Nigeria 01 Reunions
1961. Nigeria 1 leaving for Nigeria from New York's Idlewild Airport
NIGERIA 1 ZOOM REUNION
Nigeria 1 was the third PC group to be assigned anywhere. Training started in Cambridge, MA at Harvard, and continued at the (then) University College Ibadan, Nigeria. The latter was the scene of the notorious “postcard incident,” which threatened the future of the PC, resulted in the writer being sent home, created tension for a few volunteers when they reached their assigned posts, and was a learning experience for all.
On March 13/14, 2021, Nigeria 1 had a wonderful Zoom reunion. Of the 28/29 people on the mailing list, (one is the wife of a former director), 16 responded that they would like to participate, and four indicated they would/could not for various reasons. That was more than twice as many who had attended the last live reunion in DC several years ago. It took a few days to decide upon a date and a few more days to figure out a time of day that would work for everyone. For a RCPV in England it was 10 pm on the 13th; in Hawaii it was 2 pm; in Japan it was 7 am on the 14th; and for the rest of us in the US it was either 2 or 5 pm on the 13th.
After lots of hi and hello and who and what, we started with each person taking a few minutes to relate where they were and what they had been doing when they learned, way back in 1961, that something called the Peace Corps was about to begin, hearing ”... ask not what your country can do for you …....“ Each person related their pre-PC situation, continued with what they had been doing since, then there was lots of reminiscing and sharing. Our Zoom lasted about 1 ½ hours.
After PC, many volunteers had continued with service of some kind, national, international, several in academia, with assignments in Africa and other parts of the world. Most are now retired but many carry on with volunteer and/or activism of various kinds. Some of us had kept in contact with a few others over the years. Eight of our original PCV group and several staff were deceased.
The session was recorded so those who could/did not participate could view it, or we could just look at it again. Everyone agreed we should repeat the gathering and we probably will... maybe in a few months. It was a great experience and we highly recommend it to everyone.