Friday, September 14, 2012


Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Trainee Paul Blum

Above is the press release given out by the Peace Corps. Below is a link from a fellow trainee about the night of Paul's death.

Caitlin's Blog Post - Sometimes Things Happen

This came as an incredible shock to us all. We began hearing rumors the morning before we were supposed to leave for our second site visit. The night before, had been a joyful, wonderful time with all the RAPpers. We had an oven making competition and pizza contest, along with singing and games. We slept outside and enjoyed ourselves. It was the first night we had all been able to enjoy each others company since we came into this country. (we kinda have a curfew)

A memorial was planned by the CHIP group, the group who knew Paul the most. It was a touching and moving ceremony. I came to Zambia expecting to attend many funerals, but I never once thought I'd be attending an American's funeral. I only knew Paul briefly, but I feel the same for him as I do many people here. We are all close. We are family. From the sounds of it, although Paul was one of the oldest volunteers in the country, he was the youngest at heart.

I'm sure all of the trainees during the last week have reflected on why they are here. The sudden shock effected us all in different ways. I remembered back to the reasons why I joined. If anything, Paul's death serves as motivation to me, to carry on what he no longer can, to finish what he started. Everything can be taken from us at any time, so make it worth while.

I'm glad before his heart attack, Paul had the chance to see his new home and meet with the villagers he would call neighbors and friends for the next 2 years. In a few days I'll be doing the same thing. I'm so exited to see my house and think of all the fun I'll have making it my home, digging a garden, hosting friends and family, sitting around all day and enjoying sunsets. It is awful that he died, but I know he died happy. He was in Zambia, fulfilling a dream he had had for many years, doing exactly what he wanted to do.

RIP Paul. You will be missed.

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