November 28, 2005: Headlines: COS - Bulgaria: USAID: Sofia Echo: RPCV John Tennant was USAID Director in Bulgaria

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Bulgaria: Peace Corps Bulgaria: The Peace Corps in Bulgaria: November 28, 2005: Headlines: COS - Bulgaria: USAID: Sofia Echo: RPCV John Tennant was USAID Director in Bulgaria

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-8-223.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.8.223) on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 11:59 am: Edit Post

RPCV John Tennant was USAID Director in Bulgaria

RPCV  John Tennant was USAID Director in Bulgaria

"I decided that fate was leading me elsewhere. And I joined the Peace Corps," he said.

This was in the late 1960s, "when Vietnam was hot," said Tennant, "and I was getting these letters that when I got out of the Peace Corps, Iíd be drafted. So I got a job with the government instead, out in California, near my parents".


RPCV John Tennant was USAID Director in Bulgaria

EXPAT OF THE WEEK: Making dreams happen

Magdalena Rahn

John Tennant, from: the US

THOREAU once said: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life youíve imagined!". With his life here in Sofia, John Tennant exemplifies this theory.

Although born in Maryland, John said he "didnít really have any roots anywhere," due to his fatherís job in the armed forces. And for a time when young, he thought it his path also to join the armed forces, and applied to the Naval Academy. But, said John, in those days, one had to have perfect vision to be accepted: his wasnít up to par.

"I decided that fate was leading me elsewhere. And I joined the Peace Corps," he said.

This was in the late 1960s, "when Vietnam was hot," said Tennant, "and I was getting these letters that when I got out of the Peace Corps, Iíd be drafted. So I got a job with the government instead, out in California, near my parents".

While working out West, awaiting the draft letter, the US state department contacted John and said that it was looking for people to work in the development sector of Vietnam.

He determined that it was better to go there as a civilian than as military personnel.

"So I ran off to Vietnam and escaped the draft," said John, "and thatís what started me on an international career".

There, he worked with USAID. Enjoying the grass roots aspect, he applied to its internship programme, and got accepted. This was in 1974, six months before Vietnam fell.

He went to Washington, DC., and for the next 30 years, worked with USAID in locations around the world Ė including in Jamaica, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and at the US headquarters in DC.

"I really liked USAID. The trouble is that you get hooked on it," he said.

His last assignment overseas was here in Bulgaria, from 1994 to 1998, when he worked as the USAID mission director. After that, he returned to DC and retired in 2000.

"Then I had to decide what to do with the rest of my life," said Tennant. Luckily for him, the government is "very generous" with its retirements, and his pension allowed him many freedoms.

"You canít just do nothing," he said. "So I decided to follow my dream. I had the luxury of being able to do it. My dream is overseas, not in the US. Itís too structured, predictable, not very challenging there."

At this time, a friend from his time in Bulgaria invited him to come and experience Italy, which he did for a couple of years. When the friend returned to her homeland, Johnís love for Bulgaria incited him to move, also.

He came back in autumn 2003.

"Most of the phrases [to describe what I love about Bulgaria] are trite," he said, "and I donít know what I could say that is different Ė but the country is a gem. It has a different rhythm that we lack in the States. Here, there is an appreciation of life. In the States, you donít drive time; it drives you. Here, life is more in harmony with the spirit of people than with a clock".

He finds life to be much more human here.

John will not forego his American roots completely, however. He carved a pumpkin for Halloween, and is searching for a pleasantly-edible turkey and cranberries for a Thanksgiving celebration with Bulgarian friends.

Another aspect of Bulgaria he lauds is its great location in Europe, citing Rome, Istanbul, Greece and Madrid as being only a few hours away.

He also relishes the countryís history.

"Iím an amateur archaeologist," he said. "My house looks like a Roman ruin: itís decorated with items from all the places Iíve been."

Tennant does regret, however, that Bulgaria does not seem to care about remnants of its past.

"There is such a great historical and archaeological wealth, and they donít exploit it at all," he said.

He also loves the people, and the chance to continue his consulting work.

When he returned to the country in 2003, he founded his own consulting firm, Dreamco Ltd. Its name appropriately describes exactly what John feels is most important in life: following oneís dreams.

As its president, he develops, puts together, manages and helps finance projects for both Bulgarian and American companies.

"Itís fun," he said. "Iím a facilitator of projects. Basically, I do anything that looks interesting. Iíve more freedom in my life now than ever."

