Archive - December 2014

1
Will the Millennials Join the Peace Corps?
2
Update on the effort to bring the murderer (s) of Kate Puzey to Justice
3
Dan Krell (Malawi 1966-68) Writes: Who's Your Editor?
4
James Beebe (Philippines 1968–73) publishes THOSE WERE THE DAYS
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Neil Boyer's (Ethiopia 1962-64) Christmas Letter Home
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Call for Submissions: Cahaba River Literary Journal
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Table Talk
8
A Christmas Message from the JKF Library
9
RPCV Brian Cummins (Dominican Republic 1990-92) Working For Justice in Cleveland
10
Peace Corps Equity Act Language included in Budget Bill

Will the Millennials Join the Peace Corps?

The Associated Press reports that in a new survey young kids are more serious about giving back than their parents were (that means you!). In fact, those under age 30 now are more likely to say citizens have a “very important obligation” to volunteer, an Associated Press poll finds. The embrace of volunteering is striking because young people’s commitment to other civic duties – such as voting, serving on a jury and staying informed – has dropped sharply from their parents’ generation and is lower than that of Americans overall. Among six civic activities in the AP poll, volunteering is the only one that adults under 30 rated as highly as older people did. Today’s young adults grew up amid nudges from a volunteering infrastructure that has grown exponentially since their parents’ day, when the message typically came through churches or scouting. In the decades since President George H.W. Bush . . .

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Update on the effort to bring the murderer (s) of Kate Puzey to Justice

Kate Puzey was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin who was found brutally murdered in her village, in March 2009.  It has been alleged that she was murdered because she complained to her Peace Corps Director that a teacher, associated with the Peace Corps, had been sexually exploiting his students.That person as well as his brother are among suspects who have been in prison for five years in Benin, but there is not sufficient evidence to bring any one to trial. In March of 2014, Congress wrote to the F.B.I., the State Department, and the Inspector General of the Peace Corps requesting greater collaboration among the three in solving the case.To read John Coyne’s review of this request and the history of Kate Puzey, here is the link: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/congress-2/ Here is the link: to read the Congressional request: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2014_Puzey_Investigation_DearColleague.pdf In that letter, there is reference to the collaboration between the three Agencies . . .

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Dan Krell (Malawi 1966-68) Writes: Who's Your Editor?

Dan Krell (Malawi 1966-68) was stationed in Nsanje in a tuberculosis control program. As he wrote me recently, ” I’ve not kept up with things in Malawi as well as I would have liked, but I recently retired; life is not getting in the way as much as it had been over the last 1/2-century, so I’m looking forward to doing better.” He began by reading a recently self-publishing novel about Malawi written by an RPCV and while he had some good things to say about the book, he raised a concern we all have about books by RPCVs. I thought we all could learn from his words. So, further authors pays attention to what he has to say and have your book well edited before publication. Here’s what Dan wrote me. I just finished reading a self-published, fictional book, describing Peace Corps involvement in Malawi, shortly after independence. Granting . . .

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James Beebe (Philippines 1968–73) publishes THOSE WERE THE DAYS

Those Were the Days, published by Peace Corps Writers, is a series of vignettes of significant, often funny, and sometimes quite serious events, from James Beebe’s Peace Corps experience in the Philippine from October 1968 to May 1973. During that time he was profoundly changed by the joy of life and economic inequality he discovered. As a Volunteer he helped introduce a new activity-based approach to science teaching, learned the truth of the children’s rhyme that “Planting Rice is No Fun,” and taught part-time at a college. For him life included buying a one-of-a-kind mosquito net, being offered a love potion, witnessing funeral processions of poor babies, celebrating holidays, and being attacked by dogs after eating dog meat. The cloud of the Vietnam War also had a significant impact on James. But his most life-changing event almost didn’t happen when Maria, the “matchmaker’s” intended choice for James, accused the Peace . . .

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Neil Boyer's (Ethiopia 1962-64) Christmas Letter Home

What parents, siblings, and friends loved most about our Peace Corps experience were our letters home. Of course, today, there is little need for such letters, given cell phones and the Internet, but in the first years of the agency, letters home (and received) were treasured by all of us. Recently Neil Boyer (Ethiopia 1962-64) sent me an email about his first Christmas letter home. Neil wrote: “My cousin Barbara Duhamel recently supplied me with some of her archives, and they included the holiday letter that I sent from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in December 1962 — the first of many letters.  From the distance of 52 years, some of the contents of this letter seem a little exaggerated and perhaps overly optimistic, but it’s pretty clear I was enjoying my introduction to the Peace Corps.” I asked Neil if I might reproduce the letter for others to share and enjoy. . . .

