This past Friday evening, John and I attended a Peace Vigil sponsored by the Atlanta Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (thanks to Kirk E. for alerting us to this event). It was at the MLK Memorial Site, a proper setting as it was an event focused on the promoting peace. There were about 40 attendees, mostly people who had served in the PC during the past 10-20 years. We were joined by our friend, Kelly S., who recently learned of her PC assignment and is headed to Kenya at the end of May! Everyone was very friendly and interested in our assignment. It was helpful to ask them directly about their experiences. The support and enthusiasm among the group was almost palpable.
We were also able to meet and speak with Jason Carter, a current state senator in Georgia, who is not only President Jimmy Carter’s grandson, but was also a PC volunteer to South Africa. He spoke very positively about his PC experience and I look forward to reading his book about his PC service especially since he served in one of the two provinces where we will most likely be assigned. Hopefully, I will enjoy his book as much as I enjoyed reading his great-grandmother’s (Lillian) account of serving in India in the Peace Corps. Another highlight of the evening was the guest and speaker Lois Puzey, mother of Kate Puzey who was a young PC Volunteer slain about two years ago during her service in the Republic of Benin. It was a very touching tribute and I greatly admire Lois for speaking so positively and encouragingly to this group.
The evening was bitter cold and this was an outdoor event, but the whole experience was quite heart-warming and greatly affirmed that we are headed for some wonderful times/experiences.