Archive - February 2015

1
Peace Corps Birthday, March 1, 2015
2
Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council Member Application
3
Transition is Critical time for Vulnerable Volunteers
4
Peace Corps Director Speaks At Georgetown Global Futures Initiative
5
Talking with Aaron Kase (Burkina Faso 2006-08) about his book: MURDER IN BENIN
6
Blogger Muse
7
27-MONTHS on NPR Northern Community Radio
8
Tom Klobe (Iran 1964–66) publishes A YOUNG AMERICAN IN IRAN
9
Review: Tales from A Muzungu by Nicholas Duncan (Uganda 2006-08)
10
Review: Truth Poker by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93)

Peace Corps Birthday, March 1, 2015

The Peace Corps has a birthday coming up and to kick off Peace Corps Week 2015, the agency wants you to flood Facebook and Twitter with a ‘Happy Peace Corps Week’ Thunderclap. Join our digital Peace Corps flash mob–along with hundreds of others–and celebrate 54 years of promoting world peace. Thunderclap is a platform that allows people to pledge one Tweet or Facebook post (or both!) that is concentrated and unleashed at the same time. After you sign up, it will automatically post the same coordinated message from all supporters on March 2. It’s free and only takes 10 seconds. Please go to Thunderclap link: http://bit.ly/1EXRZOI Many thanks.

Read More

Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council Member Application

Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council Member Application Make A Difference in the Lives of Peace Corps Volunteers! The Peace Corps is seeking RPCVs–both sexual assault survivors and other former Volunteers–to lend their experience and voice to strengthen Peace Corps’ sexual assault training, response and policies. They are also looking for committed experts from fields related to sexual assault risk-reduction and response programs to join the Sexual Assault Advisory Council. Position Overview The Sexual Assault Advisory Council advises the Peace Corps on its Sexual Assault Risk-Reduction and Response Program for Peace Corps Volunteers. Council members bring their technical expertise and experience to enrich the global program. Members review the Agency’s sexual assault response services; Volunteers and Staff training; and related policies; and provide best practices and research findings to Peace Corps leadership and service providers. Peace Corps is looking for law enforcement; mental health and health care providers; attorneys; educators; . . .

Read More

Transition is Critical time for Vulnerable Volunteers

The murder of  Kate Puzey happened during a transition from the Bush Administration to that of Obama. The Peace Corps Director has almost no authority to plan for continuity during these times. The Director may or may not remain during a transition period. There may be only be an Acting Director or a caretaker Deputy Director. Only the newly elected officials can provide for adequate transitional planing. It has not been a priority for politicians of either party. For example, then Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetler and most political appointees, all Bush appointees, resigned the day of the Obama inauguration. No new Director had been appointed. Some of the most egregious Peace Corps tragedies happened during times of such political transitions, in my opinion. A list would include: January 1977 –  PC Volunteer was convicted in Tonga of the murder of fellow Volunteer, Deborah Ann Gardner. He was released to the Peace . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Director Speaks At Georgetown Global Futures Initiative

Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet speaks as a part of the semester-long conversation on development convened by the Georgetown Global Futures Initiative. February 24, 2015 – The Peace Corps can benefit from engaging with countries that have tenuous relations with the United States, said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, the international organization’s director, at a Feb. 23 lecture at Georgetown. Hessler-Radelet, who spoke as part of a semester-long conversation on development convened by the Georgetown Global Futures Initiative, said working in such areas will help the Peace Corps achieve its goal of building cross-cultural understanding. “We need to make sure we’re reaching out to those communities who fear us or don’t understand us and who we also don’t understand,” she said. Profound Example The Peace Corps director told the Georgetown audience about a former child soldier whose family had been killed by Arab militia. After the boy immigrated to the U.S. and graduated . . .

Read More

Talking with Aaron Kase (Burkina Faso 2006-08) about his book: MURDER IN BENIN

  We all blame Peace Corps Staff for something, and sometimes we’re right, but what went particularly wrong with the administration, both in Africa and in Washington, D.C., was what they did (and didn’t do) involving the tragic murder of Kate Puzey in Benin in 2009. What is particularly galling is that the Acting Director of the agency at the time of the murder was an RPCV Jody Olsen (Tunisia 1966-68) who has made a career of working for the agency, mostly through Republican connections from Utah (So much for In, UP and Out!) and she should have known how to take care of PCVs and their families, but she didn’t. Olsen was followed in the job by Director Aaron William (Dominican Republic 1967-70) and while eventually he apologized to the Puzey Family, he was famous for hiding under his deck when asked to speak to news agency. At one . . .

