We are early in the process of organizing the meeting in Austin on June 20th. We have selected the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown as the venue. Call (512) 451-5757 to call the hotel directly. Ask for the “Friends of Nigeria” or FON rate. It should be $99 for a double room, breakfast included. To get the group rate, you have to sign up before May 29th.
We are holding this meeting in conjunction with the NPCA Peace Corps Connect meeting June 20-22. They have the option of staying at athletic dorms at the University of Texas, so that is a cheaper choice for lodging.
We urge you to stay at the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown so that you can attend our event without the need for any travel. This should maximize your time to socialize with other Nigeria RPCVs. Generally the idea is to arrive on Wednesday, June 19th, and meet fellow FON members for dinner. There will also be a Friends of Nigeria board meeting which is open to anybody on Wednesday evening. Then stay for the actual meeting on the 20th. Depart on the 21st, unless you plan to stay on to attend the NPCA Peace Corps Connect meeting.
We included a questionnaire in the Winter FON newsletter, asking our membership what they would like as the venue, the theme of the meeting, and possible speakers. We have recently sent out an updated version of the questionnaire via an email blast. We also encourage our members to volunteer to tell a story or recollect an event from their time in Nigeria. We all had some amazing experiences, so let’s share them with each other.
We are encouraging Training Groups to organize reunions. If you would like to take the lead with your training group, I (Greg Jones) can set you up with email lists or mailing lists for the members of your group.
Texas has more Nigerians than any other state, and many Nigerian Diaspora groups. We plan to invite as many as possible to join our meeting so that we can have a cross-cultural exchange in the afternoon. Since there are many Nigerian students at the University of Texas, we hope to have the experience be cross-generational as well.
Do make your travel arrangements, accommodations, and reservations early. The sooner we know how many people are coming, the better we can fine-tune the event.