Archive - October 2013

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Recent Books by Peace Corps Writers — October 2013
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Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83) Nomination Hearing,Wednesday, November 6, 10:30 a.m. FINALLY!
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Foreign Affairs Magazine AGAIN Overlooks Franklin Williams Peace Corps Connection
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“The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy” by Larry J. Sabato and the Online free course
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Tonight! Anne Pellicciotto (Mexico 2010-12) Throws A Party in DC For Her Book: South of the Border
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Winner of the 2013 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award:Through the Eyes of My Children: The Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer Family by Frances L. Stone (Philippines 1971-73)
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Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1990-93) Reads At Politics & Prose, November 2
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Teach Me How To Write The Great American Novel! Or Just Give Me An A!
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Review of Harriet Hayes Denison (Tanzania 1966-67) Leopards at My Door
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Garamendi Legacy Project in Mettu, Ethiopia

Recent Books by Peace Corps Writers — October 2013

To order any of these books from Amazon, click on the book cover or the bold book title — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support our annual writers awards. • The Fallout by S.A. Bodeen (Tanzania 1989–90) Feiwel and Friends $16.99 (hard cover); $8.89 (Kindle) 336 pages September 2013 • Julia & Rodrigo by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991–93) Gival Press $20.00 (paperback) 222 pages October 2013 • Good Morning, Mr. Paul: A Memory of a Peace Corps Volunteer’s Journey into History by Paul Burghdorf (Indonesia 1963–65) WestBow Press $3.99 (Kindle) 150 pages 2012 • The Ravenala: A Romantic Novel by Jackie Zollo Brooks (Madagascar 1997–99) A Peace Corps Writers Book $16.00 (paperback), $12.88 (Kindle) 286 pages September 2013 • Caminata: A Journey by Lori DiPrete Brown (Honduras 1983–85) Global Reflections Press $10.50 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle) 227 pages August 2013 • . . .

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Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83) Nomination Hearing,Wednesday, November 6, 10:30 a.m. FINALLY!

The Senate confirmation hearing for the nomination of Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet to become the next Director has finally been scheduled. It will take place on Wednesday, November 6 at 10:30 am. It is a nomination that we fully support. Some background on Carrie. She and her husband Steve (they spent their honeymoon in Peace Corps Training, and can you believe it: they are STILL married!) were PCVs in Western Samoa from 1981-83. She taught high school and helped design a national public awareness campaign on disaster preparedness. . After her Peace Corps tour, the couple moved to Boston for graduate school where Carrie got a master’s degree from Harvard School of Public Health in health policy and management. (Her BA in political science is from Boston University.) During her “Boston years” she also worked for the Peace Corps as a Public Affairs Officer in the recruitment office and gave . . .

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Foreign Affairs Magazine AGAIN Overlooks Franklin Williams Peace Corps Connection

In the new issue of Foreign Affairs Magazine, the notice that the Council on Foreign Relations is “seeking talented individuals for the Franklin Williams Internship” AGAIN overlooks the fact that Franklin Williams began his international career at the Peace Corps. Williams with Sarge While it does say that Ambassador Williams had a long career of public service, including serving at the American Ambassador to Ghana, as well as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Lincoln University. He was also, they say, a Director of the Council on Foreign Relations. What it doesn’t say is that Franklin Williams began his ‘international’ career at the Peace Corps in 1961, and was at HQ as Chief of the Division of Private Organizations, and then head of the African Region. In 1965 LBJ appointed Williams the first black representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, from this position he would . . .

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“The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy” by Larry J. Sabato and the Online free course

What is the Kennedy Legacy?  And, is the Peace Corps an integral part of the Kennedy Legacy or just a footnote to history? Larry J. Sabato attempts to answer the first question with this comprehensive book that begins with the Kennedy era but continues to analyze how Kennedy influenced politics and culture for the fifty years after his death. To sign up for the course, the text to link to is: https://www.coursera.org/course/kennedy The University of Virginia, where Larry J. Sabato is  the Professor of Politics, and founder and director of the Center for Politics at the University, has offered this online course based on the book and narrated by Professor Sabato. The course is free. The course is in its second week, but it is easy to go back and view the first short lectures. Sabato offers commentary, but the lectures are dominated by videos from the times. It is fabulous . . .

