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August 24, 2008

Peace Corps volunteer escapes Russian invasion of Georgia

Military action sends granddaughter of LaVale couple packing

CUMBERLAND — A LaVale couple’s granddaughter who was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Georgia found safety across the border when Russian troops invaded earlier this month.

Lindsey Harris, 21, of Newark, Del., traveled to the Republic of Georgia in June to teach English classes there, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

When Russian troops invaded, towns were seized and her Peace Corps group was forced to flee to nearby mountains, then across the border.

Harris is the daughter of David and Amy Harris. David, a 1973 graduate of Allegany High School, is the son of Monroe and Gwen Harris of LaVale.

“Amy and I were able to talk with Lindsey in Armenia,” David wrote to his parents in an e-mail.

“She is doing fine there and they do not have definite word on their future but it looks like they will not be going back to Georgia. ... Hopefully she can take a vacation in Europe with other Peace Corps members that were in Georgia, this was something that she wanted to do while over there with her time off. ... She will then come home and will need to decide what to do next. She could de-cide to do another Peace Corps assignment but would not start that until next summer.

“It is very sad for the people of Georgia to lose the Peace Corps volunteers just at a time that they have even more need for help! Keep everyone over there in your prayers that peace can come to their country. We are looking forward to Lindsey having a wonderful vacation and then returning home.”

Lindsey joined the Peace Corps and traveled with 46 other volunteers to Georgia after graduating from Elon (N.C.) University this spring, according to the Inquirer.

The music performance and English literature major already had helped the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and taught English to children in Guatemala in school-sponsored programs.

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