Archive - September 2013

1
Larry Fuchs (CD Philippines 1961-66) Dies At Age 86
2
Long, Positive Review of Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean 1975-76) Novel In SF Chronicle
3
The Peace Corps Is Ready To ET (If The GOP Has Its Way)
4
The Peace Corps Numbers Tell The Story
5
Yo, Peace Corps! Why isn’t the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 fully implemented?
6
Peace Corps Applications Lowest in Decade? True?
7
Jackie Zollo Brooks publishes The Ravenala with Peace Corps Writers
8
Peace Corps Writers publishes Mark Wentling’s AFRICA’S EMBRACE
9
RPCV Writer Meets RPCV Reviewer in Harpers Magazine
10
Joshua Berman (Nicaragua 1998-2000) on Kickstarter

Larry Fuchs (CD Philippines 1961-66) Dies At Age 86

I received an email from Marcia Krasnow informing me that Larry Fuchs (CD Philippines 1961-66) died in March at the age of 86. Marcia is the daughter of the late Dr. Joseph F. Kauffman who was the first Chief of the Peace Corps Division of Training at the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (1961-63). The two families were close. Both Fuchs and her father were at Brandeis University before joining the agency. Fuchs wrote one of the first books on the Peace Corps, Those Peculiar Americans: The Peace Corps and American National Character, published by Meredith Press in 1967. In the Peace Corps’ first year of operations, three hundred Volunteers were in the Philippines; after eighteen months, there were six hundred. Fuchs was, at the time, in charge of one third of all the Volunteers in the world. In his book about “those peculiar Americans,” he would write about . . .

Read More

Long, Positive Review of Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean 1975-76) Novel In SF Chronicle

by Dan Zigmond With Vietnam a major trading partner and Russian virtually the second language of Silicon Valley, the intersecting wars of the late 20th century are gradually fading from our collective consciousness. But literature moves at a pace slower than politics. If newspapers are the first draft of history, novels have the luxury of being the second, third or 10th. Great books of the Vietnam War are still appearing, nearly four decades after Tim O’Brien got his start. Now, just as Graham Greene and John le Carre penned the essential novels of the Cold War, so has writer and journalist Bob Shacochis given us a new masterpiece, every bit their equal, that will surely stand as the definitive political thriller of those fragile years of relative peace before Sept. 11, 2001. Shacochis begins “The Woman Who Lost Her Soul” in the largely forgotten U.S. intervention in Haiti in the Clinton years, . . .

Read More

The Peace Corps Is Ready To ET (If The GOP Has Its Way)

September 26, 2013 PEACE CORPS OPERATIONS PLAN IN THE ABSENCE OF CURRENT YEAR APPROPRIATIONS 1. PURPOSE This is general guidance in the event of a funding hiatus caused by the absence of current year appropriations, either through failure to pass a regular appropriations bill or a continuing resolution (CR). It will be supplemented by more specific guidance for any specific funding hiatus. For example, the designation of excepted, funded and other employees and use of available funding may vary depending on the circumstances of a specific funding hiatus. 2. AUTHORITY Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11, Section 124, Agency Operations in the Absence of Appropriations. 3. REFERENCES Guidance and information regarding furloughs based on unforeseeable conditions can be found under “Guidance for Shutdown Furloughs” at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/payleave/furlough-guidance/guidance-for-shutdown-furloughs.pdf. 4. BACKGROUND OMB Circular A-11 requires agencies to develop and maintain “shutdown plans” for an orderly suspension of agency operations during a . . .

Read More

The Peace Corps Numbers Tell The Story

Total Peace Corps Applicants and Active Volunteers Applications                 Enter on Duty 2003       11,518                                      4,484 2004       13,241                                     3,880 2005       11,635                                     4,055 2006       12,507                                     4,096 2007       11,247                                     4,077 2008       13,081                                     3,959 2009       15,384                                     3,694 2010       13,430                                     4,830 2011       12,206                                     4,378 2012       10,091                                     3,850 * All years represent the federal fiscal year which runs from October 1 to September 30 of the next year.

Read More

Yo, Peace Corps! Why isn’t the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 fully implemented?

What is the problem? Why would anyone sign up for service when the law specifically designed to protect Peace Corps Trainees/Volunteers from sexual assault and to guarantee best practices response if such assault were to occur still is not fully in place? I think one would have to be a fool to volunteer now. Review the law and all the reports on compliance. Then ask yourself:  “Would you serve now?” “Why? or Why not?” This is my contribution to what I hope is a continued vigorous discussion about the decline in Peace Corps applications. I still believe that Peace Corps is one of the best ways to work toward peace. This is all the more reason to demand that the agency be in full compliance. Here is the law and all the reports on compliance. (Please note:  Peace Corps World Wide: John Coyne Babbles has previously posted all these reports.) . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Applications Lowest in Decade? True?

