After two bombs exploded at the American Center in Kathmandu, throwing shrapnel here and there, Peace Corps decided to suspend its program in Nepal.
This is the first time that Peace Corps has suspended its program in Nepal, which had run continuously for 42 years. That’s thousands of PCVs having served in Nepal and returned home to tell others of their experiences.
But, more importantly, what does this mean for our well loved staff of Peace Corps/Nepal? Much uncertainty, I’m sure. Very sad news indeed.
Peace Corps Suspends Program in Nepal
Washington, DC, September 13, 2004 — Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez today announced the suspension of the Peace Corps program in Nepal effective immediately.
The Peace Corps has had a successful 42-year program in Nepal, making great strides in the areas of small business development, education, environment, youth development and working on health and HIV/AIDS education and awareness. The safety and security of the volunteer is the number one priority of the Peace Corps and in light of the current conditions in Nepal, suspension of the program is a necessary action, said Peace Corps Director Vasquez.
Currently, Peace Corps volunteers are being consolidated.
The Peace Corps program in Nepal began in 1962. Since then, more than 4,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers in the East Asian country.
My group, Nepal 194, will become the last PCVs to COS in country. I hope that not too much times passes before another group of PCVs is able to have the Peace Corps experience in Nepal.
Looking back on my service, I realize how damn lucky I was. Everything finished according to plan. Fast forward to five months later, and PCVs are waiting around a five-star hotel in Kathmandu for boarding passes for flights to Thailand, where they will spend a week or so on their COS and debriefing, i.e., ending their service.
Well, maybe I wasn’t totally lucky. That is one adventure I never experienced.