This Saturday, the U.S. Ambassador to Gabon, Cynthia Akuetteh, is supposed to be in Doumandzou for the formal inauguration of the renovated school.
A former Peace Corps staffer, she has shown interest in the project as far back as a year ago when she was awaiting confirmation.
When we first arrived in Libreville, back in January, just a month after she had arrived, she organized at the new Embassy grounds north of the airport a ceremony to honor the two Peace Corps volunteers who died during their service: Karen Phillips and Diana Fillmore. Ambassador Akuetteh arranged to have a tree planted on the Embassy grounds and a plaque with both Karen’s and Diana’s names on it.
During the ceremony, the Ambassador (in yellow below) read a couple of poems, and two of us present spoke about our memories of Karen and Diana. Bob Weisflog made some wonderful remarks about the Peace Corps family. The family was well represented, with four returned volunteers, former staff members and teachers who taught at trainings. The tree will be a living memorial to our friends who never made it home.
Here are a few photos, but you can find more on the Embassy website: http://french.libreville.usembassy.gov/tree_planting.html