Lillian Baer

Leaving Senegal in the early days of 2007 allowed me to recreate myself in new images. After 32 years living in Dakar, Senegal, working first with Peace Corps, and then a YMCA development program, followed by co-founding Africa Consultants International, aka The Baobab Center for the final 22 years, I thought that it would be interesting, and easy, to take the leap. Mmm...


A year in Rome, Italy, sloppily learning Italian and exploring the city on foot and by mouth, and the countryside by wheels, was what I needed and loved. Then a move to Seattle at the end of 2007, thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recruiting my partner, Arlene. Rome indeed provided the transition I knew would have to happen for me to shift to the other foot, and to another continent. I landed well, and after exploring the area and my inner self, have come to love being and living here in Washington State. Another gift along my life's path (in the basket of treasure troves, like two years at CIE in Amherst).


Starting out by working at a 2008 election day voting precinct, followed by managing a team of door-to-door Census workers for the 2010 Decennial count, I have gone on to work part time for an ambulatory medical study for the CDC, all through the US Census Bureau. It has given me an opportunity to know the broad health trends in this area and, once again, meet interesting people.


For many years now, I have also been working with the following international nonprofit organizations. Check them out: the Baobab Center; the Grandmother Project; and Associates in Research and Education for Develoment (ARED).


I will time-out of these groups in the coming year or two, and am deciding which activities will replace them, as I move from being a member of the boards of directors to being an advisor. There is no scarcity of interesting organizations in this area that offer interesting opportunities to help.


The fourth nonprofit that has been filling my time for a few years is SEAPAX, the local Seattle-based association of former Peace Corps Volunteers. My partner Arlene and I just completed two years as Co-Presidents, and remain active in the organization. We focus on the Peace Corps' Third goal, bringing the experiences of Volunteers to the US environment.


Super highlights in Seattle include spending time with good friend and former CIE peer Pat Guild O'Rourke, who welcomed us to this area with open arms and heart, and being in touch with other CIE'ers who pass through our lives.


We enjoy hosting events, fundraisers, meetings, and soup nights in our home, and are blessed to offer visitors some of the views of Seattle - notably, the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier - from our living room, and love having put down a few new roots in the past nine years.


Let us know if you will be in the area. [5-17]





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