Archive - April 2015

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Can You Top This Photo?
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Chi and John Sherman (Nigeria 1966–66, Malawi 1967–68) publish CD of prose and poetry
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John Michael Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) Publishes Two Essays on Moldova
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APCD Catherine Varchaver (HQ Staff & Kyrgyzstan 1995-97) Edits Fly Fishing Book
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Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) With Nepal Relief Contact
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Malaria, Mefloquine, and Peace Corps: What Price Protection? Part Two
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Malaria, Mefloquine, and Peace Corps: What Price Protection? Part One
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Brownie Lee (Togo 1962-64) passed away in Benin after a brief illness
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Earth, Wind and Fire (and Rain)
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John Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) English Language Fellow in Khabarovsk, Russia

Can You Top This Photo?

John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Send me your jpeg photo of you in your Peace Corps years on a camel, elephant, horse, donkey, mule, etc. and we’ll all vote on the most outrageous photo for an award to be given at the NPCA conference this coming June at Berkeley. (You don’t have to be there to win.) You’ll  win real $$$ and a prize! Send the jpeg photo with your name and country and years to me and I’ll post them on our site: www.peacecorpsworldwide.org. Winners will be selected by the votes sent in from the community of viewers. So send your own photo and vote for your favorite photo. Good luck! p.s. I’m on the one on the right in this photo taken by Mike McCaskey (Ethiopia 1965-67) and I’m not a candidate in the contest.

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Chi and John Sherman (Nigeria 1966–66, Malawi 1967–68) publish CD of prose and poetry

John Sherman (Nigeria 1966–66, Malawi 1967–68) and Chi Sherman have just published a collaborative, spoken-word CD — Shades: Writings on Race Culture Gender. The CD has 25 tracks of poetry and prose, with original music by Gabriel Harley. There will be a release party for the CD at Indy Reads Books 911 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis IN on Saturday, May 9. For more information and to order the CD, write John at john@mesaverdepress.com

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John Michael Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) Publishes Two Essays on Moldova

John Michael Flynn’s Moldova A resident of central Virginia, John Michael Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) taught at Balti State Pedagogical Univeristy in Moldova and is now an English Language Fellow with the US State Department in Khabarovsk, Russia. His most recent poetry collection, Keepers Meet Questing Eyes (2014) is available from Leaf Garden. Two essays of John’s were published on-line this month. One essay is entitled Hai La Masa and is published in Proximity from Madison, Wisconsin: www.proximitymagazine.org. The second one is entitled, Ideal Village and is published in Limehawk located in upstate New York: www.limehawk.org. Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective was started in 2013 to offer a creative space for artists to share their perceptions of current social and environmental issues. The quarterly online journal  publishes new fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art by a diverse and talented group of artists, both emerging and established. Proximity Magazine is also a quarterly publication focused . . .

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APCD Catherine Varchaver (HQ Staff & Kyrgyzstan 1995-97) Edits Fly Fishing Book

Catherine Varchaver (HQ Staff & APCD  Kyrgyzstan 1993-97)  who is today the senior stewardship officer at World Wildlife Fund’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. where she writes extensively about global conservation programs, is the granddaughter of John and Maxine Atherton, who helped shape the art and science of fly fishing over the decades. She has just edited a book by her grandmother entitled The Fly Fisher and the River that will be published by Skyhorse Publishing in the spring of 2016. It will be published as well as a companion reprint of John Atherton’s (Catherine’s grandfather) classic The Fly and the Fish. In her introduction to the book, Catherine writes of how she was given the unfinished memoir over fifteen years ago and last year, holding the rolled pages of the unfinished book, said, “I could hear my grandmother telling me, with her lilting laugh, that her dream was now in my hands.” While not a . . .

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Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) With Nepal Relief Contact

Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) is in touch with the Gorkha Foundation that is working to get relief supplies and services to communities at the Nepal Earthuake epicenter. Here is a link to that site: April 28 2015 Friends, Many villagers in Nepal are under siege, struggling to survive from the earthquake and aftershocks that have struck the Himalayas. Most of the media and relief attention, so far, has been centered on Kathmandu Valley and Mt Everest… But it is now very clear that remote mountain communities at the epicenter – the Gorkha region, including both Gorkha and Lamjung Districts – have equally if not more serious issues. Whole villages have been devastated and recent and ongoing rains have triggered destructive landslides and threaten of more danger to health and habitation. The Director of a Nepalese NGO (non-governmental organization), The Gorkha Foundation (of which I am an advisory board member), is . . .

