Archive - October 2014

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Peace Corps helps CDC team in Liberia
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Positions Peace Corps Could Not Fill as of 9.30.13
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Frank Mankiewicz, political and media insider, dies at 90
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Peace Corps and the NPCA have signed a MOU to Cooperate by focusing on Third Goal Activities
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Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean 1975-76) Wins Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction
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Statistical Profile of Peace Corps Response Volunteers as of 9.30.13
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Peace Corps vs Posh Corps
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The Sexual Assault Advisory Council Issues Third Annual Report -Not easy to find on Peace Corps Website
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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Featured on Examiner.com
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How I Taught Myself to Write Fiction by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)

Peace Corps helps CDC team in Liberia

The Washington Post reports that the Peace Corps’ local network in Liberia helped the CDC  begin its ebola fighting efforts. Here is  the link to the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-ebola-fighters-head-to-africa-but-will-the-military-and-civilian-effort-be-enough/2014/10/25/1ceba6a8-5b99-11e4-8264-deed989ae9a2_story.html Thanks to the National  Peace Corps Association for posting the information about the Washington Post article on their Facebook page. From that article, read the following: Greg Thorne, the deputy team leader for the CDC in Liberia, wrote to Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet this past week, thanking the agency for smoothing the path for American public health workers in the county of Gbarpolu. “We, the CDC team members, entered Gbarpolu as strangers,” Thorne wrote. “Carried by community goodwill . . . and connected by our Peace Corps colleague’s extensive local network, we were able to rapidly integrate with the county leadership and earn the trust necessary for them to openly discuss challenges and take our suggestions to heart.” The Peace Corps staffers have . . .

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Positions Peace Corps Could Not Fill as of 9.30.13

Peace Corps applications were at an historic low for 2013. A campaign to increase applications for 2014 was successfully. It is not known how this will translate into serving Volunteers. It is possible, however, to look at the consequences of the lack of an adequate number of applications for 2013. The Peace Corps Performance and Accountability Report Fiscal Year 2013 reported “The number of applications has produced challenge in meeting the demand for skilled Volunteers at the quantity requested by posts.” Peace Corps does not include comprehensive demographic statistics in its annual reports. To obtain this information, it was necessary to make a FOIA request. The request was made on July 14, 2014 and this information was not received until October 22rd. It is not known if some or all of these positions were filled in 2014. Absent current data, it is difficult to know exactly what is happening with . . .

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Frank Mankiewicz, political and media insider, dies at 90

“I hooked up with Sarge in some motel room in El Paso. Fletcher Knebel was there. Bill Haddad was there. Everyone was totally charged up. Shriver and Haddad closed in on me: You’re going to Peru–right?” And finally I said it: ‘Yeah.’ After a lot of whooping and backslapping and shouts of ‘t’rrfic,’ Sarge turned to me as he was leaving and asked, ‘Hey, don’t you want to know what the job pays?’ Somewhat embarrassed, Mankiewicz replied, “Wellll, yeah, I guess so. I mean, sure. How much does it pay?’ “I haven’t the foggiest idea,” said Shriver with a great cackle. A month later, in September 1961, Mankiewicz  joined Shriver in Lima, Peru, on the first leg of Shriver’s first sweep through Latin America to put Peace Corps programs in place. From Come As You Are by Coates Redmon Washington Post by Adam Bernstein Frank Mankiewicz, who came from a . . .

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Peace Corps and the NPCA have signed a MOU to Cooperate by focusing on Third Goal Activities

The National Peace Corps Association is a membership association for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. It is not an official part of the Peace Corps. However, it has always advocated for the Peace Corps Community. Now the Peace Corps has established  a more formal relationship with the NPCA. This Memorandum of Understanding was signed during the NPCA’s annual gathering last June. Read the Memorandum of Understanding between the Peace Corps and the National Peace Corps Association by clicking MOU between Peace Corps and NPCA The following description of the activities is from that Memorandum of Understanding: “V. AREAS OF COOPERATION A.   Under this MOU, subject to certain limitations applicable to each party, the Peace Corps and NPCA intend to collaborate on areas of mutual interest that may include, but are not limited to, activities and initiatives that serve to educate the public on the Peace Corps and its mission, programs, and . . .