[In March, Vocativ, a news website posted this item and it just came my way.] posted by VOCATIV STAFF in SNEAK PEEK “Those who can’t find work, volunteer.” That was a popular idea during the height of the recession, but Vocativ has learned that the number of people applying to serve as volunteers in the Peace Corps is down 35 percent from 2009 and is now the lowest in a decade. As the national unemployment rate hit a record high after the real estate market crash, so did the number of applications to the Peace Corps. 24 months in Tonga? No problem. Build a library in Burkina Faso? Why not. While college seniors scrambled to compete for few entry level jobs, the once for-hippies-only, life-postponing volunteer program offered an alternative stepping stone to adult life. However, that is no longer the case, according to data on applicants and enrolled volunteers . . .

Read More

Jackie Zollo Brooks publishes The Ravenala with Peace Corps Writers

Carl Jung, the great Swiss psychoanalyst, wrote that during our first forty years we journey outward to find our place in society and during the second forty we journey inward to contemplate our inner world where we can discover the genuine self. The novel, The Ravenala by Jackie Zollo Brooks (Madagascar 1997–99) is driven by characters who must leave behind some of those they love in order to go on this quest. The title is taken from the ravenala palm, the so-called “travelers’ tree” found only in Madagascar. A traveler cutting into the palm’s branches can receive a refreshing drink of cool water; one who is lost can follow the ravenala’s alignment, always on an east/west axis. The travelers’ tree becomes a metaphor for the novel, suggesting that traveling refreshes us, often setting us off in a new direction Among modern male writers, J.M. Coetzee, John Updike, and Philip Roth . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Writers publishes Mark Wentling’s AFRICA’S EMBRACE

Africa’s Embrace is author Mark Wentling’s (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) fictional account of the adventures of a young man named David from Kansas who travels to Africa to follow his destiny, and becomes caught up in a mystical, larger-than-life adventure. Upon arrival, he is renamed “Bobovovi” and chosen by the spirit world to ride the “mountain moonbeam” and become “transformed” by an ancient baobab tree. Bobovovi does his best to make his goodwill prevail, but his humanitarian work is fraught with unforeseen, unusual challenges. He moves from one surprising adventure to another, telling an African story unlike any the reader has ever heard before. Africa changes him in unimaginable ways, and those changes are inculcated into the reader in order to teach a wide variety of lessons, helping the reader to better understand Africa and Africans Although Africa’s Embrace is literary fiction, the novel is, . . .

Read More

RPCV Writer Meets RPCV Reviewer in Harpers Magazine

The October issue of Harper’s Magazine carries a review of Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean 1975-76) novel, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul written by Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996-97). This is the first time to my knowledge that we have a mano a mano between an  RPCV writer and an RPCV reviewer. (The only thing better would have been if Tony D’Souza was the referee.) I’m not sure if the editorial staff at Harper’s understand our “below the radar”  world of Peace Corps writers, but I picked up the magazine thinking: this could be good. As a writer and reviewer, and an RPCV, I am sure Bissell is aware of Shacochis’ career and has been tracking it, waiting for Bob’s next big book. And he is impressed by what Bob has produced, a novel that has been twenty years in the making. Bissell also makes a telling point (about Shacochis and . . .

Read More

Joshua Berman (Nicaragua 1998-2000) on Kickstarter

Joshua Berman (Nicaragua 1998-2000) is a freelance writer, Spanish teacher, and dad, based in Boulder, Colorado. He is the author of four Avalon Travel guidebooks; his articles have appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, Yoga Journal, and National Geographic Traveler; and he has a monthly column in the Denver Post. Josh also won the Peace Corps Writers Book Award for his travel book on Nicaragua in 2006. He is married to an RPCV, Sutay Kunda Berman (Gambia 1996-98). His first narrative travel book, Crocodile Love, is a collection of tales from his honeymoon to Pakistan, India, Ghana, and The Gambia. In 2005, the married couple quit everything and flew to Pakistan to begin an open-ended trip together. They didn’t need wedding gifts, they needed shared experiences, preferably toilsome, scary, and rewarding ones in strange, faraway places. Crocodile Love: Tales From An Extended Honeymoon is the story of that journey. . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.