Archive - August 2010

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Review: Doug Ingold's The Henderson Memories
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Review: Lauri Anderson's Hunting Hemingway's Trout
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Naomi Wolf to Teach Non-Fiction Web Course
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Review: Stanley Mazaroff's Collector & Connoisseur
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Our Costa Rica Reporter Sent The Following
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Join The Peace Corps! Never Leave Home
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Back To The CIA And The Peace Corps
8
What Happened To That Peace Corps/CIA Blog?
9
NYC Peace Corps Recruitment Office Held First Franklin H. Williams Award
10
Whatever You Write, Make It Read Like A Novel

Review: Doug Ingold's The Henderson Memories

Reviewer Reilly Ridgell is the author of the recently released novel Green Pearl Odyssey and the anthology of Micronesian Peace Corps stories Bending to the Trade Winds. He is also the author of the widely used textbook, Pacific Nations and Territories, in print continuously since 1983, and co-author of its elementary level version Pacific Neighbors. Reilly is currently a dean at Guam Community College. • The Henderson Memories by Doug Ingold (Brazil 1964–66) Wolfenden 379 pages $14.95 from Wofenden, $9.75 Kindle version Reviewed by Reilly Ridgell (Micronesia 1971–73) THE FIRST TWO OR THREE PAGES OF A NOVEL need to grab the readers and make them want to continue reading. Also, if a book is really bad you’ll generally know after the first few pages. In The Henderson Memories author Doug Ingold starts off by introducing us to the two characters through whom the story will unfold. While the first pages . . .

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Review: Lauri Anderson's Hunting Hemingway's Trout

Reviewer Mark Brazaitis is the author of three books of fiction, including The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award, and Steal My Heart, a novel that won the Maria Thomas Fiction Award given by Peace Corps Writers. His latest book is The Other Language: Poems, winner of the 2008 ABZ Poetry Prize. His short fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, The Sun, Witness, Notre Dame Review, Confrontation, and elsewhere. He is an associate professor of English and directs the Creative Writing Program at West Virginia University. • Hunting Hemingway’s Trout by Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1965–67) North Star Press of St. Cloud Inc. $14.95 139 pages 2010 Reviewed by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991–93) IF IMITATION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATTERY, writing a book in the spirit of an author one admires must be the second highest form. I think Ernest Hemingway would . . .

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Naomi Wolf to Teach Non-Fiction Web Course

Naomi Wolf, bestselling author and feminist (in the third-wave) and a political consultant to Clinton, Gore, and others, as well as author of  the international bestseller, The Beauty Myth, is offering an Internet course “that offers participants the key content of the non-fiction workshop” that she has successfully taught in college classrooms. The Internet workshop will focus on key issues for writers of nonfiction, among them are:  1) how to turn an opinion into a publishable op-ed piece; 2) what a really marketable nonfiction book proposal looks like; 3) how to increase the chances that your book-which will be published into an environment full of competing messages-will  attract as much attention as possible; 4) what actually happens in the publishing and book promotion cycle. And more! She is offering sessions in September and October. Each session consists of three live classes, and each class is two hours long. You may register for . . .

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Review: Stanley Mazaroff's Collector & Connoisseur

Leita Kaldi Davis worked for the United Nations and UNESCO, for Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard University. She worked with Roma (Gypsies) for fifteen years, became a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal at the age of 55, then went to work for the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti for five years. She retired in Florida in 2002. She has written a memoir of Senegal, Roller Skating in the Desert, and is working on a memoir of Haiti. • Henry Walters & Bernard Berenson: Collector & Connoisseur by Stanley Mazaroff (Philippines 1961–63) Johns Hopkins University Press $40.00 212 pages May 2010 Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) Stanley Mazaroff has written a fascinating account of the relationship between Henry Walters, founder of the legendary Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, and Bernard Berenson, the world’s greatest connoisseur of Italian paintings. Walters opened his Italianate museum in 1909, . . .

