Archive - January 12, 2015

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Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) Publishes Award Winning Short Story Collection
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Ask Not What Can You Do For Your Country, But Why Can You Do for Coca-Cola?

Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) Publishes Award Winning Short Story Collection

This month, Autumn House Press published Mark Brazaitis (1991-93) collection, Truth Poker: Stories that won its 2014 Fiction contest. Of his stories, Mark says, “Truth Poker is a collection of 15 stories whose outcomes hinge on how characters engage with a truth (about a situation, about themselves). In a crucial moment in their lives, will they tell the truth or conceal it? What will the consequences of their decisions be?” In the collection’s title piece, two boys play a real life version of truth poker. When a person loses a hand, he is required to answer his friend’s question. One of the boys, again the story’s main concern, has lost his mother and is living with his father. Through playing the game, he slowly finds connections between his mother’s suicide and his father’s relationship with an Ohio congressman. As it turns out, the boy’s playmate is the congressman’s nephew. Brazaitis’ . . .

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Ask Not What Can You Do For Your Country, But Why Can You Do for Coca-Cola?

Peace Corps is in partnership with 42 public and private organizations.  Coca-Cola is one such effort. Together with USAID and Coca-Cola, Peace Corps Volunteers work on promoting clean water projects. Such programs are certainly worthwhile. The training materials that Volunteers distribute have the USAID emblem, the Coca-Cola name and the Peace Corps logo. My question is simply” Who benefits most from this “branding”? Here is the link to the Peace Corps 2012 press notice  announcing  the new partnership: http://www.peacecorps.gov/media/forpress/press/2129/ The National Peace Corps Association webpage described a Congressional briefing, arranged by the Peace Corps Forum, to describe the various partnerships.To read the article, here is the link: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/2014/10/hill-briefing-highlights-peace-corps-innovation/ From that article: “These efforts were highlighted on Capitol Hill at an October 28th briefing sponsored by the House Peace Corps Caucus. The briefing featured the agency and several of its newest partners, who discussed upcoming programs and innovations. Curt Tarnoff, a specialist . . .

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