[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 147 (2001), Part 16]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages 22388-22389]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]



                        HON. MICHAEL E. CAPUANO

                            of massachusetts

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, November 13, 2001

  Mr. CAPUANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate the life and service 
of Larisa Jaffe, a Peace Corps volunteer, who lost her life in Zimbabwe 
in October of this year. Dr. Jaffe was a naturalized American citizen. 
She came to the United States from the former Soviet Union where she 
had earned a doctorate in geology. A woman of great intellectual 
energy, she taught at the Monterey Institute of International Studies 
in California and at West High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. She 
became certified as an emergency medical technician and volunteered her 
services to Planned Parenthood and to hospices for the terminally ill.

[[Page 22389]]

  At the age of sixty-two, she arrived in Zimbabwe as a Peace Corps 
volunteer. She served in the city of Mutare as the Information Officer 
for CADEC, the Catholic Development Commission. She developed HIV/AIDS 
awareness and education materials and assisted the staff with computers 
and information technology. She devoted much of her time to the more 
than 2000 children orphaned by AIDS in the Mutare region. Tragically, 
her work ended with her death, a suspected homicide. Police took into 
custody as suspects two citizens of Zimbabwe.
  Dr. Jaffe's daughter, Julia Ravinsky, lives in Massachusetts where a 
memorial service was conducted on October 26. Ms. Ravinsky spoke of her 
mother's great love of adventure and her even greater love of 
humankind. She showed slides of her mother riding camels and elephants 
and mingling joyously with the peoples of three continents. I salute 
Julia's bravery as well as her mother's.
  Two Peace Corps officials eulogized Larisa Jaffe. Acting Deputy 
Director Lloyd O. Pierson presented an American and a Peace Corps flag 
and a letter of condolence from President and Mrs. Bush. He spoke of 
the significance of the Peace Corps in these difficult times. I quote 
Mr. Pierson: ``Larisa's contributions to the Peace Corps and to our 
country will never be forgotten. The tragic events of September 11 have 
shown more than ever the need for more individuals, like Larisa, 
committed and courageous, who are willing to answer the call to service 
and respond to the challenge of the Peace Corps mission.'' I thank Mr. 
Pierson for traveling to Massachusetts to acknowledge Dr. Jaffe's 
contribution and to comfort her family and friends.
  Lois Hobson, Country Director of the Peace Corps for Zimbabwe, 
accompanied Dr. Jaffe's remains on the sad journey home. I want to 
thank her personally for bringing Julia's mother home. Director Hobson 
spoke of her friendship with Larisa Jaffe, of Larisa's fearlessness, 
her openness, her refusal to find cultural differences obstacles to 
understanding and cooperation. I quote her remarks in part, ``Mutare's 
mountains impressed her deeply, often prompting her to tell others how 
comfortable she felt in Mutare, how much she loved the city and the 
people. When she was required to travel to Harare, she was always in a 
hurry to return to the beautiful city at the foot of the mountains. 
Industrious, creative, energetic, feisty, brave, courageous--this was 
Larisa. Stubborn, independent, mature, sometimes naive, determined, 
loving, kind. This too was Larisa. We all miss her.''
  Mr. Pierson is right that we need to remember Larisa Jaffe. She came 
to the United States as a refugee. She embraced our principles and our 
customs. She believed that all persons are created free and equal. She 
believed in volunteering. Like many of those who perished on September 
11, she knew our country, her adopted country, to be a land of hope and 
opportunity, Her example will continue to inspire us.