News and Updates from the Executive Committee

     ¬

            The FOB executive committee:

 

Annie Rimoin, President (arimoin@jhsph.edu)

John Boe, Vice President (jmboe@iupui.edu)

Marcus Chance, Secretary (mdchance@terraworld.net)

½Lori Killpatrick, Treasurer  (Lkillpat@aol.com)

Chris Starace, Dead Beat Editor  (Gandaho@aol.com)

Chris Robbins, Dead Beat Graphic Designer and Layout fosotima@hotmail.com)

 

New Members:            L

If youÕre not yet a member, send check a for $15 to Lori Killpatrick, 3119 Clairemont Dr. #2 San Diego, CA 92117 made out to Friends of Benin/Lori Killpatrick so you can get on the mailing list for the next Deadbeat issue and be an active member of Friends of Benin.  Please encourage your fellow non member Benin RPCVÕs to join.  v

 

Send or E-mail articles, ideas, photos, etc. for the next FOB Deadbeat to GANDAHO@aol.com or fosotima@hotmail.com.


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Fob Upcoming Activities and Events:

      From Holly Dreier 3/11/99:  I'll be more than happy to organize a reunion--once I organize my own life.  I can tentatively set up to do something for 2000--not New Year's Eve.  Let me talk to Djougou Sue and see if she'll help me since I'll be living near her.

       Volunteers are needed to organize/ host social events.  Lets try for a couple regional get togethers over the summer.  Can we shoot for one on the West Coast, one in the Mid-West and one on the East coast? 

      Ideas for a 2000 New Years Eve party!!??  Where will it be?  Send suggestions to Chris Starace (Gandaho@aol.com). 

           

Bulletin Board

 

NPCA conference in Minneapolis/St. Paul this summer Aug. 12-15 in the Deadbeat?  People can get more info at www.mnrpcv.or.  At the conference will be a FOB reunion, Friday, August 13 at a time and place to be determined.  Anyone interested should inquire/RSVP to Andy Caranicas at Caranicas@hotmail.com

 

 Bonjour, Benin RPCVs-

 World of Friends,


* Inc. is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working exclusively in Benin. I founded it after I returned home from my Peace Corps work there several years ago. IÕm always looking to make contact with people who still hold a special place in their hearts for this country of wonderful people.

 

 We have a family service program in which we provide monthly stipends (for up to 12 months) for Beninese families.  Plus, we maintain a scholarship fund that supports a university student.  Our third program is the support of cooperatives.

 

 Right now, World of Friends is seeking a short-term technical advisor who speaks French, is familiar with village life (and comfortable with the village meeting process), and has extensive expertise in setting up small businesses in the U.S. and cooperatives overseas. Is


 that you? World of Friends is working on a project to study the most potentially profitable income-producing endeavors for several Beninese cooperatives.

 

 If you love Benin and its people, I d love to hear from you. Please e-mail worldoffriends@home.com or call me at 602/485-5889.

 

 Nancy Norland, President

 World of Friends, Inc.

 

Overheards:

(From Chris Starace)         Paul Lavigne when doing a little sidewalk shopping in China Town,  NY City said to the vendor, ÒHow much are those socks?Ó  The vendor replied, ÒTen Dollars.Ó  Paul asserting his RPCVÕness said, ÒAh, thatÕs too much!,Ó hoping that heÕd diminuer his prix, but instead the vendor angrily retorted,  ÒThen DonÕt buy it!Ó  I bet Paul hasnÕt tried to bargain in the U.S. after that incident.

 

(From Annie Rimoine)  Here is


È an overheard that just happened, which

any RPCV from Brad days will understand (he hated the name 'the deadbeat'):

       "Oh No! Just when I thought I had escaped this damned

         Deadbeat!".... Brad Favor (ex-CD/Benin) when given the

          new FoB Deadbeat.

     

Send your overheards for the next Deadbeat.  DonÕt use ones already printed in past Deadbeats so try to remember some good unpublished ones from Benin, and  keep your ears open at the next RPCV fete.

