Archive - May 2013

1
The Peace Corps: Stomping Out Malaria in Africa
2
Review of Paul Theroux's(Malawi 1963-65)The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate Safari
3
What? The Peace Corps is in Bed With Mondelez International. But is it Really Oral Sex?
4
The Peace Corps Goes Corporate–Carrie Hessler-Radelet Takes Agency in New Direction
5
Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) Remembers: Norman Rockwell Slept Here (Maybe)
6
Review of Paul Mathes (Colombia 1964-66) To Know the Rainforest
7
Watch These 12 Minutes of the Filming of BEHIND THE EYE: The Making of EYE On The 60' A Lot of Video From the 50th
8
Review of Rhoda and Earle Brooks' (Ecuador 1962-64)The Barrios of Manta: A Personal Account of the Peace Corps in Ecuador
9
A Writer Writes: The Peace Corps in Israel
10
George Packer's The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America Coming This Month

The Peace Corps: Stomping Out Malaria in Africa

 [Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet mentioned in her interview we posted earlier this week the types of partnership tha represents the future of Peace Corp. One of the best examples, she said, is the Peace Corps malaria program. She went onto say, “We have a malaria boot camp that’s been funded through a partnership with the President’s Malaria Initiative and various other NGOs like Malaria No More. The bootcamp brings staff and volunteers from all over Africa to participate in an intensive training. We use Skype to beam in some of the world’s leading experts in malaria from the [Center for Disease Control], the World Health Organization and PMI. It prepares our volunteers to deliver interventions in malaria in their communities that are proven through evidence to achieve greatest development impact.”  Running this program is Chris Hedrick (Senegal 1988-90) who is now the country director for Peace Corps Senegal and the . . .

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Review of Paul Theroux's(Malawi 1963-65)The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate Safari

The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate Safari by Paul Theroux (Nyasaland/Malawi 1963-1965) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27 353 pages May 2013 Reviewed by Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) OUR OWN PAUL THEROUX has been on a tear; readers of my reviews know how much I admired last year’s novel The Lower River, and this year’s offering, The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari, is equally good, though a travelogue. The cover image is a lonely railroad track heading off into the dense and engulfing green of the African forest. But that’s a red herring to make his train book fans think that’s what they’ll be getting. Theroux is rarely on trains on this journey from Cape Town to Angola. Now in his seventies, he’s mostly on bush taxis and local transport, slowly banging over ruined roads. Imagine that; an aging writer of rare accomplishment . . .

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What? The Peace Corps is in Bed With Mondelez International. But is it Really Oral Sex?

The Peace Corps is now ‘in bed’ with Mondelez International (aka Kraft Foods). This American multinational confectionery, food and beverage conglomerate, you know, junk food like Oreo, Chips Ahoy, Trident, Chiclets, (oh, dear, all my favorites) that has 100,000 employees around the world. In a short piece yesterday on this blog, Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said, “this type of partnership represents the future of the Peace Corps: working in partnership with other organizations.”  Her remarks caused something of a minor reaction from RPCVs readers of our site and Carrie has been kind enough to respond to a few of my questions which I will post in the coming weeks. Meanwhile….. Doing a tiny bit of research I found that the Mondelēz name came from a Kraft Foods employees at the time, Monde being French for world and delez an alternative to delicious. However, Kraft Foods forgot to ask any of those ‘old fashioned’ Russian RPCVs’ . . .

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The Peace Corps Goes Corporate–Carrie Hessler-Radelet Takes Agency in New Direction

Carrie Changes the Business Model of the Peace Corps By Andrea Useem on 17 May 2013 inShare3 Carrie Hessler-Radelet, meeting here with a Peace Corps volunteer and community members in West Africa, said a partnership with food-and-beverage giant Mondelez International will help modernize the volunteer experience. Photo: Peace Corps. Earlier this spring, the Peace Corps announced its second corporate partnership, with Mondelez International, a food-and-beverage company previously part of Kraft Foods, to train young entrepreneurs in the Domincan Republic’s cocoa supply chain.   According to acting Peace Corps Director Carrier Hessler-Radelet, this type of partnership represents the future of Peace Corps: working in partnership with other organizations. Peace Corps already works with Coca-Cola, through the Water and Development Alliance, a partnership involving the U.S. Agency for International Development that aims to improve water and sanitation conditions for local communities in the developing world. Hessler-Radelet, along with Corey Griffin, associate director . . .

