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Spotted on the Shelf (already!) at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon
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RPCV Joe Kennedy III Talks About His Peace Corps Experience
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Is A Peace Corps Library and Museum Needed?
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Larry Leamer’s (Nepal 1965-67) Novel Inspired by watching Donald Trump Eat a Hamburger
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RPCV Jim Turner Created Hobbit House (Philippines)
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RPCVs talk about writing and publishing at Peace Corps Beyond
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RPCV journalist Christopher Miller (Ukraine)
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Peace Corps Writers Sessions at NPCA Conference
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Spring Cleaning
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Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Health Legislation Introduced

Spotted on the Shelf (already!) at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon

Maria Thomas Fiction Award This Award is named after the novelist Maria Thomas [Roberta Worrick (Ethiopia 1971–73)] who was the author of a well-reviewed novel and two collections of short stories all set in Africa. She lost her life in August, 1989, while working in Ethiopia for a relief agency. She went down in the plane crash that killed Congressman Mickey Leland of Texas. Winner for 2016 for the novel Landfall  is Ellen Urbani (Guatemala 1991-92) Also this: Notes from The Oregonian/OregonLive’s books desk. “Landfall” wins prize: West Linn author Ellen Urbani’s 2015 novel “Landfall,” about the intertwined stories of two teenage girls in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, has won the Peace Corps’ 2016 Maria Thomas Fiction Award, given to Peace Corps alumni  (Urbani served with the Peace Corps in Guatemala from 1991 to 1992). “Landfall,” which The Oregonian/OregonLive’s reviewer called “a book to be savored,” was published by . . .

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RPCV Joe Kennedy III Talks About His Peace Corps Experience

By U.S. News Staff Sept. 23, 2016, at 5:13 p.m. Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass (Dominican Republic 2004-06), is among the most well-known Peace Corps volunteers. He served in the Dominican Republic from 2004-2006, and is an outspoken proponent of the organization founded in 1961 by his great-uncle, John F. Kennedy, and first led by another great-uncle, Sargent Shriver. Along with other current and returned Peace Corps volunteers, he told U.S. News via email about his Peace Corps experiences. What’s your best memory of serving in the Peace Corps? Would you encourage others to do it now? During my service in the DR, I was riding a bus on my own one day when an older gentleman tapped me on the shoulder. “Corpo de Paz?” he asked. I nodded. Then he leaned forward and thanked me. “For what?” I asked. He explained that years ago, a young man came to his town as a Peace Corps volunteer and helped . . .

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Is A Peace Corps Library and Museum Needed?

  In some 135 countries, over the last 55 years, Peace Corps Volunteers have worked at the grassroots crossroads of the past and the future. Volunteers have witnessed the end of colonization, the rise of modernity and its cultural blowback, climate change and its environmental consequences, political violence and terrorism. Volunteers have intervened and interfered in other peoples’ lives, sometimes with outstanding success and sometimes not. Peace Corps Volunteers have opened a window on the lives of people of the world. There are great Peace Corps books, blogs, websites, videos, archives, and oral histories, public, private and personal. There is a treasure of invaluable information in all of Volunteers’ work and observations. Perhaps clues to solving some of the world crises of today might be found in this work. But for these materials to be accessible to researchers and historians, as well as the general public, they have to be preserved . . .

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Larry Leamer’s (Nepal 1965-67) Novel Inspired by watching Donald Trump Eat a Hamburger

By Barbara Marshall – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer  Sunday September 18 Stop us if this sounds familiar: Vincent Victor, a pugnacious businessman, playboy and bombastic developer of discount shopping malls called “Victor’s Golden Castle” creates a Miss Universe-like pageant called The Great American Breast Contest which leads to a starring role in a reality TV show called The Vigilantes, which he parlays into a run at the presidency. If that reminds you of Donald Trump, it’s meant to, says author and historian Laurence Leamer, author of “The President’s Butler,” a new satiric novel. Related by Victor’s butler, Billy Baxter, the story portrays Victor as a proudly anti-intellectual attention junkie who spews conspiracy theories and Twitter put-downs. After pummeling his mainstream political opponents to grab the GOP nomination for president, he faces a Democratic opponent he belittles as Blundering Belinda Ball. Any doubts about the object of Leamer’s lampooning are . . .

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RPCV Jim Turner Created Hobbit House (Philippines)

(Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) In the Philippines, Jim Turner’s heartbroken ‘hobbits’ mourn the loss of their patron by William Branigin (c) 2016, The Washington Post. All over Manila, the “little people” are in mourning. Jim Turner (Philippines 1961-63), a former Peace Corps volunteer from Iowa who established the renowned Hobbit House, died on Steptember 8, 2016, at 77 of heart and lung ailments, leaving generations of Philippine dwarfs bereft. The Hobbit House was founded in 1973 as a theme bar and restaurant – a tribute of sorts to Turner’s favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien – and it soon became a haven for the dwarfs he rescued from the capital’s streets and from carnivals and variety shows that demeaned them. He employed dwarfs as waiters, bartenders, cashiers, entertainers, even bouncers. Eventually, they became managers and owners. Over the years, children and grandchildren of the original staff . . .

