Archive - April 2013

1
Broughton Cobern (Nepal 1973-75) Published New Book on Everest
2
George Packer (Togo 1982-84) Writes About Boston in Current New Yorker
3
PEACE CORPS GOES TO CONGRESS – TWO BILLS AND A BUDGET
4
The Peace Corps: Celebration of the Life and Service of RPCV Ambassador Chris Stevens
5
Review of Eleanor Stanford's (Cape Verde 1998-2000) memoir História, História
6
She wanted to join the Peace Corps, but got married instead.
7
A Writer Writes: The Path by Gigi Grover-York (India 1964-66)
8
Tony D'Souza Answers Book Review Slam of His Home Town
9
Thurston Clarke (Tunisia 1968) New Book: JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and The Emergence of a Great President
10
Peace Corps will pay $2 million to Global Health Volunteers over next three years for administrative costs.

Broughton Cobern (Nepal 1973-75) Published New Book on Everest

Broughton Cobern (Nepal 1973-75) is the author of the bestselling Everest: Mountain Without Mercy, a chronicle of the iconic first American expedition to Mount Everest in the spring of 1963. Now he has published to coincide with the climb’s 50th anniversary, The Vast Unknown America’s First Ascent of Everest. Crown Publishing will bring the book out on April 30, 2013, which means that it is already available on line or in book stores, if you can find one. This book and the climb are interesting in a number of ways. Some history that, of course, relates to the Peace Corps. One of the men on that famous climb was Willi Unsoeld who had just gone to work for the Peace Corps as the deputy director in Nepal. The director was the famous American climber Bob Bates, and Shriver in 1961 had asked Bates who he wanted as his deputy. Bates said Unsoeld. . . .

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George Packer (Togo 1982-84) Writes About Boston in Current New Yorker

The April 29, 2013  issue of The New Yorker has a piece about Boston by George Packer (Togo 1982-83) in The Talk of the Town comment section. Packer writes about the city, its history, the Marathon, and the bombing.  He writes about how the spectators rushed to the scene, not away from it. “A man who had lost his own son in the Iraq War rushed a young man whose lower legs had been blown off to the tent, and so kept another father from losing his son.” He comments on the fact that Bostonians responded to the moment while our Senators in Washington, D.C. “cowered before the gun lobby and blocked passage of the most basic provisions–provisions supported by an overwhelming majority of the public–to diminish the gun violence to which more and more Americans, especially young men, are prone.” If you don’t get The New Yorker, my guess is . . .

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PEACE CORPS GOES TO CONGRESS – TWO BILLS AND A BUDGET

Peace Corps has three pieces of legislation pending in Congress: The Peace Corps Equity Act; The Peace Corps Budget as part of  the President’s budget; and H. R. 1573 Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers of 2013. The Equity Act and the Respect Act both address inequities that derive from the ambiguity of the legal status of the Peace Corps Volunteer: A private citizen acting in a public capacity. Attention needs to be paid to all three of these measures as their approval is by no means certain. Let’s look at each one. The Peace Corps Equity Act of 2013 was introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D- NJ). His office issued a press release: here is the link: http://www.lautenberg.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=341534& From that announcement: The “Peace Corps Equity Act of 2013” would allow the Peace Corps to provide its volunteers with health insurance coverage for abortion in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman is . . .

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The Peace Corps: Celebration of the Life and Service of RPCV Ambassador Chris Stevens

An invitation to signers of the petition requesting that the Peace Corps honor RPCV Ambassador Chris Stevens: …………………………………………………………………………………… Please join Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet in a celebration of the life and service of The Honorable J. Christopher Stevens U.S. Ambassador to Libya Thursday, May, 2, 2013 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Shriver Hall Paul C. Coverdell Peace Corps Headquarters 1111  20th Street, NW, Washington, D.C Please RSVP by Friday, April 26, 2013 by clicking HERE NOTE: Seating is limited.