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Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean 1975-76) Wins Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction

By Ron Charles September 24                                                                                                                                                       (Courtesy of Grove/Atlantic) “The Woman Who Lost Her Soul,” an epic about America’s unbridled military ambitions, has won this year’s Dayton Literary Peace Prize for fiction. In their announcement of the $10,000 award this morning, the judges said that novelist Bob Shacochis “creates an intricate portrait of the catastrophic events that have led to an endless cycle of vengeance and war between cultures.” This complex, demanding novel about a father-daughter pair of spies was a . . .

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Statistical Profile of Peace Corps Response Volunteers as of 9.30.13

In 2010, Peace Corps opened up the Peace Corps Volunteer Response Program to professionals who had never served in the Peace Corps.  Previously, the program had been designed to allow  only RPCVs to accept short term assignments with the Peace Corps to utilize the expertise they had gained through their Peace Corps service. Facts to note in this profile about the Peace Corps Response Program: 1) The total of Peace Corps Response applications for 2013 was 2631, actual applicants were 1506. There were 184 Peace Corps Response Volunteers, serving on September 30, 2013. Here is the chart showing these numbers: -2012 to April 2014, 14-0213_-_responsive_material_-_fy12_fy13_fy14- 2) It is very difficult to get detailed demographic data from Peace Corps. These statistics are already a year old.  It is not possible to know how many of the 1506 applicants documented in 2013 went on to serve in 2014. 3) My assumption is that the . . .

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Peace Corps vs Posh Corps

In the mail the other day I received a CD documentary film about the Peace Corps entitled, Posh Corps. The video was new to me, but it turned out that the documentary has been around for a year, and there have been several showings in California. I was out of the loop. The video focuses on Peace Corps Volunteers serving in South Africa in recent years. The disk also contains interviews with RPCVs who were in Asia, West Africa and Eastern Europe. Those interviews focus on the struggle that PCVs have in coming home. I see a lot of material produced by RPCVs, mostly books, but I was really impressed by what the director, producer and editor Alan Toth has achieved with this film. Alan was in South Africa from 2010-12. Today he works at a non-profit documentary production company in the San Francisco Bay area. Posh Corps is his . . .

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The Sexual Assault Advisory Council Issues Third Annual Report -Not easy to find on Peace Corps Website

The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 established a Sexual Assault Advisory Council charged with the responsibility of reviewing Peace Corps’ compliance with that law and issuing an annual report. Peace Corps announced the first report in a press release. Since then, the report has been posted without notice. It is not listed on the Peace Corps Home page under Agency Links, nor Agency Documents, nor Safety and Security. It can be found only by those who know to put the correct heading, “Sexual Assault Advisory Council”, in the search box.  Here is the direct link to that important report: http://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/PCAC_Annual_Report.pdf The law, itself, is the work of a brave and brilliant group of RPCV women, First Response Action. These women were victims, themselves, of sexual assault, during service as was current Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. First Response Action organized to call attention to Peace Corps . . .

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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Featured on Examiner.com

John Coyne talks about the reissue of Child of Shadows October 11, 201411:32 AM MST Best-selling author of The Legacy and Hobgoblin, John Coyne talks about the reissue of Child of Shadows, his spine tingling suspense/horror novel, available now, via Harvest Moon Press. http://johncoynebooks.com/child-of-shadows/ Harvest Moon Press Mr. Coyne graciously took time to answer questions about Child of Shadows, his inspiration genre blending in fiction, and what scares him the most. Your novel, Child of Shadows has been reissued with Harvest Moon Press, have you reread it? Was there anything you would have rewritten/changed? Rereading it was a special pleasure as (believe it or not) I had forgotten much of the plot, the twists and turns of the story, so that for me, it was like reading a new book, discovering an old friend. What is the first sentence of Child of Shadows? Detective Nick Kardatzke stepped carefully through the sewage water, the filth and . . .

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How I Taught Myself to Write Fiction by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)

On October 6th, Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963–65) was featured on Lorrie Bodger’s site TheBookUnderHerBed.com discussing her first steps to becoming an award winning author. Among Marnie’ awards is the 1995 Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Fiction Award for her Peace Corps novel, Green Fires. • Guest post: A writer learns to write by Lorrie Bodger Marnie Mueller is the award-winning author of three novels: Green Fires, The Climate of the Country, and My Mother’s Island. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador in the early 1960s, a community organizer in El Barrio in NYC, and then a member of Mayor Lindsay’s administration, responsible for programming cultural events in all five boroughs. She left city government to become Development Director and later Program Director of WBAI-FM radio; after WBAI she ran her own business producing citywide events, concerts, benefits, and weddings. Today she’s a full-time writer (and MacDowell Colony Fellow), . . .

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