Archive - March 16, 2015

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First Lady Michelle Obama Takes PC Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet To Japan To Promote "Let Girls Learn"
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More Loose Change or The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
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Gerald Karey writes: The First Day
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Talking to Michael Meyer (China 1995-97)

First Lady Michelle Obama Takes PC Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet To Japan To Promote "Let Girls Learn"

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Michelle Obama won’t avoid Cambodia’s human rights record when she visits the southeast Asian nation this week, her final stop on a two-country trip to promote a new U.S. initiative to help millions of girls worldwide attend and complete school, the White House said Monday. The first lady, who is traveling without the president, is scheduled to arrive in Japan, her first stop, on Wednesday. On Friday, she heads to Cambodia. While the purpose of the five-day trip, from March 18-22, is to promote the “Let Girls Learn” initiative she and the president announced this month, Mrs. Obama will discuss the need for an open and inclusive political system in Cambodia and highlight basic values and principles that are important to the U.S., said Evan Medeiros, senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council. “She’s going to have ample opportunity . . .

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More Loose Change or The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The hummingbirds are back in town. Strange that they leave during the summer months. I wonder where they go. Maybe, like so many Santiaguinos , they’re escaping the heat. Out on my walking route, ads on posts proclaiming “Perro Perdido”. How many dogs get lost just in our neighborhood! Mug shots of missing pets change weekly. Went to see the movie “Selma” last night. I needed to refresh my memory about those events. Then I realized why I seemed to have a memory gap about those years….I was in Colombia in the Peace Corps then and had little contact with US news. It’s disturbing to me to think that was the situation in my country just fifty years ago. And it’s not over yet. Fires rage out of control. Chile is living the consequences of climate change. Years of drought has converted much of the landscape, even in the normally . . .

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Gerald Karey writes: The First Day

A Writer Writes I wrote this about five years ago. It was, and is, the only time I have written at length about my Peace Corps service. Not that I didn’t value the experience, but I didn’t think it, or my contribution, was all that exceptional. I came, I taught English as a foreign language (just how well is not for me to judge), and I left. The Peace Corps was in Turkey for only eight years — from 1962 to 1970. The program was abandoned in an “increasingly fractious environment,” one former in-country director wrote. It was fueled by misunderstandings between the Peace Corps and the Turkish government, Peace Corps missteps (my TEFL group stormed Turkey with 200 Volunteers), a steady drumbeat of negative newspaper headlines, charges that Volunteers were CIA agents, and “Turkey’s descent into a morass of violence and radical politics,” the former director added. (If you’re . . .

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Talking to Michael Meyer (China 1995-97)

Michael Meyer received a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction after publishing his first book, The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed. He has also held a Guggenheim Fellowship.  His stories have appeared in Time, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Slate, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and on “This American Life.” In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China has just been published by Bloomsbury Press. Today, Michael teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh and spends his free semesters in Singapore. I recently interviewed Mike about his career, China, and his books. • Mike, where did you serve as a PCV and when? Peace Corps China 2; 1995-1997. . Q. Now you stayed on in China . . . was this so you could write Last Days? No, post-Corps, I moved to Beijing in 1997 . . .

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