Remembering our Friend

Our dear friend and colleague, Catherine Saltwick, passed away on 30 May 2008 in Botswana, Africa where she was posted as a Peace Corps Volunteer. We, her fellow Peace Corps Volunteers, have created this blog to honor her and to allow all of her many friends, PCVs and her family to share their stories and their grief. To say we are shocked and saddened by the accident that took her from us is an understatement. To say she is missed and will never be forgotten is a truth.

Cathy was a seeker of truth, a seeker of adventure and a seeker of love and she found it all in Botswana. She served in the small village of Mookane and enjoyed her Peace Corps experience so much, she had just signed up for an extended third year of service, where she was to be posted at PSI in Gaborone. She spoke fluent Setswana, a feat few of her fellow PCVs accomplished. She said that the Peace Corps changed her for the better, but we all thought she was wonderful the first day we met her. Her motto was: “It’s all good,” and she said it often.

Cathy is respected by so many and we will miss her terribly. Her spirit lives on in each of us because she touched our lives with her inner and outer beauty, with her love of life, with her calm assurance of confidence and contentment and with her life of service and caring about others.

We are proud to call her a friend and we love her.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

From Anne Fitzgerald

Sometimes, during the Peace Corps, volunteers will come together solely in need of familiarity and a sympathetic ear. But I became friends with Cathy because I really liked her; she was kind, funny, and such a sweet person. And beneath her gentle and calm nature was a strength and steadfastness that I and others recognized and were drawn to. At a time when other volunteers are overwhelmed and stressed by setbacks and the foreignness of Africa, she was fearless and sure of herself. Cathy sought to embrace the difficulties and hardships of her work and she continuously struggled to learn from them and improve herself. I admired her greatly for that.

Cathy did not often come into Mahalapye, the nearest town and to where I was posted. Despite Mahalapye's lure of luxury in the form of other Americans, warm baths, grocery stores, and sufficient water, she was so happy and involved in her community that she hardly ever left. She worked hard to learn the language well and immersed herself into her village and her work. Through detailed emails about her clinic, her coworkers and the library that was being built, it was obvious that she loved Mookane and that Mookane loved her back.

Cathy embodied the most desired traits in a Peace Corps volunteer and in any person. She was empathetic and kind to all, secure in the face of adversity, selfless in her service to others and, most importantly, she was able to find the humor in life and was able to laugh at herself. I am so lucky to have known her and even luckier that she was my friend. I will miss you, my dear Cathy.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

Wow it saddens me to see another Peace Corps Volunteer pass on. I know her work was not in vain and God appreciates the time and effort she put in to Botswana. My prayers go out to her friends and family.

Lord give them peace in this time of tragedy. Let them understand that your plans for our lives are bigger than anything we have planned for ourselves. Amen.

From a Fellow PCV in Bulgaria