Read More

Blogger Muse

Ursula Le Guin. Her name comes up in my writing group. A familiar name but I don’t remember if I’ve ever read any of her books. I resort to Google where several surprises await me. Familiar names and places. She grew up in Berkeley, where I lived for eight years, though our years didn’t coincide. She was the daughter of Alfred and Theodora Kroeber, renowned anthropologists, her father being director of the University’s anthropology museum. Theodora wrote one of my most-loved books, Ishi in Two Worlds, the account of the last Native American living in the wilderness of California. Ishi went on to become a research assistant at the museum, then located in San Francisco. With low resistance to ‘diseases of civilization’, he suffered ill health, spending much time in the University hospital where my great aunt, a nurse there, met Ishi. How I wish I’d asked her about her . . .

Read More

27-MONTHS on NPR Northern Community Radio

Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) who blogs on this site, as you know, at Peace Corps: Public Records and does a wonderful job of keeping tabs on the agency sent me this link on an RPCV in Grand Rapid, Mn. who has on a local NPR station done a whole series about the Peace Corps entitled, 27-MONTHS. The newly returned RPCV David McDonald (Morocco 2012-14) during his tour interviewed over 40 fellow Peace Corps Volunteers as well as recorded the ‘sounds” of Morocco for his ten-part audio documentary.. The series looks back at being a PCV from his first day in Philadelphia for orientation to the close of service in Morocco two years later. The NPR station says in its promotion of the program. “With a mixture of David’s narration, wide-ranging interviews with his colleagues, every day sounds from Morocco, and loads of different music, 27 MONTHS explores whether the Peace . . .

Read More

Tom Klobe (Iran 1964–66) publishes A YOUNG AMERICAN IN IRAN

In November 1963, a bright Hawaiian morning is shattered by news of the assassination of the President. This marks the beginning of a journey to a remote Iranian village by a young American Peace Corps Volunteer who sets out with rebellious tenacity to do what is right, unaware of America’s loss of innocence — and his own. From a youthful determination to perpetuate Kennedy’s legacy, to coping with the reality of America’s faults and ambitions, to grappling with unfamiliar customs and languages, to discovering the friendship and love of Iranians, Tom Klobe discovers that being “Tom of Iran” is as fulfilling as being “American Tom.” A Young American in Iran is a tribute to the people of the village of Alang and Iran — to their love and to their goodness. It strives to capture the essence of life in a specific village and Iran in the mid-1960s. It is . . .

Read More

Review: Tales from A Muzungu by Nicholas Duncan (Uganda 2006-08)

An East African Peace Corps Life Tales from A Muzungu by Nicholas Duncan (Uganda 2006–08) A Peace Corps Writers Book December 2014 156 pages $14.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Richard M. Grimsrud (India 1965–67) • Nicholas Duncan’s entertaining memoir of his experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda after 9/11 presents a fascinating picture of his host country during his service. One slight problem with the book at the outset, however, is that it is not exactly clear when during the five five-year terms of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (1986-96 and 2001-present) Duncan actually served. When I searched for a specific date in the book, I had to assume from the reference to Super Bowl XLV on pp. 75–76 that the author’s service dates were 2006-08, but it would have made the story more interesting to me (for reasons that should be evident at the end of this review) if . . .

Read More

Review: Truth Poker by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93)

Truth Poker: Stories by Mark Brazaitis Pittsburgh: Autumn House Press January 2015 180 pages $17.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) • Mark Brazaitis’s sixth book of fiction, Truth Poker, is a collection of superb short stories divided into three themed sections. In one sense, the fictions are a continuation of his past work, as these stories, like those in his 2012 collection, The Incurables, are also tied to the fictional town of Sherman, Ohio, and the campus of Ohio Eastern University. And, as in his earlier writing, Brazaitis draws on his own Peace Corps experience by featuring Volunteers in several of the stories, including those set in Guatemala, his country of service. Beyond the Peace Corps connection and the nominal ties to an Ohio community, however, the stories here do, for the most part, feel like they are part of a unified project, and on that basis alone . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.