While the bureaucracy here is "generally terrible," he said, the things that he counts as most important he doesnít have trouble with: the cultural life, the ambiance and being with people he really likes.

He also likes the traditional springtime dish of Saint Georgeís lamb, and the said-hangover cure, shkembe chorba (made from cowís instentines).

He advises other non-native Bulgarians to not loose the opportunity to get thoroughly involved in the country.

"Get out and appreciate Bulgaria and make Bulgarian friends," Tennant said. "Get out of the expat community. Donít miss the opportunity to really experience, appreciate the culture."





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


Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
PC establishes awards for top Volunteers Date: November 9 2005 No: 749 PC establishes awards for top Volunteers
Gaddi H. Vasquez has established the Kennedy Service Awards to honor the hard work and service of two current Peace Corps Volunteers, two returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and two Peace Corps staff members. The award to currently serving volunteers will be based on a demonstration of impact, sustainability, creativity, and catalytic effect. Submit your nominations by December 9.

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

Top Stories: November 19, 2005 Date: November 19 2005 No: 751 Top Stories: November 19, 2005
President Bush meets with PCVs in Panama 7 Nov
PC Trainee Wyatt Ammon dies in accident in Zambia 18 Nov
Congress appropriates $322 Million for Peace Corps 17 Nov
James Walsh on the crisis in Nepal 9 Nov
Pam Musk climbs Mount Kilimanjaro 6 Nov
David Morsilli awed by havoc in Mississippi 6 Nov
Tierney Davis in Tsunami Relief Work in Indonesia 1 Nov
Julie Harrold says "Don't change the Peace Corps" 31 Oct
Jacqueline Lyons shares her poems about Peace Corps 28 Oct
Peace Corps returns to its roots in Michigan 28 Oct
David Peterson serves in Katrina Response Team #1 25 Oct
Director Vasquez Travels to Tonga and Fiji 24 Oct
Laura Vanderkam says "Peace Corps needs makeover" 24 Oct
Shriver Center and Maryland RPCVs host C. Payne Lucas 21 Oct
Don Mosley to receive Pacem in Terris honor 17 Oct
Mary Cameron Kilgour writes on abuse 16 Oct
George Packer writes about Iraq for the New Yorker 16 Oct
Richard Celeste says Colorado higher education faces peril 16 Oct
Kevin Quigley says Keep Peace Corps, military separate 16 Oct
Christie and Eric Nelson say no to cars 15 Oct
Isaiah Zagar creates mosaic in Oakland 14 Oct

Military Option sparks concerns Date: September 13 2005 No: 731 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. Read the results of our poll among RPCVs. Latest: Congressman John Kline introduces legislation to alter the program to remove the Peace Corps as an option for completing an individualís military enlistment requirement.

Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger Date: October 22 2005 No: 738 Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger
When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger. Latest: Read the ongoing dialog on the subject.

Peace Corps at highest Census in 30 years Date: October 22 2005 No: 745 Peace Corps at highest Census in 30 years
Congratulations to the Peace Corps for the highest number of volunteers in 30 years with 7,810 volunteers serving in 71 posts across the globe. Of course, the President's proposal to double the Peace Corps to 15,000 volunteers made in his State of the Union Address in 2002 is now a long forgotten dream. With deficits in federal spending stretching far off into the future, any substantive increase in the number of volunteers will have to wait for new approaches to funding and for a new administration. Choose your candidate and start working for him or her now.

'Celebration of Service' a major success Date: October 10 2005 No: 730 'Celebration of Service' a major success
The Peace Corps Fund's 'Celebration of Service' on September 29 in New York City was a major success raising approximately $100,000 for third goal activities. In the photo are Maureen Orth (Colombia); John Coyne (Ethiopia) Co-founder of the Peace Corps Fund; Caroline Kennedy; Barbara Anne Ferris (Morocco) Co-founder; Former Senator Harris Wofford, member of the Advisory Board. Read the story here.

PC apologizes for the "Kasama incident" Date: October 13 2005 No: 737 PC apologizes for the "Kasama incident"
The District Commissioner for the Kasama District in Zambia issued a statement banning Peace Corps activities for Ďgraveí social misconduct and unruly behavior for an incident that occurred on September 24 involving 13 PCVs. Peace Corps said that some of the information put out about the incident was "inflammatory and false." On October 12, Country Director Davy Morris met with community leaders and apologized for the incident. All PCVs involved have been reprimanded, three are returning home, and a ban in the district has since been lifted.

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.

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.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Sofia Echo

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Bulgaria; USAID

PCOL23941
91


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: