Evacuated from civil war – Brian Cooper, Republic of the Congo 1996-97

There are two counties called Congo: Congo-Brazzaville and Congo-Kinshasa. I was there when the civil war erupted in June 1997 and was evacuated across the Congo River to Congo-Kinshasa by light plane. I then flew back on “Air Force II” with the US Ambassador to the United Nations (Bill Richardson) as he was in the neighborhood at the time.

Photo from Brian’s Story

Brian Cooper’s Peace Corps Story

Where and when did you serve? What did you do?

Served in The Republic of the Congo from to 1996-1997.

What is one of your favorite Peace Corps memories?

Going on a 10 day or so trip in a motorized dugout canoe with 3 other PCVs down a tributary of the Congo River to the Congo River and jumping on a barge and motoring downstream to the capital (Brazzaville).

What is one of your least favorite Peace Corps memories?

Evacuation from civil war.

What do you miss about Peace Corps?

I miss the comradery with other PCVs and the general crazy stuff that happens.

What is something you learned in the Peace Corps?

People all over the world are basically the same on a base level.

Do you have a favorite quote or local saying?

Attention! (in French) which means “pay attention” which is typically uttered once you have whacked yourself on your head or something. It would be much more useful if this was uttered BEFORE wacking yourself on the head!


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