Connecting with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in Nairobi
By Guest Contributor on Monday, June 20th, 2011
Peace Corps connections are everywhere: I’m sitting in the office of Richard Jones with International Fertilizer Development Center discussing Encore Service Corps International – including the wonderful work that Larry Badger did with video a few months ago – when suddenly a woman walking down the hall stops short upon hearing the conversation and pops in to say “Anne! I’m Kelly.” That is, she is Kelly Stenhoff, a former housemate of my NPCA colleague Molly Mattessich when she lived in DC. Small world? Not really. She knew I was coming to Nairobi and I knew she was here, but neither of us knew the connection with Richard.
Nairobi is host to numerous international development organizations, so it’s a natural hub for RPCVs. A dozen joined me on a beautiful Saturday morning to brave the Nairobi traffic and enjoy a lovely brunch. These RPCVs served from the 1970s to the 2000s; most served in Africa. They work now with such organizations as USAID, the World Bank and the Population Council. One RPCV, John Miskell, started as a PCV in Kenya in 1970 and, except for one year, has been in the region ever since.
Also included in the group were four former board members for NPCA member groups:
- Ben Bellows (Friends of Ecuador and Northern California Peace Corps Association, as well as the NPCA Board of Directors),
- Mike Diliberti (Friends of Sierra Leone),
- Kelly Stenhoff (RPCVs of Washington, DC), and
- John Vreyens (Minnesota RPCVs, now the Programming and Training Director for Peace Corps Kenya).
Thanks, Ben and John, for organizing the brunch and to the RPCVs in Nairobi for joining us!
Anne Baker is NPCA’s Vice President and the Managing Director of Encore Service Corps International. Encore is being managed by NPCA this year through a Joint Project to build capacity among our program partners in the developing world. To learn more about Encore and to apply for any of the five current volunteer opportunities, visit www.encoreservicecorps.org.