Naples native Drury MacKenzie '03 was recently evacuated from her Peace Corps post in Haiti, where she was helping to plant tangerine, avocado and mango trees, one of 76 such volunteers withdrawn from Haiti. She and President Mark Gearan were featured in the March 5 Canandaigua Daily Messenger story “Americans in Haiti.”
“It's very difficult because I was planning on living there for another two years,” said MacKenzie Monday from her home in Naples. “Mentally, I had become a part of my community. I have many, many friends there that I didn't have a chance to say goodbye to.”
President Mark Gearan helped re-establish the Peace Corps post in Haiti in 1996, after it had been closed for similar reasons a decade before, during his term as Peace Corps director. He had to be evacuated amid hostilities from his service in Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. He said the Peace Corps is often the threat-gauge for other aid groups.