Murdered Peace Corps Volunteer Blogged from Benin
The power of International Newsvideo usually surpasses that of reporting via printed and transcripted media.
A direct example of this is the report filed by an off-air reporter named Kirit Radia who blogs for ABC News. His blog dated March 12th has been
slow to find its way to major news publications, probably due to the fact that the incident he reported occurred in Badjoude, Benin, situated in a remote part of West Africa. The incident involves the death of Catherine 'Kate' Puzey, a young Peace Corps volunteer stationed there as an English teacher
at a rural public school.
Today the Peace Corps identified the victim of this week's tragedy in west Africa as 24-year-old Catherine "Kate" Puzey of Cumming, Ga.
Puzey was found dead outside her home Thursday in a small village in the western African nation of Benin. There is still official no word on the circumstances of her death, though officials say it appears she had been murdered.
Puzey had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin since July 17, 2007, almost two years ago. She was an English teacher in the small village of Badjoude, about six hours north of Benin's capital by car. A memorial for her will be held in the capital city of Conotou on Monday.
As a Blogger, I immediately sought to read the last Blog post of this 24-year-old girl, in order to get a glimpse into the life of a young American female who would sacrifice the 'American Dream' to survive instead in a hut without running water and electricity.
What I found was a Blogpost dated October 2008, entitled, 'What A Summer !' The Blog is now fittingly immortalized as some of the last published words of a smart, beautiful, fun-loving, selfless and genuine young woman.
In my opinion, the entire Blog now has the makings of a novel, screenplay and film, so colorful and strong are her words - and pictures.
Because she wished to record the details of her life with her family, friends and neighbors, the photos she uploaded still exist at her albums on Google's Picasaweb. I have uploaded only a few pics from those albums because they offer revealing insights into her life in Benin, but there are thousands more in the collection which hopefully will remain available for all to view and cherish - unless someone decides to deprive us of this, her legacy. I personally feel she realized the great amount of personal dedication, sacrifice and responsibility involved in her relation with the Peace Corps, and that she chose to share her contribution with the world through her words, deeds and photos.
Catch the web albums while you can, and also read Kate Puzey's
final Blog posting at http://beinginbenin.blogspot.com/
Deep gratitude and kudos to Boing Boing's illustrious blogger and
my favorite Flickr contact Xeni Jardin for first bringing this story to the world via her Flickr photos.
There are currently 100 Volunteers serving in Benin. Over 1,631 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Benin since the program was established in 1968.
I believe the Peace Corps deserve greater recognition for their involvement during these times of heightened Global awareness of Poverty and the need for greater Education of the masses.
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Friendswood, Texas, United States