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Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) Remembers: Norman Rockwell Slept Here (Maybe)

Memory and history are tricky. So tricky that it’s amazing that history gets anything right, even a matter as seemingly uncomplicated as a minor moment in Peace Corps history. In April this year nearly 30 RPCVs from the Ethiopia II training group that served in Ethiopia and Eritrea from 1963-1965 met in Florida to catch up with what was happening Ethiopia — and with each other.  At one point someone recalled the visit that Norman Rockwell made to Ethiopia to do some sketches for a project he was preparing for Look magazine on President Kennedy’s legacy. “Right,” I blurted out, “Rockwell slept in my bed.”  As everyone laughed, I explained that when Rockwell came to Debre Marcos, the town where I was teaching along with seven other PCVs, we made plans to turn over some of our rooms to the Rockwells.  Debre Marcos, you’ll understand, was not renown for four star . . .

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Review of Paul Mathes (Colombia 1964-66) To Know the Rainforest

To Know the Rainforest (Peace Corps Novel) by Paul Mathes (Colombia 1964–66) iUniverse $18.95 (paperback); $22.00 (hardcover); $3.99 (Kindle) 309 pages 2012 Reviewed by Dennis Grubb (Colombia 1961-63) “This was life. This is why he joined the Peace Corps .The could be danger ahead, but the possibility was what made it interesting …..Maybe I am no longer the kid I used to be. Maybe I am becoming a different person ….But what would the Peace Corps brass think about all this-if I they ever found out. No matter, he told himself. I am here to help Colombians; that’s what I am doing.”Colombian settings in books written by former Peace Corps Volunteers, or RPCVs as we are known are few and far between. Paul Mathes, an RPCV , Colombia 1964-66, self-published  “To Know the Rainforest”,  is an action /adventure novel  incorporating  the three well-worn  Latin America and Colombia themes: poverty, land and . . .

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Watch These 12 Minutes of the Filming of BEHIND THE EYE: The Making of EYE On The 60' A Lot of Video From the 50th

In 1961 and 1962, during the first years of  the Peace Corps, a young kid named Rowland Scherman took the first photos of PCVs. Many of you have seen these photos over the years, and seeing the images, you thought: hell, I can do this! So you joined the Peace Corps. Now Rowland Scherman is himself subject of a film entitled, EYE ON THE SIXTIES: The Iconic Photography of Rowland Scherman. The man who was behind the camera that focused on Scherman and his life is the film’s creative director, Chris Szwedo. Chris has now done a 12 minute film on how the Rowland Scherman film came to be. This short video is available now. Take an early look. Soon, the full version of the film will be on PBS and other stations nationwide. On August 25, it will be screened at the documentary theater of The NEWSEUM in Washington, D.C. (Check it out if you are in DC this summer.) Take . . .

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Review of Rhoda and Earle Brooks' (Ecuador 1962-64)The Barrios of Manta: A Personal Account of the Peace Corps in Ecuador

The Barrios of Manta: A Personal Account of the Peace Corps in Ecuador by Rhoda and Earle Brooks (Ecuador 1962–64) Untreed Reads $4.99 (Kindle) 324 pages (estimated print length) July 2012 Reviewed by Jeff Fearnside (Kazakhstan 2002–04) Originally published by New American Library in 1965, The Barrios of Manta was republished last year as an eBook in honor of the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary. It remains not only an important document of the Peace Corps’ first work in Ecuador but also an engaging portrait of a fascinating couple, Rhoda and Earle Brooks, the married Volunteers who lived in one of the poorest barrios in the drought-stricken fishing port of Manta from 1962 to 1964. The problems the Brookses faced, the many resourceful ways they solved them, and the occasional failures they met are all relevant to the work of Volunteers today, and should be of interest to anyone who has . . .

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A Writer Writes: The Peace Corps in Israel

 [According to former Peace Corps Evaluator and historian Stanley Meisler (PC/HQ 1963-65), author of When The World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and Its First Fifty Years the Peace Corps did go to Israel, at least briefly. Stan wrote to me: “To punish India for battling Pakistan over Kashmir, LBJ held up a group of PCVs heading there in 1965. They shuttled from Israel to Guam to the Philippines for six weeks until LBJ gave in to Shriver and allowed them to go to India. Before that event, PCVs in Ethiopia went to Israel. Dick Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64) reminds me that a number of Ethie Is did their 1963 summer project in Israel working on a kibbutz. This was arranged by Harris Wofford (Ethiopia CD 1962-64). In this “A Writer Writes” essay, Bob Cisco writes about his recent trip, last month, to Israel and what he found after all these years.] The . . .

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George Packer's The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America Coming This Month

The second of our two Peace Corps Writers at The New Yorker, George Packer (Togo 1982-83), has a book coming out at the end of May. Packer’s book is a massive study of some 432 pages that goes on sale for $27.00 on May 21, 2013. Farrar, Straus and Giroux is publishing the book that, as they write, is: “A riveting examination of a nation in crisis.” The Unwinding: An inner History of the New America journeys through the lives of several Americans, including Dean Price, the son of tobacco farmers, and an evangelist for new economy in the rural South. The narrative combines these intimate stories with biographical sketches of such figures as Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z. The book, according to FSG ” portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer relevant, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for . . .

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