RPCV Courtney Eker writes “Devastated, not fired” (Panama)

 

 

Devastated, not fired

March 23, 2020

by Courtney Eker (Panama)

8 Comments

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  • Thank you…Panama is proud of you, your words, your Peace Corps motivation! I will share your thoughts with others, and translate for my brothers and sisters in Panama. I was a Volunteer like you, served twice and stayed behind…We are Peace Corps, and Director Jody Olsen will see us back, she will!
    Come visit, Chitre.
    FlacoBob

  • Thank you for your service, Ms. Eker! And for explaining the circumstance of your return! Your perspective is very much appreciated! and I’m grateful that you’re home, safe and sound.

    I’m confident that PCVs around the world were brought home out of sincere concern for their health and safety! I’ve been a CD in three different countries, an Operations Chief for a PC Region and the Chief of Staff of Peace Corps (acting). I also know Jody Olson very well, have worked with her over the years. I believe that our PCVs were brought home out of a sincere and justified concern for their safety and health.

    The value of your service is recognized and deeply appreciated.

    Ken Hill
    PCV-Turkey, 1965-67.

  • Wow! What an amazing take on this very difficult situation. You certainly embody PC values. Thanks for thinking about others first. God bless!

  • Thank you, Courtney, for sharing such moving, insightful and heartfelt thoughts of your Peace Corps service, and of the particularly painful experience of having it cut short. The friendships and bonds with family and co-workers will endure; and hopefully your testimony will help many better understand the value of service such as yours and of Peace Corps cooperation with peoples across the globe. Thank you again – you make Peace Corps proud.

  • Thank you, Courtney, for sharing your perspective. You were able to put into context the harrowing sudden departure from a life where you were committed to service. Peace Corps is a unique experience and no Peace Corps Volunteer is ever the same after serving. No matter what your future holds, your resiliency will serve you well and it has been honed through this whole experience. All the best.

    (While not a pandemic, a civil war in Chad compelled the sudden evacuation of Peace Corps in the late 1970s. It still hurts that my students showed up the next day, expecting to see me, and were told I was gone. Poof!)

  • Dear Courtney, Thank you for this marvelous essay on the principles of Peace Corps and your own observations about upholding them while going through this traumatic withdrawal. I’m sure you’ll stay in touch with your family and friends in Panama and, fortunately, it’s not that far away. When we all feel safe again you could even go for a visit … or more! If you do, please write to us about it.

    Leita Kaldi Davis
    (Senegal 19939-96)

  • Leita,

    Did you see the video from the New Yorker? A EPCV from Senegal vidoed the evacuation from when she first received notice to when she landed in the US. There were 300 PCVs evacuated from Senegal. It would be interesting to read your opinion of her journey.

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