Archive - June 2013

1
RPCV Writers Speak to a Full House at NPCA Conference in Boston
2
Peace Corps Writers Publishes Jason Gray’s Glimpses through the Forest
3
Those Were The Days! RPCVs Shut Down The Peace Corps
4
Phil Lilienthal (Ethiopia 1965-67) Receives the 2013 Sargent Shriver Award
5
NPCA Boston Conference Holds Session for Writers & Film Makers
6
Peace Corps Returns To Colombia – An OIG Report
7
Review of Broughton Coburn's (Nepal 1973-75)The Vast Unknown
8
Peace Corps Writers Panel at Boston RPCV Conference
9
Review: GIMME FIVE by Philip Dacey (Nigeria)
10
Peace Corps Awards for the Best Books of 2012

RPCV Writers Speak to a Full House at NPCA Conference in Boston

I’m told that the panel for writers & film makers at the NPCA Conference this weekend in Boston was well attended and much appreciated. As one person wrote me: “It was a great hour, the room was full. People were engaged. We had a good discussion among everyone there. Wonderful as always to be among Peace Corps people.” Thanks to the panel for making it happen, and thanks to the new head of the NPCA, Glenn Blumhorst, for asking PeaceCorpsWriters to be part of the program. Allen Mondell (Sierra Leone 1963–65) has worked in films and television as a writer, producer and director for 40 years. He recently completed Waging Peace: The Peace Corps Experience, a documentary that weaves the letters, journals, emails and blogs written by Volunteers with the profiles of four former Volunteers who, in their work today, are still making a difference. • Will Siegel (Ethiopia 1962–64) taught secondary . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Writers Publishes Jason Gray’s Glimpses through the Forest

Peace Corps Writers — the publishing arm of Peace Corps Worldwide — is happy to announce the publication of Glimpses through the Forest: Memories of Gabon by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002–04). Situated in Central Africa, the nation of Gabon is a vibrant and mysterious place full of rich history, diverse culture, and stunning biodiversity. In the midst of the African rainforest, a Peace Corps Volunteer from Montana is thrust into a new life of adventure and discovery. From close encounters with forest elephants to classroom teaching challenges, this retelling of one man’s experiences takes readers on an extraordinary journey through daily life, cultural events, and ongoing conservation efforts, and shares his love affair with a country that will forever own a piece of his heart. This new book by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002–04) leaves readers with an impression of having shared in his experiences. Gray’s underlying reverence for Gabon and . . .

Read More

Those Were The Days! RPCVs Shut Down The Peace Corps

Jack Prebis (Ethiopia 1962-64) who was later an APCD in Ethiopia (1965-67) sent me this photo from his days working in ACTION. This ‘sit in’ happened in 1975, I believe. RPCVs  were protesting Nixon/Ford Administration cutting the Peace Corps budget. Some Volunteers occupied Peace Corps offices when the agency was located in its original site, the Maiatico Building at 806 Connecticut  Ave. They hung banners out the windows. The office then closed and the staff went home. No one called the police. The head of ACTION at the time was Mike Balzano. Balzano was an avid Nixon supporter. Walking down the halls one time, he was heard to say “I can just smell the hate the RPCVs have for me in the air.” Balzano made a concerted effort  (complete with mandatory seminars and questionnaires) to ID and get rid of the Kennedyites and fill the Peace Corps with folks of his own political ilk. He personally . . .

Read More

Phil Lilienthal (Ethiopia 1965-67) Receives the 2013 Sargent Shriver Award

Phil Lilienthal has won the NPCA 2013 Sargent Shriver Award to be presented this coming weekend in Boston. The award is well deserved. I first met Phil and his lovely wife Lynn in Ethiopia in 1965 when they were new PCVs. Lynn was doing social work in Addis Ababa, and  Phil was a lawyer working for one of the ministers. As a secondary project, Phil and Lynn started a summer camp at Lake Langano in the Rift Valley. This was the only lake, as I recall, that was free of schistosomiasis. The camp, I know, was the first of its kind, though other Volunteers had done other types of summer camps. Our own Marian Haley Beil was one of three women who had a summer camp in Debre Berhan back in 1963. Phil and Lynn had their first child in Addis Ababa. Their son would grow up to become a PCV . . .