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Our Costa Rica Reporter Sent The Following

Peace Corps volunteers will embark on energy initiative: Special to A.M. Costa Rica The U.S. Department of State is providing $1 million to support Peace Corps volunteer efforts that increase rural access to energy, mitigate the effects of climate change, and support the use of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies in Central and South American communities, in support of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. With this funding, Peace Corps volunteers will work with international experts, local organizations, businesses, and community members on the ground to create efficient and green solutions to energy challenges in the Americas, said the U.S. State Department, adding: Under the partnership, Peace Corps volunteers will work with members of local communities to build infrastructure to support environmentally-friendly energy and to educate communities on climate change and energy conservation. Volunteers will train host-country citizens in the use of alternative fuels and to install, . . .

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Join The Peace Corps! Never Leave Home

I spotted this note on the Net earlier today: Until fairly recently, joining the Peace Corps usually meant living in a remote location and leaving behind family, friends and way of life. But mobile devices and the Internet are changing how volunteers serve — and how they keep in touch with home. This connectivity is helpful for the volunteers, but not always for the Peace Corps staff. Parents today know their kids never leave home, even when they are off at college, what with texting, emails, and Skype. Whatever happened to separation? Growing up? Out on your own? Still, there are advances of these strong family connections. I saw that when I was running the New York Recruitment Office. The whole family joins the Peace Corps when a child goes overseas. That’s not a bad thing. Shriver always said it would be the children of RPCVs who would benefit the most as they would . . .

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Back To The CIA And The Peace Corps

The CIA and Peace Corps blog that I recently deleted by mistake was about SpyTalk, a column in The Washington Post, written by  Jeff Stein a longtime investigative reporter specializing in U.S. intelligence, defense and foreign policy issues.  Stein was writing about a new spy drama on USA Network, and how the Smithsonian was used as ‘cover’ for a CIA agent. He asked Melvin Gamble, a retired high-level CIA official, about that episode. And Gamble replied that it was ‘possible’ that the ‘cover’ with the Smithsonian.  Gamble spent four decades in the operations wing of the spy agency, retiring in 2008 as chief of the Africa division. However, Gamble said, the Smithsonian would have to agreed to the arrangement. He then went onto add that like any other U.S. government or quasi-government agency (with the exception of the Peace Corps), the venerable institution is fair game for use by the spooks. Now another (nameless) . . .

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What Happened To That Peace Corps/CIA Blog?

It was me! Sorry to say that I personally–not the Peace Corps! Not the CIA—deleted the post I put up on the Peace Corps and the CIA. I went to delete another item and missed! (Much like my golf game.) Now, if Marian was here in the States and now off in Ethiopia building a home in her old site, she could fix it, but I have NO IDEA!  Sorry to everyone who made commetns on the blog. Thank you.

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NYC Peace Corps Recruitment Office Held First Franklin H. Williams Award

On the Peace Corps new website yesterday I noted that  The Franklin H. Williams Award Ceremony will be held on September 9, 2010 at the Peace Corps Headquarters in D.C. The announcement listed the years that the Award has been given in Williams’ name. It does not say, however, that the first  Franklin H. Williams award ceremony was held in the Regional Recruitment Office in New York City in 1999, and that the New York Office named it “The Franklin H. Williams Award” and held the event. Now, nothing gets lost faster in the Peace Corps than its history so I thought (since I was involved!) I would detail how the Franklin H. Williams Award came about in the first place. At the time, I was the Regional Manager of the office and one of my recruiters,  Leslie Jean-Pierre (Guinea 1997-99), came to me with the suggestion of having an event in . . .

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Whatever You Write, Make It Read Like A Novel

No one really wants to read about your Peace Corps experience. No one wants to hear your stories or see your photographs. So, get over it. We all know that three minutes into telling family and friends about our two years in the middle of nowhere that they stop listening. Their eyes roll. They yawn. This is the Tweet Decade. If it is longer than 30 words; it’s history. Okay, how do you tell the story of  your amazing life in the Third World as a PCV? You grab the reader by the throat. You begin your memoir as if it is a fast pace adventure story. You start with an opening line, an opening paragraph, that compels the reader to read the next sentence and the next. You write something like this: “My record was so bad (they sent the FBI to check up on you then) that I was first . . .

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