Archive - March 2015

1
The Peace Corps Poetry Contest
2
Culture Change at the Peace Corps Webcast: April 2 at 10:00 a.m.
3
Vaccinations, Small pox, Measles, Dona Ermelinda and me.
4
Peace Corps Connect/Berkeley early-bird registration
5
RPCV Sara Thompson (Burkina Faso 2010-12) Sues The Peace Corps Over Malaria Drug
6
Listening to Glaciers
7
Nan McEvoy Dies at Age 95. Early Deputy Director of the Africa Region and Head of Talent Search
8
Mike Meyer (China 1995-97) Speaking in Washington, D.C. Monday, March 30th
9
Gerald Karey writes: Death of a Politician
10
Review: Lily of Peru by David C. Edmonds (Chile 1963-65)

The Peace Corps Poetry Contest

In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, Peace Corps announces its first annual poetry contest, to run from April 1-30.All current and returned Volunteers are invited to submit poems for consideration by April 30. Submission requirements:* Up to three original works of written poetry that highlight one’s volunteer experience and promotes the Third Goal of Peace Corps.* Poems must be less than 300 words and free of inappropriate content or copyrighted material. * Poems must be written primarily in English, with footnotes explaining non-English words. Poems will be reviewed by a panel of judges and the winners will be announced in May. Visit our website for more information and submission guidance. Prizes:1st place: Winning poems will be printed on a custom poster that will be distributed to the winners and will be proudly displayed at Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C and regional offices across the United States. Winners . . .

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Culture Change at the Peace Corps Webcast: April 2 at 10:00 a.m.

Over the last few years, the Peace Corps has implemented a series of new policies and procedures aimed at reducing risks for volunteers and providing support and guidance to volunteers who experience, witness, or report sexual assault. The following discussion will be streamed live on the website (http://csis.org/events/event/culture-change-peace-corps) of the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington DC: Culture Change at the Peace Corps APRIL 2, 2015 | 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

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Vaccinations, Small pox, Measles, Dona Ermelinda and me.

Dona Ermelinda is the smiling lady in the green dress in the photo above on my blog page Peace Corps: Public Records. She is  next to the smiling man with the guitar. If this had been Appalachia, she would be called a granny midwife; in Benin, a “Sage Femme”, a wise woman. In Colombia where we lived, she was a Partera, technically a woman who delivered babies. But she was far more than that; certainly a wise woman, a keen observer, an empirical scientist, the most trusted and important practitioner in our community. She was the gatekeeper. No new practices would be successful without her approval. I struggled to make her my partner.Instead, I became her apprentice. As we walked the hills of Cauca, she would grab my hand, and pound her fingers in it, Anne Sullivan to my ignorance. “Juanita”, she would demand, “Ponga se de atencion!” Pay attention. She . . .

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Peace Corps Connect/Berkeley early-bird registration

From the NPCA: Early bird registration for Peace Corps Connect/Berkeley ends tomorrow! Join us June 5-6, 2015 for this annual event showcasing our community’s lifelong commitment to Peace Corps ideals. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and other prominent leaders among the Peace Corps community. Click the link on this page to see the full program. You will be inspired and motivated. Peace Corps Connect/Berkeley will provide an opportunity for you to engage with your fellow RPCVs and former Peace Corps staff who share the formative foundation of the Peace Corps experience. . Peace Corps Writers at Peace Corps Connect/Berkeley Peace Corps Writers will present two programs during PC Connect. 1) Noted writer John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64) will talk about writing your Peace Corps memoir, and editor and book designer Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962–64) will discuss preparing your manuscript for publishing. 2)  There . . .

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RPCV Sara Thompson (Burkina Faso 2010-12) Sues The Peace Corps Over Malaria Drug

Wall Street Journal By JOE PALAZZOLO Sara Thompson (Burkina Faso 2011-13) sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night and finds her balance has left her. She stumbles to the kitchen. Or to the bathroom. She suffers spells of dizziness when she tilts her head just so, and sometimes for no reason at all. Ms. Thompson, 32, said the symptoms began during her Peace Corps service in Africa, where she took the antimalarial drug mefloquine. In a lawsuit filed earlier this week in Washington, D.C., Ms. Thompson alleges the federal volunteer program negligently provided her the drug without warning her of all the possible dangers. In 2013, the year after she returned from her two-year service in Burkina Faso, a landlocked West African country, the Food and Drug Administration required makers of the drug to add a warning label about potential neurological and psychiatric side effects, including loss of balance, dizziness, . . .