 

Does anyone know the origin of the name Deadbeat for the PCV publication?  If you do please share.  It will surely make an interesting story.

 

Updates on Members/ Message Board-

            Marriages, moves, engagements, new addresses, new children, etc., new jobs, say hi to old friends, locate a long lost post / stage mate ...

 

Cheryl Klenda (SBD 95-97) and Marcus Pressl (Math / Science teacher 95-97) were married in Crested Butte, CO on July 24th.  Congradulations!

 

News From Benin:

         


2The road the PC office is on has been paved.  English teaching is a new program which has caused the number of PCVÕs to increase to over a hundred.           Lamentably and with great sadness Lemuel Johnson (APCD of the Small Business Program) passed away from something sounding like cancer last August.  He had been sick for a year or so.  Yamilee Bastien (SBD Volunteer) took his place temporarily.  He was a great person and will surely be missed.

 

From Tucker in Come 3/11/99:

  Yamilee will be leaving in July and they are looking for her replacement now.  Mary extended her contract until Sept. 2001 so she will stay around for quite a while. Sawadogo seems to be doing a good job but has lost some volunteer support because he is big on enforcing PC policy- he AdSeped someone recently for the helmet thing.  There a[1]ïre about 100 volunteers now and that should increase slightly over the next couple of years.  They are phasing out Math and Science teachers and getting more English teachers.  Roger is no longer around, he retired.  Dan left and was replaced by an RPCV from Togo. Overall, PC is doing well.  Allada has become party central for Peace Corps with 7 volunteers in the area including Brian, and James who are both big on fairing la fete.

 

      From Stephen Arbogast: 

      The papers here have been filled with the local equivalent of 'investigative reporting.'  None of this will surprise you except that this is being reported as news.  The women who sell sandwiches across from Prixunic (closed, by the way, by the government for a tax related problem)


Tand the guys who sell meat sandwiches in Jonquet are reported to sometimes sell food which is not perfectly clean.  Also, the taxi drivers are accused of sometimes working when they are too tired and that sometimes causes accidents.  No surprise there?! Another reporter told us that sometimes there are people who sleep in their stalls at Dantokpa... Especially people from the north who don't have money for renting rooms in Cotonou... Hm.... 20 to 25 thousand stalls... and maybe a few hundred people sleep there....  Maybe PCV's should think about the market as an alternative stop.  During the recent elections (in which the Sogolo's RP party won the most seats) one government minister was seen using a government 4x4 when campaigning for his party!  Abuse of government funds!  The head of the constitutional court (who is from Haiti) was discov
9ered to have used government money to make a trip home... Surprise, surprise.... There is  a new train between Porto Novo and Cotonou to encourage people to take the train during the highway construction for the route.   Slowly, but surely, it is coming along.  The route west is now completely redone... and is really nice.  The only parts left to finish are the three little bridges near Come... What a difference that trip is now with the new road.  

      People can now access Le Matinal (as of 1 May) on the web at: www.afrikinfo.Com/Matinal. For those who never read many of the newspapers here (probably 20  newspapers now and with every month...), this is one of the best 3 papers in the country.  Biased towards the RB party, but relatively well written and interesting. 

 

(From Kate Allen)

Wednesday, April 21, 1999


¨

UN envoy arrested on drugs charges

 

 Benin's ambassador to the United Nations, Yacoubou Fassassi, is reported to have been arrested for alleged involvement in a drug-trafficking ring. The state prosecutor said he was detained in the capital, Cotonou, after appearing before a district judge.

 

The drugs-trafficking ring is also said to have involved a number of

other diplomats from Benin.

 

Tuesday, March 30, 1999 Published at 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK

Voting in Africa's 'democratic beacon' Poll is a popularity test for a former Marxist.

 Almost three million voters in Benin are being called to the ballot box on Tuesday for the country's third legislative vote since 1990. A total of almost 3,000 candidates from dozens of political parties

are standing in the election.

