Gerald Robillard

I saw the name of Gerald Robillard who had passed away while serving in Zaire 1n 1974. I would like to share a story about Gerry. I did not serve with him, but met him in 1972 while I traveled in Africa after my service in Southern Africa. I was in Kisingani, Zaire for 2 weeks awaiting a river boat. Gerry was a frequent visitor to George’s Bar and Restaruant across from the Olympia Hotel where I was staying. Gerry had a great gift of making people laugh with his stories of the “Volkswagon drivin’ Hippy Rebellion” back in Boston, and other spirited tales of how he had come to Zaire. He encouraged our party to eat George’s “Kidney Pie” only to inform us later the kidneys had come from a monkey. He loved his training time in Geneva, Switzerland. It was my impression that it was the best time he had ever had in his life. Gerry spoke the most Americanized French I have ever heard, and people of loved it! He was so sincere in his ability to try to communicate with others. Gerry summed up his philosophy of the Peace Corps like this, and I have never forgotten it: “I do what I can to help; if everyone put just one bean in a pot, soon, nobody would go hungry.” That was Gerald Robillard.

RPCV, June 27, 2004

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