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Listening to Glaciers

I just finished reading “The Lathe of Heaven” by Ursula Le Guin, my first excursion into science fiction. I decided to give a try to this genre after several visits to Mrs. LeGuin’s  blog, which inspired me to declare her as my blogger muse. The plot evolves on dual time tracks and alternate universes, leaving me perplexed. Mrs. LeGuin published the book in 1971, while the actual present of the story seems to occur in the early part of the second millennia, thus being in our past. Tenuous, permeable lines distinguish between present, past and future. This started me wondering about time. The present is now the past as I write, yet it was once the future. The story overwhelms with a plethora of man-made disasters: pollution, the greenhouse effect, continuous wars, overpopulation, famine and riots; and natural disasters: volcanic eruptions, plagues.  It’s frightening to accept that this scenario is . . .

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Nan McEvoy Dies at Age 95. Early Deputy Director of the Africa Region and Head of Talent Search

Nan McEvoy, an early employee of the Peace Corps, is listed in a March 27, 2015 in the San Francisco Chronicle as a founding staff member of the Peace Corps. True enough. She was the first deputy in the African Region and in the summer of 1962 traveled through eight African counties for an “on-the-spot survey of Peace Corps project. Later, she became head of the Talent Search Office at the agency, following Bill Haddad, Glenn Ferguson, Franklin Williams, Willy Warner, Jay Rockefeller IV, and Bill Wister, in the job of finding overseas Reps. She was one of the few (and famous) early women Peace Corps Staff members. Nan Tucker McEvoy Nan Tucker McEvoy, the last member of The San Francisco Chronicle‘s founding family to run the 150-year-old newspaper and a prominent olive oil producer, philanthropist and Democratic Party activist, died Thursday morning at age 95. Her death was confirmed by her . . .

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Mike Meyer (China 1995-97) Speaking in Washington, D.C. Monday, March 30th

IN MANCHURIA: DOCUMENTING A CHANGING CHINA EVENT | MARCH 30, 2015 New American Fellows In Manchuria: Documenting a Changing China Monday, March 30, 2015 12:15 PM – 01:45 PM 1899 L Street NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20036 RSVP Amidst news of the globalization and booming populations in China, the story of the country’s rampant development and fast-paced change often centers on the evolution of its cities. But that’s only part of the story. Nearly half of China’s massive population-about 700 million people-still resides in rural areas, and life in the village has not been insulated from the seismic shifts reverberating from the urban centers. In his new book In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China, author Michael Meyer chronicles three years he spent in a small rice-growing town in China’s legendary northeast territory. And the saga he tells is one that mirrors drastic change sweeping through many . . .

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Gerald Karey writes: Death of a Politician

A Writer Writes — Death of a Politician by Gerald Karey (Turkey 1965–67) • Tom Schweich, Missouri auditor and Republican candidate for governor, died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound last month. Schweich said he was being subjected to an anti-Semitic whispering campaign. He believed that John Hancock, a GOP consultant who was elected February 21st as chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, was telling Republican donors and activists that Schweich was Jewish. Schweich was an Episcopalian and did have a Jewish grandfather. But in Judaism, the religion is passed down through the mother’s line, not the father’s. As far as the Orthodox rabbis are concerned, and by choice, Schweich was not Jewish. But is saying someone is Jewish or a Jew anti-Semitic? Not necessarily if you don’t precede it with any number of ugly adjectives, or if you don’t use it as an epithet. I’m okay if you say . . .

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Review: Lily of Peru by David C. Edmonds (Chile 1963-65)

Lily of Peru by David C. Edmonds (Peru 1963–65) A Peace Corps Writers Book January 2015 402 pages $16.95 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Geraldine Kennedy (Liberia 1962–64) • Peru in 1992 is besieged by the sinister evils of President Fujimura’s not-so-secret police and military, and the equally brutal atrocities of the guerilla terrorists, Shining Path. Throughout Andean villages, monuments to long-ago battles and massacres — one loss after another — display the centuries of resentment descendants of the Incas bear toward the descendants of Pizzaro and his conquistadors. The ancient is very much a part of the present. Multiple bad guys fight each other, trampling the innocent and poor with abandon. Into this violent mix, under the pretext of attending an academic conference, Professor Mark Thorsen travels to Lima for a secret rendezvous with an old love. Mark and Marisa met in Peru ten years before when he was . . .

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