Tobey Llop

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Tobey Llop
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg
Country Cote_d'Ivoire
Years: 1970-1972
Site(s) M'Biakro
Region(s) Central
Program(s) Education
Assignment(s) Secondary-Edwarning.png"Secondary-Ed" is not in the list of possible values (Agroforestry, Sustainable Agricultural Science, Farm Management and Agribusiness, Animal Husbandry, Municipal Development, Small Business Development, NGO Development, Urban and Regional Planning, Primary Teacher/Training, Secondary Teacher/Training, Math/Science Teacher/Training, Special Education/Training, Deaf/Education, Vocational Teacher/Training, University Teacher/Training, English Teacher/Training (TEFL), Environmental Education, National Park Management, Dry Land Natural Resource Conservation, Fisheries Fresh, Ecotourism Development, Coastal /Fisheries Resource Management, Public Health Education, AIDS Awareness, Information Technology, Skilled Trades, Water and Sanitation Resources Engineering, Housing Construction Development, Youth, Other) for this property.
Tobey Llop started in Cote_d'Ivoire 1970
Ted Ford, Tobey Llop
Region: Central
Tobey Llop
Education in Cote_d'Ivoire:Education.gif
Dennis Bilodeau, Tobey Llop, Gerald Plotkin
Other Volunteers who served in Cote_d'Ivoire
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg
Sharon Abramowitz, Dennis Bilodeau, Leslie Therese Blanton, Michelle Daly, Volunteers who served in Cote d'Ivoire, Cote d'Ivoire volunteers, William DiDiego, Sarah Erdman, Tim Fischer, Ted Ford, Bethany Hardin Blackburn, Jennifer Humbrecht, Loretta Ishida, Shana (Jackson) Haines, Tobey Llop … further results
Projects in Cote_d'Ivoire
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg
Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten School Construction, Primary School Renovation (Soungassou)
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Contents

The Gist

Teaching English as a foreign language at the C.E.G. in M'Biakro, Côte d'Ivoire (AKA Ivory Coast) was a pivotal experience of my life. Most of us were fresh from college and delighted to have an alternative to participating in a war which seemed contrary to American values, American interests, and American honor. From the deal, Côte d'Ivoire got an inexpensive and reasonably competent English teacher who could model some of democracy's higher ideals. The volunteer, myself, got a great adventure, a real education, and experiences to treasure for a lifetime.

Thinking Back

Rumor had it, back then, that about a quarter of Côte d'Ivoire's national budget was devoted to education. One can only imagine where the United States would be today if it had the same priorities. Côte d'Ivoire had been independent for a decade, but still enjoyed considerable economic support from France, the former colonizing power. Coffee, cocoa, and cotton, if memory serves, were exports that France could exploit. While former African colonies were expelling nationals of the colonizing powers, Côte d'Ivoire's President Felix Houphouët-Boigny proclaimed that all were welcome in his country who wanted to help build it. While in neighboring countries the infrastructures began to crumble, in Côte d'Ivoire they were well maintained (by African standards) and the economy boomed (again by African standards). As an American, I was a welcome guest where ever I went.

Many factors have altered the reputation of The United States and eroded the good will once enjoyed. Restoring the ideals and honor of what it meant to be an American is a tall but worthy order for current and future volunteers. Step one, obviously, is to admit to America's failings. The welcomed received around the world by Barak Obama, I expect (in 2009) could be a taste of things to come.

Stories To Be Told

While I was there, Pat Nixon, wife of the American President, paid a visit. I expect to write more about that here as well.

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