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Malaria, Mefloquine, and Peace Corps: What Price Protection? Part Two

The literature contains many articles about concerns with the use of mefloquine published in the more than twenty years between the time mefloquine became Peace Corps’s anti-malaria medication of choice and the FDA’s Black Box warning.  In reviewing these articles, it is helpful to keep in mind the Peace Corps’ timeline: 1961 – 1990  Chloroquine was the anti-medication of choice 1990 – 1992  Peace Corps participates in research of mefloquine, in response to                               development  of chloroquine resistant malaria 1992 –            Mefloquine becomes the anti-malaria medication of choice 1995 –            Dr. Lobel reviews medical literature for Peace Corps Medical Officers                         in  newsletter 2004              FDA issues a medication guide to be given to all patients who are       . . .

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Malaria, Mefloquine, and Peace Corps: What Price Protection? Part One

In a medically hostile environment, malaria is one of the fiercest enemies. Peace Corps has been fighting it for over fifty years; not only to help the people Volunteers serve, but to protect Volunteers, who are also targets of the disease. From 1961 to 1990, Volunteers in malaria areas, took chloroquine, brand name, Aralen, to protect against malaria. There was a increase in the incidence of  malaria among Volunteers in West Africa beginning in  the mid-80s due to the development of  Chloroquine-resistent malaria. In 1989 thru 1992, Peace Corps Volunteers in West Africa participated in research studies for a  relatively new anti-malaria drug, mefloquine, (for a time, the drug was marketed under the brand name, Lariam). The drug was effective against the chloroquine-resistent form of malaria, but was not without its adverse side effects. It is these adverse side effects that is the focus, here, thanks to the efforts, of . . .

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Brownie Lee (Togo 1962-64) passed away in Benin after a brief illness

Brownie worked in many Peace Corps countries and at many levels of the agency, first as a PCV. She lived in West Africa for over forty years. Brownie Lee passed away on April 27, 2015 (Togo Independence Day) in Benin after a brief illness. Brownie Lee was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the first Togo group from 1962-64, and in Guinea, 1964-1966. She then taught for twenty years, in Eastern and Western Africa, the U.S., and Jamaica. In 1984, she returned to Peace Corps as APCD for Education in Niger 1984-89, APCD for Education and Water Sanitation in Mauritania, 1989-91, and APCD for Education and SED in Ghana, 1991-93. In 1994 she joined Africare as a Project Coordinator for an NGO strengthening program in Benin. In 1995, Brownie came back to Peace Corps as the Sub-Regional Programming and Training Coordinator for Coastal West and Central Africa. In this latter position, . . .

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Earth, Wind and Fire (and Rain)

The peaceful, benevolent skies we encountered ten days ago in the wide open Patagonian pampa of grazing sheep and guanacos turned dark and turbulent this past week, releasing a two-day torrential deluge, isolating ranchers,  engorging rivers and washing away hundreds of sheep. Having recently explored that landscape heightens the distress. Though we know that this is a land of extremes, it continues to shock and surprise. Last month, the news carried scenes of massive mudslides in the northern desert region and raging fires in southern forests. This week, without any warning, the Calbuco volcano, inactive for forty-five years, spewed columns of red hot lava and gigantic, lightning-pierced clouds of ash and stone skyward. The ash and gravel settled in thick layers on nearby villages, farms, roads and fields. Locals were evacuated until it was deemed safe to return their homes. We city dwellers watch in shock televised scenes of horses . . .

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John Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) English Language Fellow in Khabarovsk, Russia

John Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) is currently an English Language Fellow with the US State Department in Khabarovsk, Russia. He is living in Khabarovsk, the capital of the Far East, a city of about a quarter of a million people, and teaching at the Far Eastern State University of the Humanities. He believes he is the only American living in Khabarovsk. His fellowship program is run by Georgetown University and funded by the State Department. John writes, “The program salary is more than adequate and the teaching expectations are higher than if I were just on my own teaching privately. Diplomacy is required and I think my background in the Peace Corps has served me well. I have met other Fellows in other countries and some of them, too, are RPCVs.” There are today five English Language Fellow in Russia and while the risk is always there, none have been deported, though these . . .

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