2009.10.08: October 8, 2009: Headlines: COS - Guinea: Blogs - Guinea: Safety: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer "En Afrique" writes: We evacuated out of country and came to the Peace Corps training compound in Mali, where we are currently awaiting more word on what will come next

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Guinea: Peace Corps Guinea : Peace Corps Guinea: Newest Stories: 2009.10.08: October 8, 2009: Headlines: COS - Guinea: Safety: COS - Mali: Peace Corps Press Release: Peace Corps Guinea Volunteers Safely Evacuated to Mali : 2009.10.10: October 10, 2009: Headlines: COS - Guinea: Blogs - Guinea: Safety: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer "Walking Africa" writes: We're out : 2009.10.08: October 8, 2009: Headlines: COS - Guinea: Blogs - Guinea: Safety: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer "En Afrique" writes: We evacuated out of country and came to the Peace Corps training compound in Mali, where we are currently awaiting more word on what will come next

By Admin1 (admin) (98.188.147.225) on Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 1:46 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Volunteer "En Afrique" writes: We evacuated out of country and came to the Peace Corps training compound in Mali, where we are currently awaiting more word on what will come next

Peace Corps Volunteer En Afrique writes:  We evacuated out of country and came to the Peace Corps training compound in Mali, where we are currently awaiting more word on what will come next

"I was out au village and listening to the radio and talking to folks in my village to get updates. Honestly I felt incredibly safe, incredibly happy in my village, and incredibly insulated from anything happening in the capital. Even in the capital, from what little I word I could get on the Malian border, it sounded like things were calming down. But then I got a bush taxi note (that's when someone write's a note and sends it out in a bush taxi that happens to be going in the same direction) from another volunteer who was charged with letting me know we were evacuated. See, at my site there is no working two way radio, and a cell phone reception site a fair distance from my village that gets Mali reception - which after my second day there, stopped working. So it was a little hard to get word out from me. Anyway, we evacuated out of country and came to the Peace Corps training compound in Mali, where we are currently awaiting more word on what will come next. There is no official word yet, but most of us volunteers figure that there is no way we will be allowed back into Guinea. I have internet access here, so I'll probably be posting every day for awhile - I had saved up some pretty good stories I had been writing down for the next time I had internet access, so I'll probably put up on of those a day. I'll also be spending a lot of time trying to figure out what's going on in Guinea and what I'll be doing now."

Peace Corps Volunteer "En Afrique" writes: We evacuated out of country and came to the Peace Corps training compound in Mali, where we are currently awaiting more word on what will come next

Thursday, October 8, 2009

So.... I'm in Mali

Caption: Guinean police arrest a protester in front of the biggest stadium in the capital Conakry during a protest banned by Guinea's ruling junta on September 28. The United States condemned Tuesday the "brazen and inappropriate use of force" by Guinea's ruling junta, after scores were killed in a crackdown on an opposition rally. Photo: AFP/File/Seyllou

So you're probably wondering wait what you're not in Guinea? Or maybe you are thinking Mali? Where is that?

So, Mali is a country directly to the north of Guinea, and actually my site was right on the boarder. I'm there because we were evacuated out of country. N sen kiŊinin tan ni n bכlכ kiŊinin tan ye n bכlכ. That's Maninka for I have my ten fingers and toes I'm safe and fine, and was never in any danger. Ok, that's the basics, now let's start back at the beginning.

So if you follow BBC world news you may have heard that there is a political crisis in Guinea. On September 27th, the opposition to our fearless leader, Moussa Dadis Camara, organized a protest at the football stadium in Conakry. They organized it that day, I believe, because it was the first time Dadis left Conakry since seizing power. Dadis specifically forbade any protesting, but the opposition went ahead anyways. The opposition broke into the stadium and was protesting inside when the police and military showed up. The military opened fire on the people in the stadium, and people stampeded to escape through the one open entrance. People were trampled in the panic. The most consistent number I have heard is 157 people were killed, though we have been hearing reports that the number is actually higher. It also seems relatively confirmed at this point that female protestors were raped, some of them perhaps with rifle butts or bayonets. There is talk of other things that may have happened but are not confirmed that I would rather not talk about here

The country was immediately thrown into crisis - though, when I say the country I meant the capital. We were in Kankan, on the other end of the country, a looong way from Conakry. Two days later I left for site installation. Nothing else happened to stir up trouble for a bit - bodies were collected on Friday at the main mosque in Conakry, and then the mourning period was observed, and still nothing went down.

I was out au village and listening to the radio and talking to folks in my village to get updates. Honestly I felt incredibly safe, incredibly happy in my village, and incredibly insulated from anything happening in the capital. Even in the capital, from what little I word I could get on the Malian border, it sounded like things were calming down. But then I got a bush taxi note (that's when someone write's a note and sends it out in a bush taxi that happens to be going in the same direction) from another volunteer who was charged with letting me know we were evacuated.

See, at my site there is no working two way radio, and a cell phone reception site a fair distance from my village that gets Mali reception - which after my second day there, stopped working. So it was a little hard to get word out from me.

Anyway, we evacuated out of country and came to the Peace Corps training compound in Mali, where we are currently awaiting more word on what will come next. There is no official word yet, but most of us volunteers figure that there is no way we will be allowed back into Guinea. I have internet access here, so I'll probably be posting every day for awhile - I had saved up some pretty good stories I had been writing down for the next time I had internet access, so I'll probably put up on of those a day. I'll also be spending a lot of time trying to figure out what's going on in Guinea and what I'll be doing now.

If you're interested, here are a couple of articles on what happened from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8295774.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8281581.stm

I go back and read through this very statement and it hardly captures what has been going on here and how I feel about it. I would go back to my village tomorrow if I could - it was so perfect and peaceful and wonderful there and I was never in any danger. If this is the start for pressure within Guinea towards good governance than I would be sad for my personal loss but happy for the people of Guinea.

But also this could be the beginning of a very dangerous period for Guinea. I wish my Guinean friends, and all the people of Guinea, the best of luck.



Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: October, 2009; Peace Corps Guinea; Directory of Guinea RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Guinea RPCVs; Blogs - Guinea; Safety and Security of Volunteers





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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Guinea; Blogs - Guinea; Safety

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