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Call for Submissions: Cahaba River Literary Journal

Call for submissions Cahaba River Literary Journal Published Bi-monthly (every 2 months) Debuts April 2015 Essays, Fiction, Poetry & BW Photography Subscription: $35 year for 6 issues Call for submissions: We work with new and seasoned writers. We need stories, poems, essays, and BW photography on all subjects, in any form. Editor’s Tips: “Present to me your best works: I want to laugh, cry, be sad, get angry at the story or poem of just have fun sharing it with our readers. I want ‘awe’ when I seen your photos!” Length of stories: no more than 2500 words; poetry no more than 25 lines (only submit 3 poems at one time); BW photos (no more than 5 photos with a short story (no more than 150 words to accompany it as a caption). Pays in copies. EMAIL SUBMISSIONS ONLY. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS MARCH 20th, 2015. Cahaba River Literary Journal 2413 Bethel Rd. Logansport, LA 71049 USA 318-564-6031 Email: marcies04@yahoo.com https://www.facebook.com/groups/1505827313012865/ . . .

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Table Talk

Recently, we attended a barbecue hosted by one of hubby’s cyclist friends.  After a couple hours, the meat was finally ready and the men had exhausted the topic of cycling. Seated at the long table, I tried to follow the different strains of lively conversation. In spite of the decades I’ve lived here, I tend to be quiet at large social gatherings, self-conscious of my accented Spanish. This allows me to listen and observe – and learn, especially when it comes to politics. Even after forty-one years since the military coup, the circumstances preceding and following the coup continue to be a frequent subject of differing and strong opinions. Last night was no exception as the conversation turned to Chile’s painful past during the Allende government and the military government that followed, now often referred to as the military dictatorship. (Interesting how one different word changes the perception.) What called . . .

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A Christmas Message from the JKF Library

The JFK Library has issued a special  Christmas letter that President Kennedy wrote to a little girl who was concerned about the safety of Santa Claus!  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q7HJSMsq20 In President Kennedy’s last year in office, he successfully negotiated a limited test ban treaty with the Soviet Union.  From the Department of State:  Here is the link: http://www.state.gov/t/isn/4797.htm Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water BUREAU OF ARMS CONTROL, VERIFICATION, AND COMPLIANCE Signed at Moscow August 5, 1963 Entered into force October 10, 1963 On a personal note, if I may, this was a special Christmas surprise for me.  October 10, 1963 was the day I became a Peace Corps Volunteer.

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RPCV Brian Cummins (Dominican Republic 1990-92) Working For Justice in Cleveland

Brian Cummins (Dominican Republic 1990-92) served in a small business program as a PCV.  After stints as a trainer for a DR program in ’93 and a Latvia program later that year he was hired as Admin. Officer (AO) for the Russian Far East (1994-97), then transferred to Moldova (1997-90) as AO.  He is currently on the Cleveland City Council.  He and his RPCV wife, Gayle have two daughters. Ken Hill, Country Director in the Russian Far East (1994-96) recalls that Brian’s work at the challenging RFE post was “extraordinary and impressive, resulting in major improvements to post operations and volunteer support”. Ward 14 Councilman Brian Cummins was re-elected to Cleveland City Council for a thrid term in 2013 and represents the communities of Clark Fulton, Stockyard, and portions of Brooklyn Centre, Tremont and West Boulevard neighborhoods. Councilman Cummins previously represented the community of Brooklyn Centre and parts of Old . . .

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Peace Corps Equity Act Language included in Budget Bill

Jonathan Pearson, Advocate for the National Peace Corps Association,  is reporting: “Tuesday night, as President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion appropriations bill to fund most of the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year, one very small component of the bill means fairer treatment for female Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs). Included in the Peace Corps section of the 1,600 page spending package is corrective language that will implement the provisions of the Peace Corps Equity Act (S. 2291; H.R. 4578). The legislation was designed to support PCVs the same as others serving our nation overseas, should a Volunteer seek to terminate a pregnancy in the rare instances of rape, incest or life endangerment.” Here is the link to read his entire article: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/2014/12/peace-corps-equity-victory/ Why is this important? The Hyde Amendment passed in the 70s stipulated that no federal funding could be used for abortion services except in . . .

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