May 2, 2005: Headlines: COS - Togo: Safety and Security of Volunteers: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps told us (the Lomé volunteers and several other volunteers who were in town to take the Foreign Service exam on Saturday) that we were to spend the night in a Peace Corps facility or an administratorís home

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Togo: Peace Corps Togo : The Peace Corps in Togo: May 2, 2005: Headlines: COS - Togo: Safety and Security of Volunteers: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps told us (the Lomé volunteers and several other volunteers who were in town to take the Foreign Service exam on Saturday) that we were to spend the night in a Peace Corps facility or an administratorís home

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-245-37.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.245.37) on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 4:39 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps told us (the Lomé volunteers and several other volunteers who were in town to take the Foreign Service exam on Saturday) that we were to spend the night in a Peace Corps facility or an administratorís home

Peace Corps told us (the Lomé volunteers and several other volunteers who were in town to take the Foreign Service exam on Saturday) that we were to spend the night in a Peace Corps facility or an administratorís home

Peace Corps told us (the Lomé volunteers and several other volunteers who were in town to take the Foreign Service exam on Saturday) that we were to spend the night in a Peace Corps facility or an administratorís home

Monday, May 02, 2005



(First disclaimer: again, these are my thoughts and opinions, not the Peace Corpsí or the governmentís)



Itís Monday afternoon, 5:15pm, and Iím not too sure when Iíll get to post this since the internet has been down for the last couple days. So hereís a little recap of whatís happened since last Friday:

Friday was a little crazy in Lomé, no violence that day but there were a lot of people in the streets wearing yellow (the opposition colors) driving around on motos or walking in groups whistling, honking horns, making a commotion. It was interesting to watch but made be kind of stressed because I really had the feeling that it would soon get ugly. Fortunately though everything stayed relatively calm that day, despite the minister of the interiorís statement during the night on Thursday. I ended up leaving work a little early and came to the Peace Corps office to see what was going on. Peace Corps told us (the Lomé volunteers and several other volunteers who were in town to take the Foreign Service exam on Saturday) that we were to spend the night in a Peace Corps facility or an administratorís home. I ended up staying at the med unit which was pretty nice actually: AC, free food, washing machineÖ Plus my friend Jay had brought his computer with season 5 of the Simpsons and thatís pretty much all I did Saturday while he took the test. That afternoon, Peace Corps drove all the other volunteers back to their posts. 2 other volunteers and I decided we would spend the next 2 nights at an embassy employeeís home. Our host was very gracious and we spent Saturday and all day Sunday watching a ton of movies and eating very well. All was calm over the weekend until Sunday night, when the election had come to an end. In any case, the neighborhood we were staying in is where most embassy people live and is probably the most secure place in town. So we were far from any of the action.

We did hear of some violence that took place Sunday night when we listened to the radio this morning. Apparently 3 people were killed Sunday night in riots in the neighborhood of Bé, an opposition stronghold. Weíve heard stories on the radio of the army coming to election stations and taking the ballot boxes and driving away while shooting tear gas to disperse the crowds that were trying to stop them. Weíve also heard that some ballot boxes were not even picked up as of now. Both parties are blaming the other and accusing them of fraud. Iíve heard that the opposition would not recognize the outcome of the election. France has said that they are satisfied with the way things turned out although the Socialist Party in France has called for a new election run by an international committee. Itís a little late for that though; they probably should have announced this BEFORE the election. No word on the USís response to what has happenedÖ

Our information is pretty limited due to the lack of Internet and telephone. No calls are coming through to cell phones and I think even landlines are not working correctly. The city was very quiet on the whole today, most schools and businesses were closed, and driving into town this morning there was noticeably less traffic. Everyone is anxiously waiting the results of the elections, which could happen tomorrowÖ

Until then thereís not much we can do but wait and see. Weíve been told to once again stay at a Peace Corps facility tonight and not leave the neighborhood. Iím down here right now with 2 other PC volunteers from Lomé, one who is down here for medical reasons, and another who was supposed to fly home out of Ghana tonight but since the borders are closed she canít make her flight.

My spirits and thoughts are a little all over the place right now, and sitting around not being able to do much of anything is not helping things. I keep imagining the worst and hoping for the best but itís getting harder and harder to even think of what those situations are. Evacuation? Stay holed up in the Peace Corps office until things calm down? Nobody knows and nobody can predict. We just have to wait for the results and hope that the situation does not degenerate. I do not feel personally at risk, but I am worried about what will happen to my Peace Corps Togo future and to the Togolese people. Iím going to save this entry and post it when the Internet comes back on.

Itís a very strange feeling to be in a country where the borders are closed and the phones and Internet have been shut downÖ Any reason to try to explain this is not a good oneÖAt least the radios are still operating. So Iíll write more when thereís more to write. I hope youíre all doing fine, donít worry about us over here, Peace Corps is doing a very good job keeping us safe, even though it does get a little frustrating being confined like this. But itís for the bestÖ

(Yet another disclaimer: this may sound a little dramatic but at no time did I or any other volunteer feel like we were in any danger. Nor where we ever left alone without a Peace Corps employee and guard.)





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


Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 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 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

May 7, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: May 7 2005 No: 583 May 7, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
"Peace Corps Online" on recess until May 21 7 May
Carol Bellamy taking the reins at World Learning 7 May
Gopal Khanna appointed White House CFO 7 May
Clare Bastable named Conservationist of the Year 7 May
Director Gaddi Vasquez visits PCVs in Bulgaria 5 May
Abe Pena sets up scholarship fund 5 May
Peace Corps closes recruiting sites 4 May
Hill pessimistic over Korean nuclear program 4 May
Leslie Hawke says PC should split into two organizations 4 May
Peace Corps helps students find themselves 3 May
Kevin Griffith's Tsunami Assistance Project collects 50k 3 May
Tim Wright studied Quechua at UCLA 2 May
Doyle not worried about competition 2 May
Dodd discusses President's Social Security plan 1 May
Randy Mager works in Blue Moon Safaris 1 May
PCVs safe in Togo after disputed elections 30 Apr
Michael Sells teaches Islamic History and Literature 28 Apr

May 7, 2005:  Special Events Date: May 7 2005 No: 582 May 7, 2005: Special Events
"Iowa in Ghana" on exhibit in Waterloo through June 30
"American Taboo" author Phil Weiss in Maryland on June 18
Leland Foerster opens photo exhibition at Cal State
RPCV Writers scholarship in Baltimore - deadline June 1
Gary Edwards' music performed in Idaho on May 24
RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.


Read the stories and leave your comments.






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Story Source: Personal Web Site

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

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