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Winner of the 2013 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award:Through the Eyes of My Children: The Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer Family by Frances L. Stone (Philippines 1971-73)

In 1992, The Peace Corps Experience Award was initiated. It is presented annually to a Peace Corps Volunteer or staff member, past or present for the best short description of life in the Peace Corps. It can be a personal essay, story, poem, letter, cartoon or song. The subject matter can be any aspect of the Peace Corps experience – daily life, assignment, travel, host country nationals, other Volunteers, readjustment. In 1997, this award was renamed to honor Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965-67) whose Living Poor has been widely cited as an outstanding telling of the essence of the Peace Corps experience. • Sarge Shriver often said that the real benefit from the Peace Corps experience would be the children of RPCVs who would raise their children with a better understanding and compassion for world problems because of having had the Peace Corps experience. Briefly in the early ’70s, the Peace Corps . . .

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Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1990-93) Reads At Politics & Prose, November 2

This coming Saturday, November 2, 2013, at 1 p.m. in Washington, D.C. at the famous Politics & Prose Bookstore (5015 Connecticut Avenue in NW Washington, D.C.) Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1990-93) will read from his new book, Julia & Rodrigo. In this novel Mark returns to the Guatemala of his Peace Corps years in a story of young love in a violently divided landscape. Julia is part of a wealthy, Evangelical family and Rodrigo is a Catholic soccer star. Will this Romeo and Juliet fare better than their prototypes? Mark is the winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award in 1998, and now the Gival Press Novel Award. He directs the West Virginia University Creative Writing Program. As Mark wrote me recently in an e-mail, “I started writing the book soon after I COS’d in 1995! It’s a Romeo and Juliet story set during the Guatemalan civil war.” Check out P&P’s . . .

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Teach Me How To Write The Great American Novel! Or Just Give Me An A!

Half the RPCVs I know are teaching creative writing at colleges and universities; the other half of my RPCV friends are taking writing classes. Now, what does that tell us? Can’t any RPCV get a real job after the Peace Corps or do they all want to be novelists or teach novelists? To help those looking for a school or career as a writer, there’s a new book out from Harvard University Press entitled The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing by Mark McGurl. McGurl teaches at Stanford. His new book was reviewed at length by novelist Diane Johnson in The New York Review of Books, November 7, 2013 issue. It’s well worth the read, regardless of where you sit in the college classroom. McCurl’s book makes the point that the rise of American creative writing programs is a “peculiar and suggestive phenomenon,” though, as Diane . . .

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Review of Harriet Hayes Denison (Tanzania 1966-67) Leopards at My Door

Leopards at My Door, Peace Corps Tanzania 1966-1967 by Harriet Hayes Denison (Tanzania 1966-67) Powell’s Espresso Books, $15 236 pages 2013 Reviewed by Deidre Swesnik (Mali 1996-98) Many Peace Corps stories are filled with hilarious and embarrassing food moments.  And Harriet Denison doesn’t disappoint with hers.  At the very beginning of Leopards at My Door, Harriet gets dropped off by the Peace Corps Land Rover at her home for the next two years, a secondary school in the relatively bustling town of Mwanza, Tanzania.  Right away, she meets Mrs. Makonde, the beloved headmistress of the school, and gets a quick tour of the grounds.  Then it’s onto lunch. At lunch with Mrs. Makonde I was self-conscious, trying to please, impress and chat all at once.  Politely, I choked down a very spicy bite of tongue stew with rice and decided we’d better settle the housing quickly.  You know tongue is . . .

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Garamendi Legacy Project in Mettu, Ethiopia

When all is said and done, perhaps what will be most important and lasting about the Peace Corps will be what the PCVs did AFTER their tour of service. One such example is the RPCV Legacy Program of Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCVs (E&E RPCVs) that has been designated by the I.R.S. as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt organization. The program, organized in 2003 by the group under the leadership of Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64), for the purpose of sponsoring education and healthcare projects that will assist the neediest in-country, and are “championed” – that is designed, administered and fundraised for – by RPCVs and former staff members on a volunteer basis. To date 8 projects have been launched; five have met their goals and three are continuing. The projects are supported by donations primarily from the group’s RPCVs and to date more than $180,000 has been distributed. Of the . . .

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