Archive - April 26, 2015

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John Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) English Language Fellow in Khabarovsk, Russia
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Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation
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Potential Shift in Hostage Policy: Officials to Recommend Families Be Free to Pay Ransom
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Link to Nepal Peace Corps
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George Packer (Togo 1982-83) Writes About His CD Warren Weinstein

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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Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation

Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation About PCCF In January 2014, the United States Congress authorized the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation to establish a commemorative work on Federal land in Washington, D.C. Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation is the public name of the Peace Corps Foundation, a District of Columbia 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. The Design Competition The Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation (PCCF) is sponsoring a two-stage, national design competition to select an artistically exceptional design concept for a permanent commemorative work in the heart of Washington, DC. This competition will provide designers from all across the United States an opportunity to create a compelling work of public art that will be bold and inspirational. The design should focus on and express American ideals and values that are the essence of the Peace Corps and Peace Corps service. It should be about America and our aspirations as a people, and about the Peace Corps . . .

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Potential Shift in Hostage Policy: Officials to Recommend Families Be Free to Pay Ransom

This is the headline, today,  from ABC News, reporting  this potential change in policy.  Read the report at: http://abcnews.go.com/International/potential-shift-hostage-policy-officials-recommend-families-free/story?id=30589726 The United States has long had a policy of no negotiation with terrorists and absolutely no payment of ransom to free US citizens held hostage. The policy is based on the rationale that paying ransom would only place a price on other Americans. Unfortunately, the United States has not been successful in rescuing hostage hostages. Families of US citizens, including Warren Weinstein, reported that they were visited by US officials who told them that if they attempted to privately raise funds and pay ransom, they would be prosecuted. “Looking the other way” may be the policy change that would allow families to attempt to ransom relatives held hostage, without fear of prosecution. If it had been in effect, perhaps American hostages would not have been killed. Evidently families did not receive such . . .

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Link to Nepal Peace Corps

Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) who has a long history of working for his host country has sent me the following link which is the official Nepal Peace Corps link, and updated since the earthquake, for those who wish to know the situation and help the victims. Thanks, Don. http://www.peacecorps.gov/resources/faf/nepal/

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George Packer (Togo 1982-83) Writes About His CD Warren Weinstein

The New Yorker by George Packer (RPCV/Togo) April 24, 2015 Warren Weinstein, the Al Qaeda hostage who was killed by an American drone strike in Pakistan in January, was once my boss. He was the Peace Corps country director in Togo in 1982 when I was a new volunteer, just weeks out of college. At the end of that summer, after finishing training, I and others in my group were prevented from taking our posts around the country by a Togolese bureaucrat who was a relative of the country’s dictator, Gnassingbé Eyadema. The petty financial dispute took weeks to work out. In the meantime, a few of us were housed temporarily with the Weinstein family in Lomé, Togo’s capital, on the Gulf of Guinea. The Weinsteins lived in the diplomatic quarter, but that makes it sound a bit too grand. The house was a small villa with a metal gate . . .

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