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Review of Eleanor Stanford's (Cape Verde 1998-2000) memoir História, História

História, História: Two years in the Cape Verde Islands By Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde 1998-2000) CCLaP Hypermodern Editions March  2013 128 Pages http://www.cclapcenter.com/historia Reviewed by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) There are as many different Peace Corps memoirs as there are returned volunteers who choose to write them, each unique to the author and his or her experience, each generously sharing a hard won world view with the reader.  We all have our favorites, mine are Mike Tidwell’s The Ponds of Kalambayi, Geraldine Kennedy’s Harmattan, Kristin Holloway’s Monique and the Mango Rains, Peter Hessler’s River Town, and Moritz Thomsen’s masterwork, Living Poor.  These are the books I recommend to other writers, book groups, travelers, and friends who just want a good, original read.  I will now add Eleanor Stanford’s História, História to the list.  In fact, as I read her book for review, I found myself already telling anyone who would . . .

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She wanted to join the Peace Corps, but got married instead.

Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1962-64) alerted me to this small piece of information. “The daughter of an emergency room doctor, Katie, as she was called, grew up in a Christian household in North Kingstown, R.I., graduated at the top of her class at her high school in 2007, and said in her yearbook she wanted to go into the Peace Corps. Instead she ended up married to Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Several sources carry the story: Several sources. huffingtonpost.com is one. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/22/katherine-russell-tsarnaev-feds-interview_n_3131242.html also People at http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20694041,00.html

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A Writer Writes: The Path by Gigi Grover-York (India 1964-66)

A Writer Writes THE PATH By Gigi Grover -York (India 1964-66) Despite the half century and the thousands of miles that separate my Oregon home from the Gundi ashram, I still retrace my way over the distant but familiar earthen path that led from the ashram to the train station at the village of Gundi, perched on the edge of the Kutch Desert in western India. That narrow raised track, no more than a meter wide and half a meter high, ran south from its tether at the broad wooden gate that breached the ashram’s thick whitewashed walls. I never thought much about who built the path.  It was a constant like the air and sky.  Surely someone maintained it but I never observed them.  It lay there when I came and had changed not at all upon my departure. The powder fine dust of the path had been deposited . . .

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Tony D'Souza Answers Book Review Slam of His Home Town

[This is the opening of the lead book review in the recent issue of the NYTIMES Sunday edition. The review was written by Rachel Shteir. It appeared last Sunday. Chicagoan, and RPCV novelist, Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03), sent his reply to the editor of the Book Section. Read those paragraphs of the review and you’ll see why Tony send a Letter to the Editor. Check it out. The message is: don’t mess with a Chicago writer!] Published: April 21, 2013 RACHEL SHTEIR wrote: “Poor Chicago,” a friend of mine recently said. Given the number of urban apocalypses here, I couldn’t tell which problem she was referring to. Was it the Cubs never winning? The abominable weather? Meter parking costing more than anywhere else in America – up to $6.50 an hour – with the money flowing to a private company, thanks to the ex-mayor Richard M. Daley’s . . .

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Thurston Clarke (Tunisia 1968) New Book: JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and The Emergence of a Great President

Thurston Clarke (Tunisia 1968) who served briefly as a PCV has a book coming in August 2013. It will be his 11th, and his third book on the Kennedy brothers. It is entitled: JFK’s Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and The Emergence of a Great President. In this book, Thurston weaves together Kennedy’s public and private lives, explains why the grief following his assassination has endured so long, and solves the most tantalizing Kennedy mystery of all–not who killed him but who Kennedy was when he was killed, and where he would have led us. Clarke picks up Kennedy’s last hundred days that began just after the death of two-day-old Patrick Kennedy. While Jackie was recuperating, the premature infant and his father were flown to Boston for Patrick’s treatment. Kennedy was holding his son’s hand when Patrick died on August 9, 1963. The loss of his son convinced . . .

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Peace Corps will pay $2 million to Global Health Volunteers over next three years for administrative costs.

The public private partnership between Peace Corps Response and the Global Health Volunteer organization represents a brand new direction for Peace Corps. The purpose of the partnership is to enhance the medical training in host countries by placing highly qualified medical educators, doctors and nurses, in positions of teaching authority in medical education institutions. This represents a new direction for Peace Corps, because the agency will pay an NGO to manage the program, recruit the participants, who do not have to be RPCVs, and the NGO will  provide direct supervision and support in country. This initial three year contract calls for 36 medical educators, per year, to be assigned to these positions in Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania. In describing the program on npr’s Health notes, Director of Global Health Volunteers, Dr. Vanessa Kerry, said “Partnering with the Peace Corps is a strategic move — not only for name recognition — . . .

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