05 December 2012

Celebrating 50 years of Peace Corps in Cameroon

For the past two months I was completely consumed with helping to plan and coordinate the 50 year anniversary event that Peace Corps held. Our new Country Director, Jackie Sesonga, had seen similar events across West Africa and decided that this would be a great opportunity for PC Cameroon to raise our visibility in country.

We started seriously planning about 6 weeks before the event; I was mostly working on organizing PCVs in Cameroon. It sounds easier than it is I think because communication is so difficult. Texting or calling is really the only way to get in touch with people and there are about 200 PCVs currently in country. Needless to say I did not call all of them and instead relied on a few point people to contact others. Anyway, long story short – we had an amazing event.
Kim and I holding the gift basket for Chantal Biya
Chantal Biya being welcomed by two Peace Corps children
Chantal Biya visiting all the stands at the fair
Jackie Sesonga, the PC Cameroon country director, with Kim and I

Rose, my counterpart from Bangang, and me! It was a really nice and quick reunion

There were two parts to the event. First was the swearing-in of new PCVs after their training ended. The trainees (now PCVs) did an amazing job preparing a performance to the song ‘Man in the Mirror’ and our Country Director gave a very touching speech during this ceremony. Second was a fair set up with 16 tables (10 regional tables – Centre, East, South, Littoral, South West, North West, West, Adamaoua, North, and Far North –; 5 sector tables – Youth Development, Community Health, Environment, Education, and Community Economic Development –; and 1 training table). Chantal Biya, the first lady of Cameroon, was invited and actually came to open the fair that was set up. This was probably the most successful part of our event. She walked around to each table, where PCVs and Cameroonian counterparts where given the chance to explain their stand. Chantal seemed genuinely interested and shook everyone’s hand. All of the tables looked great and the event ran smoothly because of everyone’s hard work.
At the end of the day we relaxed by going to Hilton Happy Hour to celebrate our successes together! Also here are some recent pictures
Winning trivia night after trying so hard for so long
The marine ball was a blast!

1 comment:

  1. it is a great pleasure for me to read this item in loving genevieve du canada as apparition of blessed kateri tekakwitha born in auriesville new york state and she lived with us in cameroon
    its wonderful!
    i love it