The Great Guesthouse Debate continues...
Thought the below from Peace Corps Online might be interesting to those of you who remember the heated "guesthouse" debates in the mid 90's, not sure what the status is now in Malawi with that.
Peace Corps responds to parents' concerns about Guest
Houses in Guinea
Read the memo from Henry McKoy, Peace Corps' Africa Region
Director, on the plan to reconfigure the Guest Houses in Guinea.
Regional houses currently have an Information Resource Center, a
sick room, a kitchen, living room, bedrooms that sleep 15-20
Volunteers, phone and radio communications, 24-hour guard
service, and a vehicle and driver. The new Regional facilities
will retain everything that is currently found in the Regional
houses except the dormitory facilities. The Country Director has
researched safe lodging options in hotels and hostels in the
Regional capitals and has determined that these accommodations
are better suited for volunteers' needs.
However parents of some PCVs think it is a big mistake and are
sending letters to the Peace Corps and to their Senators and
Congressmen urging them to intervene.
The question of Guest Houses is an old one that goes back in
Peace Corps history for at least 35 years. Remember in 1965 when
Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn had to travel to Nigeria for two
weeks to meet with restless volunteers, some of whom were
threatening a sit-down strike because the Peace Corps was closing
down the hostels it had been operating for volunteer's
convenience and clamping down on the use of motorbikes. The story
is in the Peace Corps classic "Keeping Kennedy's Promise" by C.
Payne Lucas and Kevin Lowther and the "Peace Corps Volunteer"
magazine devoted a special issue at the time to Vaughn's trip and
his meetings with volunteers where he simply told them that the
Peace Corps should not be in the hotel business. Read the story
and leave your comments at:
Elizabeth Bell, MPH
STOP Activity Unit
Polio Eradication Branch
Global Immunization Division
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention