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Old 09-07-2006, 05:14 PM   #1
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Normal Peace Corps Mali loses 2 volunteers

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Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Volunteers Justin Brady and Matthew Costa

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 6, 2006 – Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez announced today with deep sadness the deaths of Justin Brady, 27, and Matthew Costa, 24, both of whom were serving in Mali. The deaths were a result of a boating accident on the Niger River in Bamako on Sunday.

Justin hailed from Philomath, Ore. He graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in construction engineering management. Justin joined the Peace Corps in January of 2005 and served as a water sanitation extension agent in the village of Donthieribougou in the region of Koulikoro.

Matt was from Cheshire, Conn. He graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy in 2003. Matt was first assigned to Peace Corps/Chad from 2003-05 where he served as an English teacher. He extended his Peace Corps service and transferred to Mali in November of 2005 to become a small enterprise development volunteer in the village of Kati in the region of Koulikoro.

"The deaths of Justin Brady and Matthew Costa are a tragic loss to everyone who knew these two outstanding volunteers," said Director Vasquez. "Both of these men left legacies in their host communities, and in the Peace Corps, that will not be forgotten."

During his time in the Peace Corps, Justin worked alongside members of the community to build a well, improve latrines, and construct soak pits and hand washing stations. He took an interest in the challenges faced by Malian women and involved over 200 of them in a gardening project to increase their income and improve their nutrition.

Before joining the Peace Corps, Justin wrote, "I want to know what it is like to live, and work, and eat, and smell, and sleep in a place that is outside of everything I have known so far. I want to gain the experiences of another part of the world, and at the same time, try to give back as much as I've been given."

Matt was widely recognized in his community as the host of a popular local radio show featuring American music. He also worked to improve the radio station's marketing strategy. For his primary assignment, Matt taught high school English and organized training for other teachers in the community. In addition, he introduced a millet grinder to the community of Kita, trained 15 men in pump maintenance, educated youth about AIDS prevention, and taught English at a local school. Matt was also part of the community's local soccer team and was known for distributing donations of sporting equipment.

Before joining Peace Corps, Matt described his hope that his experience as a volunteer would "not only broaden my perspective on the human race but will make me more understanding of the problems and strengths of other people and cultures."
Although I was not close friends with either of these volunteers, I did know them. I helped lead some of the training sessions when Justin was a new volunteer, and he was part of our "team Koulikoro" region. Matt joined the Bamako area group just as I was leaving, and I remember him as being a wonderful and friendly guy - someone that I wished I could have spent more time with. He bought some of my stuff before I returned to the States.

Peace Corps Mali is like a family and a loss like this is felt not only among the volunteers in the field but also among those of us who are no longer there. Peace Corps volunteers serve their country and their world, and do more to positively impact the outside world's impression of the U.S. than you might realize.

If you have a moment, please say a prayer for the families of these men, for the Peace Corps Mali staff and volunteers, and for the local communities where they served.
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:16 PM   #2
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I'm sorry about Justin and Matthew
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:59 PM   #3
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:02 PM   #4
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That's very sad news. My thoughts are with their families and friends.
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:13 PM   #5
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:25 PM   #6
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I'm sorry Sula.
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:37 PM   #7
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Old 09-08-2006, 02:33 AM   #8
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:05 AM   #9
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I'm sorry to read that this happened...

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Old 09-08-2006, 08:58 AM   #10
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I am soo sorry for them and their families.

That gave me sort of a chill, my sons name is Matthew too, and well you can tell my last name. eeerrrie.
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:26 AM   #11
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:07 PM   #12
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Old 09-08-2006, 01:35 PM   #13
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http://www.gazettetimes.com/articles...u04_justin.txt

I remember Justin as being so energetic and eager to learn everything. He threw himself into language classes during training, and his passion for all things Malian really stood out.

It disturbs me so much that this is the second time in only 2 years that I have lost friends in accidents having to do with boats and high voltage power lines. It seems like such a freakish sort of thing to happen. After the accident involving my college friend in Minnesota, I never thought that I'd hear of a similiar sort of incident...it seemed like such a bizarre thing to occur.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:21 PM   #14
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I´m sorry...

stay safe
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:54 AM   #15
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Oh man. That beautiful picture of that smiling man in the article near broke my heart.
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