 

Seats in the country's 83 parliamentary are allocated on the basis of

proportional representation. The vote is a test of the popularity of President Mathieu Kerekou


>, a former Marxist who ruled from 1972 until 1990 and regained power in 1996.

 

Peaceful transfer Correspondents say he was the first incumbent president in West Africa ever to be ousted at the polls, when he lost to former President Nicephore Soglo in 1990. However, the former president won his way back to power when he was re-elected in 1996. The peaceful transfer of power has contributed to the creation of Benin's reputation as a beacon of democracy in the region.

 

"Today is a great day for Benin and for democracy," Mr. Soglo was

quoted as saying as he voted in the city of Cotonou. "I think that the

opposition will win without too much difficulty." Some 200 international observers are monitoring the elections, including more than 100 from the US.  The European Union did not send any monitors, because it reportedly ex


Npects a trouble-free election.  But some voters are apparently more cynical about the workings of democracy in Benin. "The wealthiest will win the election," one Cotonou resident told the French news agency, AFP. Correspondents say candidates and their aides have shown little discretion in handing out presents to voters, especially money.

 

From Kirsten Spainhower:

 WASHINGTON, June 4, 1999  The World Bank announced a US$25.5 million equivalent credit to assist the Republic of Benin improve the quality of life for urban residents, particularly those in low income areas, of the

major cities.

 

 The First Decentralized City Management Project, is part of a six year program designed to provide better quality and cost effective basic services to urban residents, particularly the poor, in BeninÕs three main cities, Cotonou, Porto Novo, and


Parakou. The first phase of the project will be implemented over the next three years and will support the governmentÕs current decentralization initiative by strengthening

the capacities of local authorities and line ministries to better mobilize, and use resources to provide basic urban services. The inadequate

provision of these services and infrastructure will be addressed through:

 Improving the level and quality of local public services by strengthening the management capabilities of the municipal governments, building the capacity of line ministries to support local authorities, and reforming the

urban management regulatory framework; Improving transport and access to basic services for urban residents. In addition, the local authorities will undertake the rehabilitatio


on and reconstruction of basic urban infrastructure, such as primary drainage and public health centers, to improve living conditions and stimulate the local economy; and Mobilizing low income neighborhoods to plan, implement, and contribute to financing neighborhood rehabilitation projects and community based activities. To support these initiatives local governments will be established to channel community priorities into urban development plans.

     Over the past 20 years, BeninÕs urban growth has averaged approximately five percent a year and this has been an underlying factor for nearly all issues concerning their urban development. This growth was stimulated by rural migration and is most pronounced in the coastal cities such as Cotonou where the countryÕs main port is located.  The absence of adequate planning in the main cities has led to the chaotic settleme


rnt on inappropriate and environmentally vulnerable land.

 

 The First Decentralized City Management Project will be financed by a US$25.5 million equivalent credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World BankÕs concessionary lending arm for the poorest countries. The IDA credit is on standard terms of 40 years maturity, including 10 years grace. Another US$8.1 million will be provide in cofinancing from the government and project beneficiaries, and parallel financing from the Agence Francaise de Developpement.

 

Messages From Current Benin PCVÕs:

      Send us a package full of bonnes choses to B.P.. 44 Come, le Mono.

Yours friendly, Tucker and Elena (PCV's in Come)

 

Reflections on Being a PCV and the Life Long Task of  Readjustment:

 

Ways Benin RPCV's Know That They Have Re-Entry Shock"

1.  You spend half an hour looking for the smallest tomato ißn the

grocery store because obviously, most of  the tomatoes that are in

the store are so large that they must have been in some sort of

nuclear accident.  (submitted by Jessica Duke, 1989 - 1991)

 

2.  An organization responded to your resume and cover letter - not

with a job offer, but asking why you signed the letter "Ready for the Revolution, the Fight Continues" (this is for those of us who remember the communist days)    (submitted by Jessica Duke, 1989 - 1991)