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Winner of the 2017 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award
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RPCVs Alan Toth and Lauren Schwartzman are finalists in Student Academy Awards
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Winner of the 2017 Maria Thomas Fiction Award
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Lesotho RPCV Madeline Uraneck will talk about her book in Raleigh, NC
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A GAME IN THE SUN AND OTHER STORIES by John Coyne (Ethiopia)
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W. Patrick Murphy (Cameroon) nominated for ambassadorship
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Growing problem in the Peace Corps with drug use among Volunteers
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Review — NATURE’S POETRY by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)
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Vanity Fair article by Maureen Orth (Colombia) on Colombia’s most-feared female revolutionary
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Peace Corps and Sri Lankan Ministry of Education sign memorandum of understanding

Winner of the 2017 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org and PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990. A total of 143 awards have been given since that time. Winner of the 2017 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit By Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968-70) Simon & Schuster October 2017 426 pages Hardback $16.41, paperback $14.54, Kindle $14.99 Reviewed by David Arnold (Ethiopia 1964-66) Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968-70) was in Canada when he heard the news of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 assassination at a Los Angeles hotel just hours after the 42-year-old candidate won California’s Democratic primary. Matthews had gone to Canada for a few days with a graduate school friend who was looking for a job and a way to avoid the draft. Matthews’ own options weren’t looking so . . .

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RPCVs Alan Toth and Lauren Schwartzman are finalists in Student Academy Awards

The documentary, Mining Phosphorus   http://www.mining-p.com produced by RPCV Alan Toth (South Africa 2010-2012) is a finalist for the Student Academy Awards.  Rising Dust by RPCV Lauren Schwartzman, (Panama 2013-215) is also a finalist for the prestigious award. Alan Toth has also produced a feature documentary about the modern Peace Corps Experience in South Africa.  Lauren Schwartzman is a member of the team. See the website to learn more:  Posh Corps http://www.poshcorps.com   Here is the ACADEMY AWARDS Announcement: http://www.oscars.org/news/meet-2018-student-academy-awards-finalists Documentary (Domestic Film Schools) Veronica Wangshen, “1,500 Miles 23 Days,” New York University Mathieu Faure, “An Edited Life,” New York University Lauren Schwartzman, “Dust Rising,” University of California –  Berkeley Jiayan “Jenny” Shi, “Finding Yingying,” Northwestern University Grace Oyenubi and Nani Sahra Walker, “Forced,” University of California – Berkeley Yiying Nikki Li, “Love & Loss,” University of Southern California Alan Toth, “Mining Phosphorus,” University of California – Berkeley Congratulations to Alan Toth and Lauren Schwartzman and Good Luck!

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Winner of the 2017 Maria Thomas Fiction Award

  Dead Cow Road: Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) Page Publishing March 2017 506 pages $24.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Bob Criso (Nigeria 1966-67, Somalia 1967-68) •   Dead Cow Road is an ambitious work of historical fiction told through the eyes of a Foreign Service worker assigned to Somalia during the political struggles and famine crisis in 1992. Mark Wentling combines real and fictional events with real and fictional characters to weave an engrossing and complex tale unfolding during a chaotic time in a desperate country. With over 45 years experience living and working in Africa with the Peace Corps, USAID, US Foreign Service, Care and World Vision, Wentling is well-equipped to be writing about it. He has the rare distinction of having lived or worked in all fifty-four African countries. Ray Read . . .

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Lesotho RPCV Madeline Uraneck will talk about her book in Raleigh, NC

The official Peace Corps web site especially for RPCVs has now posted news of a RPCV Author appearing in Raleigh, NC.  RPCVs might want to check out this new webpage addition to the Peace Corps Office of the Third Goal at https://www.peacecorps.gov/returned-volunteers/ Here is the announcement “Meet an RPCV Author Aug. 22, 2018 07:00 PM – 09:00 PM Finlator Hall, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church 1801 Hillsborough Street Raleigh, North Carolina 27605 United States Hosted by North Carolina Peace Corps Association (NCPCA) Disclaimer: This RPCV event is listed here for your information. This event is hosted or sponsored by an RPCV group or Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows partner. Even though these events support the Third Goal of the Peace Corps, they are not sponsored, funded, endorsed, or hosted by the Peace Corps. When Lesotho RPCV Madeline Uraneck said hello to the Tibetan woman cleaning her office cubicle, she never imagined the moment . . .

