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1967: Isabella Burns served in Cameroon in Obala and Yaounde beginning in 1967
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Isabella Burns can be contacted at isabelaainternetcdsdcom
Country of Service: Cameroon
Training Group: TEFL
Cities you served in: Obala and Yaounde
Arrival Year: 1967
Departure Year: 1969
Work Description: taught English in Obala lycee and worked summers and parttime
second year in mental hospital - Centre Jamot - in Yaounde
Bring us up to date on your life after the peace corps:
I decided to improve my French, went to Paris and got a licence in
French and Russian. I then joined the UN, passed the editors exam, and
worked all over the world (Thailand, Iraq, Jordan). I am married to a
Syrian (retired former UN official) and we have an 11 year-old daughter.
I still work at home editing for the UN, but devote most of my time to my
family - and to volunteering in school and the local animal shelter. Still
dream of writing myself instead of editing other people's short stories.
The Peace Corps is mainly responsible for the path my life has taken, and
I am most grateful.
Any thoughts you have now looking back on peace corps days?:
Mainly gratitude. Wish I had been more mature - I was oly 21 - but not
too many middle-aged people are willing to live without running water
and electricity for two years. Also (now I really sound like an old
fogey)we really were cut off from the outside world in a way current
volunteers are not; we had no e-mail or tv for two years. I have had
some difficult times - for example, when I was trapped in Baghdad while
working for the UN in August 1990. During the three long weeks when the
borders were closed after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, I told myself that if I
could survive two years alone in the African bush, there was nothing
Saddam Hussein could do to me. What I call my "Peace Corps pep talks"
helped then, and they still do.
Anyone you are looking for or would like to hear from?:
From our group: Steve and Cathy Weed (nee Zilch); George Cass.
Originally posted: May 1, 2002
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