Read More

NPCA Boston Conference Holds Session for Writers & Film Makers

What: RPCV Writers and Filmmakers Panel Where: NPCA Conference When: Saturday, June 29, –1:30 to 2:30 Who Is On The Panel? Allen Mondell (Sierra Leone 1963–65) has worked in films and television as a writer, producer and director for 40 years. He recently completed Waging Peace: The Peace Corps Experience, a documentary that weaves the letters, journals, emails and blogs written by Volunteers with the profiles of four former Volunteers who, in their work today, are still making a difference. • Will Siegel (Ethiopia 1962–64) taught secondary school in Addis Ababa and at the Haile Selassie I School for the Blind; he was also part of a team that authored original text books. Following his return to the US, Will attended graduate school at San Francisco State University and wrote TV scripts for an early Showtime series as well as training videos for large corporations. • Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2001–03) new book, . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Returns To Colombia – An OIG Report

In September of 1961, Colombia welcomed the first Peace Corps Volunteers to Latin America. Colombia I was the first Peace Corps group to enter training and the second group, after Ghana I, to actually arrive in-country. Peace Corps closed out Colombia in 1981 because of safety and security concerns; not to return for almost  thirty years. Ironically, Ghana is the country with the longest continuing Peace Corps presence; and,  the return of Peace Corps to Colombia bridges the longest gap  between Peace Corps programs of any country. The Office of the Peace Corps Inspector General is now charged with program evaluation. This then is their report of the  Return to Colombia of the Peace Corps. The text to link to is:http://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/PCIG_Colombia_Evaluation_Report.pdf I especially urge Colombian RPCVS, serving Colombian Volunteers and those of you who have seen your countries close or have served in a reopened country to read this report. . . .

Read More

Review of Broughton Coburn's (Nepal 1973-75)The Vast Unknown

The Vast Unknown: America’s First Ascent of Everest by Broughton Coburn (Nepal 1973-75) Crown Publishers (a division of Random House). $26.00 300 pages 2013 Reviewed by Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) This is a book of true high adventure. Good reading for those of us who like outdoor adventures and severe challenges. This book is full of them, start to finish. Just a little past half way along, the story of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition reaches a dramatic climax, of sorts. On May 22, 1963, standing ready to challenge the peak from a point high on the ridge, the two American climbers, Hornbein and Unsoeld, faced a strategic decision. “Favorable luck, strange omens, obstacles, and argument be damned,” they thought. “The dazzling, vast unknown¾a key threshold to the uncertainty… was beckoning them forward and upward.” This “was no longer an academic exercise,” writes Brot Coburn, this was a decision . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Writers Panel at Boston RPCV Conference

[RPCV Writers, Editors and Film makers will hold a session at the NPCA Conference in Boston this month, June 28-29. For more information, call 202.293.7728 x 13. Check out: www.peacecorpsconnect.org/annual-gathering/ If you are going to the conference, check out the Writers’ Panel. Here are the details: Panel: Telling Your Peace Corps Story – RPCV Writers and Filmmakers. Moderator: Allen Mondell. Panelists: Will Siegel, Rajeev Goyal, and Cynthia Phoel. RPCVs will receive practical insight on creative ways for writing and producing films about their Peace Corps experience.] Allen Mondell (Sierra Leone 1963-65) has worked in films and television as a writer, producer and director for 40 years.  He began his career as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore and then went to work for Westinghouse Broadcasting in Baltimore (WJZ-TV) as a writer/director of documentary films. Allen spent five years at public television station KERA-TV in Dallas as a writer, producer and director of . . .

Read More

Review: GIMME FIVE by Philip Dacey (Nigeria)

Gimme Five by Philip Dacey (Nigeria 1963–65) Blue Light Press: First World Publishing 2013 74 pages $15.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Barry Kitterman (Belize 1976-78) • On the surface, Philip Dacey’s poems have less to do with his time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria in the early ’60s, than with the rich life he has lived since. This collection of poems, with one or two notable exceptions, is not about Africa or the great world out there. Philip Dacey’s concerns are those things held dear to any American poet living in our time, in our country, anyone who has devoted his life to letters and teaching and family. Like any poet worth his salt, Dacey loves individual words and phrases, the bricks and mortar of poetry. His ear for a good turn of phrase is evident throughout. When his name is misspelled on a mailing label, he riffs on . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Awards for the Best Books of 2012

[It is time to nominate your favorite Peace Corps book published in 2012. Make your nomination(s) in the comment section following this announcement so people can see what books have been recognized. You may nominate your own book; books written by friends; books written by total strangers. The books can be about the Peace Corps or on any topic. The books must have been published in 2012. The awards will be announced in August. Thank you for nominating your favorite book written by a PCV, RPCV or Peace Corps Staff. A framed certificate and money are given to the winners.] Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award First given in 1990, the Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award was named to honor Paul Cowan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Ecuador. Cowan wrote The Making of An Un-American about his experiences as a Volunteer in Latin America in the sixties. A longtime activist and . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.