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A GAME IN THE SUN AND OTHER STORIES by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

  I set this story, “Game in the Sun” —  one of three “Peace Corps” stories in my collection of ten short stories in this book — in Dessie, Ethiopia. At the time — and this was about 1965 —  there was an American couple running a religious mission in Dessie. I knew them slightly, and they were well known to the PCVs in the town. They were, I believe, a a nice couple and nothing like the missionaries in this story. Also, to my recollections, there were no Peace Corps couples in Dessie. — JC •  A Game in the Sun Betsy was not allowed to play croquet with her husband and the Reverend, so she sat in the shade of the trees at the top of the mound. The mound overlooked a lush African rainforest which grew thick and dense to the edges of the Mission Compound. The . . .

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W. Patrick Murphy (Cameroon) nominated for ambassadorship

  Thanks for the heads-up from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964–67) — • — from www.phnompenhpost.com/international   US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US State Department. He has served over 25 years in senior positions in the Foreign Service, including as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs since 2016. Murphy has also worked as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2013 to 2016 and as acting special representative and policy coordinator for Myanmar from 2012 to 2013. US Embassy spokesman in Phnom Penh Arend Zwartjes said he has not been informed of . . .

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Growing problem in the Peace Corps with drug use among Volunteers

Thanks to Alana deJoseph (Mali 1992-94) for bringing to our attention this USA Today article on the growing problem with drug use among Peace Corps Volunteers. \     https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/08/10/peace-corps-drug-use-causing-more-volunteers-get-booted/959402002/ The article, published August 10, 2018 is based on the Inspector General of the Peace Corps’ August 7, 2018 Management Advisory to the Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. The report is a public document and is posted on the Peace Corps web site. Here is the link: https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/documents/inspector-general/Management_Advisory_Report_Volunteer_Drug_Use.pdf • The Report begins: “The purpose of this Office of Inspector General (OIG) report is to bring to your attention our concern that the Peace Corps’ efforts to address Volunteer drug use1 have been insufficient, and that drug use continues to pose a serious risk to the integrity and reputation of the Peace Corps as well as the health and safety of Volunteers. In order to reduce these risks, the agency should take additional . . .

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Review — NATURE’S POETRY by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)

  Nature’s Poetry by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia 1962–64) CreateSpace 112 pages July 2018 $5.99 (paperback)   A Review by Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia 2011–13)   This assemblage of words is about a man I feel I know. After seeing the way his words flow, off the page and into my mind Named Eldon, he’s lived a life of creation From our nation to many others he’s roamed He joined the Peace Corps back in 1962 With his wife Adrienne, before cell phones and email and what’sapp Teaching in Harar and Uganda, sketching the countryside as he went along He kept drawing and painting, collaging, and writing his poems From his days in the bush, to his 8th decade, he wrote About nature and cats and birds and beaches, trees, and seasons On places . . . domestic as Indiana, as a foreign as Vietnam The name of the book is Nature’s Poetry, 100 pages long His . . .

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Vanity Fair article by Maureen Orth (Colombia) on Colombia’s most-feared female revolutionary

She was Colombia’s most-feared female revolutionary. Can she help it find peace?   As one of the few women FARC commanders, Elda Neyis Mosquera, also known as “Karina,” has confessed to a host of barbarous crimes—including forcing abortions on her own soldiers. Now that peace has broken out, she is helping to give voice to the history of entrenched sexual violence against women in the movement. by Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) Vanity Fair September 2018 • Ex–guerrilla commander Elda Neyis Mosquera, known by her nom de guerre Karina, under house arrest at a 17th Brigade army base in northwestern Colombia. Her nom de guerre was Karina, but her given name—the name she goes by now—is Elda Neyis Mosquera. She was the youngest of five children born in northwestern Colombia to Jose Leopoldino Mosquera, a black man, and Flor Ester García, a white woman. Neither ever learned how to read. From the . . .

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Peace Corps and Sri Lankan Ministry of Education sign memorandum of understanding

Peace Corps Press Release Today,(08-09-2018) Peace Corps/Sri Lanka Country Director Kris Besch and Sri Lankan Secretary to the Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi announced a new Memorandum of Understanding to formalize efforts to develop an English education sector. Chargé d’Affaires to Sri Lanka and Maldives Robert Hilton and Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam witnessed the signing at the Ministry of Education. “The Peace Corps has a long history of partnership with the people of Sri Lanka, and I am honored to be here today to formally confirm our commitment,” said Besch. “I look forward to collaboration with the Ministry of Education, local schools and community partners as we develop our program, create new success stories and strengthen our long history of respect, partnership and friendship.” The event was attended by leaders in the education sector, government officials and community members. An oil lamp was lit to formally commence the signing . . .

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