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RPCVs talk about writing and publishing at Peace Corps Beyond

  On Wednesday, September 21st from 3:15–4:15 pm and then repeated from 4:30 pm–5:30 pm, RPCV authors whose books were influenced by their Peace Corps experience and have been published by the Peace Corps Writers imprint, will participate in panels talking about writing and producing their books. The panels will be moderated by Marian Haley Beil. The panelists are: Emily Creigh (Paraguay 1975–77), who co-authored with and Dr. Martin Amada, Journey to the Heart of the Condor: Love, Loss and Survival in a South American Dictatorship. (Emily will participate only in the second panel.) Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia 1962—64), author of the the memoir Wanderlust Satisfied Marty Ganzglass (Somalia 1966–68), author of The Orange Tree, a novel set in Somalia, and Somalia – a collection of short fiction. (Marty will participate only in the first panel.) Jay Hersch (Colombia 1964–66), whose Peace Corps memoir is Time Passages Catherine Onyemelukwe (Nigeria 1962–64), whose memoir is Nigeria Revisited: My Life and Loves Abroad. The panels will be presented at: Floyd Heck . . .

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RPCV journalist Christopher Miller (Ukraine)

  Alana DeJoseph (Mali 1992-94) who is working on a film about the Peace Corps entitled, The Towering Task,  has just been filming PCVs in Ukraine and alerted me to a former Peace Corps Volunteer in the Ukraine, Chris Miller (Ukraine 2010-2012). Alana writes, “Miller is a highly respected journalist in Ukraine now and does much reporting on the conflict in the east of the country.”   As a PCV, Miller was a Youth Developer Volunteer. He taught, as he writes on Linked In, “English, volunteerism, journalism, IT, healthy living, employment skills, teamwork and sports to Ukrainian youth. I was responsible for the organization of seminars, retreats and camps specializing in sustainable teaching of healthy lifestyles topics by Ukrainian nationals and future PCVs, as well as NGO development. I organized and instructed clubs for local youth, including English clubs, journalism clubs and sports clubs.”   Alana was kind enough to forward to . . .

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Peace Corps Writers Sessions at NPCA Conference

Marvin Center Room 407: Wednesday!, September 21, 2016 3:15 – 4:15 pm: Stories of Peace: Panel Discussion with Marian Haley Beil and Published Peace Corps Authors 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Stories of Peace: Panel Discussion with Marian Haley Beil and Published Peace Corps Authors   Marvin Center Room 403 3:15 – 4:15 pm: Writing Your Peace Corps Story Workshop with John Coyne 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Writing Your Peace Corps Story Workshop with John Coyne Venue Address: Marvin Center – Fourth Floor George Washington University 800 21st St NW Washington, DC 20052 (Later that evening we’ll be meeting again for a chat and a drink at Tonic (2036 G Street NW)

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Spring Cleaning

It’s not spring yet officially until two more weeks, but the warm, sunny days and the fragrant freesias blooming in my garden activate my spring urges. Our apricot tree wears soft white blossoms, and the perfumed air is intoxicating. When I’m not outside talking to the seeds I planted, encouraging them to rise and shine, I’m tackling projects like cleaning out a closet in the spare bedroom. It’s a job I’ve dreaded – sorting through boxes and albums of slides taken by my parents on multiple trips and cruises to Jamaica, Norway, Scottish Highlands, the Pacific Northwest, Chile. Ten boxes, 70 slides per box. Through a mini-viewer I quickly check for people photos. Here’s a surprise. Shots of two survivors of the plane crash in the Andes involving an Uruguayan rugby team. They were staying at the same hotel as my parents while here in Chile for my wedding. I . . .

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Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Health Legislation Introduced

Nancy Tongue and her team at Health Justice for Volunteers have worked tirelessly for years to secure better treatment and support for RPCVs who have service connected illnesses. Today, their efforts have been rewarded. From the announcement on the NPCA Peace Corps Connect website: “Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Sam Farr (D-CA) introduced Peace Corps healthcare legislation earlier today that would provide Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) with service-related conditions greater healthcare, including an increase in worker’s compensation benefits and extending the length of time they remain under Peace Corps’ care. The bipartisan Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act (H.R. 6037) also reauthorizes key provisions of the Kate Puzey Act, including the extension of the Office of Victim Advocacy to care for survivors of sexual assault, and the extension of Peace Corps’ Sexual Assault Advisory Council to 2023.” Here is the link to the entire article: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/articles/returned-peace-corps-volunteer-healthcare-legislation-introduced

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