On Being Evacuated: It’s every volunteer’s worst nightmare.

Sara in Peace Corps Guinea

Today volunteers in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia received the information that we will be sent home for an undetermined amount of time as a cautionary move against the rising risk of Ebola.

Electron micrograph image of the Ebola virus. Electron micrograph image of the Ebola virus.

Friends and family back home are overjoyed at the news, but volunteers in-country are stumbling around in a state of shock. Projects that have taken months of sweet-talking the authorities, grueling grant applications, planning every step of the way have to be left now – postponed indefinitely. Bags must be packed. Close of Service dates for volunteers preparing to leave will be moved up. Pre-service training has been stopped dead in its tracks for the recently arrived group of volunteers. Somehow, we must all find the words to explain to our friends and host-families the harsh truth that we are leaving and don’t know when we will be back.

The…

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Claudia

New Orleans loses an icon and legend

She will always be the woman who gave me my first chance, the first industry heavyweight who put her faith in me, who gave me hope and validation. Consistently calm and warm and supportive in an industry where those qualities are rare, Claudia was a true inspiration and an impossible act to follow. If when I die, I can be remembered half as fondly by a fraction of the people as she is, I’ll be satisfied. I hope she is.