garden project. I was surprised when a motorcycle turned into the drive, thinking it must be a sick person coming to get help. Instead, the driver took off his helmet and saluted me by name! My surprise increased. He said his name was Alex and he was a friend of Steven’s. Steven is my nearest neighbor in Sotouboua and I had just returned Saturday afternoon from visiting him. He handed me a note, which I immediately opened. It read, “I suppose you know he is dead. We are under standfast mode. Write back so I now you received this note.” ‘He’ referred to President Gnassingbe Eyadema, whose name was never mentioned directly by volunteers in order to avoid seeming political talk. Wow! This was the last thing I expected! There were of course always rumors about the President’s health, as he was starting to old, but it is one of those things which still comes unexpectedly. I normally listen religiously to the BBC, not so much to stay in touch with the world as to hear the English language spoken. Saturday I had not listened as the reception was worse then normal and had opted for my Mp3 player instead. I am glad I did not find out through the radio as I would have been quite worried and not known what to do. Finding out the next morning meant I got a goodnight of sleep and was able to rationally deal with the prospect of evacuation or whatever may come. Alex was able to find enough mobile phone reception to call Steven and I got an update on what was happening. The President’s son was put in charge by the army, the airport was closed, the country’s borders were closed but everything was calm and we were all waiting to see what happens. Soon after Alex left to go back to Sotouboua, my homologue Alassani arrived at the dispensaire. I was able to discuss the situation with him. He seemed quite bothered that the son was placed in power instead of the Speaker of the Parliament as the Constitution. After sitting with him for a while I went back to my house to reread my emergency action plan and see standfast meant! I learned that I was to pack an emergency bag (in case of evacuation) and pretty much just sit and wait and see. I tuned into BBC and was surprised to hear Togo ranked as a top world news story! That has to be a first in many, many years! It ranked after Secretary of State, Dr. Rice’s visit to Israel and the Prime Minister of Thailand’s reelection but before the Pope’s improving health. There was no new news until after 7 p.m. when there was an update. I learned that the Parliament had adjourned an emergency meeting and decided to change the Constitution in order to allow the son to assume power and had dismissed the current speaker of Parliament! I don’t know what this is going mean. I think it is going to be a lot of waiting. I am not very worried about my personal safety, I trust the Peace Corps to take care of me. I do worry about my family and friends in the States and what they are going through. I am going to be glued to my radio for the update, dreading receiving another message from Sotouboua, which could only contain bad news. Till tomorrow…

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

The Peace Corps Library Date: February 7 2005 No: 438 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in over 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related reference material in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can use the Main Index to find hundreds of stories about RPCVs who have your same interests, who served in your Country of Service, or who serve in your state.

Make a call for the Peace Corps Date: February 19 2005 No: 453 Make a call for the Peace Corps
PCOL is a strong supporter of the NPCA's National Day of Action and encourages every RPCV to spend ten minutes on Tuesday, March 1 making a call to your Representatives and ask them to support President Bush's budget proposal of $345 Million to expand the Peace Corps. Take our Poll: Click here to take our poll. We'll send out a reminder and have more details early next week.
Peace Corps Calendar:Tempest in a Teapot? Date: February 17 2005 No: 445 Peace Corps Calendar:Tempest in a Teapot?
Bulgarian writer Ognyan Georgiev has written a story which has made the front page of the newspaper "Telegraf" criticizing the photo selection for his country in the 2005 "Peace Corps Calendar" published by RPCVs of Madison, Wisconsin. RPCV Betsy Sergeant Snow, who submitted the photograph for the calendar, has published her reply. Read the stories and leave your comments.

February 19, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: February 19 2005 No: 449 February 19, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
NPCA Board positions are open for nomination 17 Feb
Mike Tidwell on trial for climate action protest 17 Feb
Katie Dyer is co-owner of Cadeaux du Monde 16 Feb
Cyclone misses Tonga and Samoa PCVs 16 Feb
Phil Hardberger in debate for Mayor of San Antonio 16 Feb
Edmund Hull is Princeton Diplomat-In-Residence 16 Feb
Bruce Greenlee is longtime friend of Latino community 15 Feb
Mike Honda new vice chairman at DNC 15 Feb
Jospeh Opala documents slave crossing from Sierra Leone 14 Feb
Dear Dr. Brothers: Aren't PCVs Hippies? 14 Feb
Joseph Lanning founded the World Education Fund 14 Feb
Stanley Levine draws Marine and Peace Corps similarities 14 Feb
Speaking Out: JFK envisioned millions of RPCVs 13 Feb
Chris Aquino visits mother's homeland of Vietnam 12 Feb
Is PCOL blocking users from posting messages? 12 Feb
JFK Library opens Sargent Shriver Collection 1 Feb
RPCV responds to Bulgaria Calendar concerns 28 Jan

WWII participants became RPCVs Date: February 13 2005 No: 442 WWII participants became RPCVs
Read about two RPCVs who participated in World War II in very different ways long before there was a Peace Corps. Retired Rear Adm. Francis J. Thomas (RPCV Fiji), a decorated hero of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died Friday, Jan. 21, 2005 at 100. Mary Smeltzer (RPCV Botswana), 89, followed her Japanese students into WWII internment camps. We honor both RPCVs for their service.
Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps Date: February 7 2005 No: 436 Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps
The White House is proposing $345 Million for the Peace Corps for FY06 - a $27.7 Million (8.7%) increase that would allow at least two new posts and maintain the existing number of volunteers at approximately 7,700. Bush's 2002 proposal to double the Peace Corps to 14,000 volunteers appears to have been forgotten. The proposed budget still needs to be approved by Congress.
RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service Date: January 30 2005 No: 405 RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service
RPCV Groups mobilize to support their Countries of Service. Over 200 RPCVS have already applied to the Crisis Corps to provide Tsunami Recovery aid, RPCVs have written a letter urging President Bush and Congress to aid Democracy in Ukraine, and RPCVs are writing NBC about a recent episode of the "West Wing" and asking them to get their facts right about Turkey.
RPCVs contend for Academy Awards  Date: January 31 2005 No: 416 RPCVs contend for Academy Awards
Bolivia RPCV Taylor Hackford's film "Ray" is up for awards in six categories including best picture, best actor and best director. "Autism Is a World" co-produced by Sierra Leone RPCV Douglas Biklen and nominated for best Documentary Short Subject, seeks to increase awareness of developmental disabilities. Colombian film "El Rey," previously in the running for the foreign-language award, includes the urban legend that PCVs teamed up with El Rey to bring cocaine to U.S. soil.
Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Togo; PCVs in the Field - Togo; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Blogs - Togo



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