Archive - June 2015

1
Winner of the 2015 Award for Best Poetry Book — THE CONSOLATIONS by John W. Evans
2
Stan Meisler’s SHOCKING PARIS reviewed in NYTimes last Sunday
3
Winner of the 2015 Fiction Award — KILOMETER 99: by Tyler McMahon (El Salvador 1999–2002)
4
India, Eggs and Peace Corps: Why the loss of Peace Corps history is tragic
5
The Man Who Got Early RPCVs Jobs–Bob Calvert. His Obituary
6
PCV in Cambodia Hosted by Khmer Rouge War Criminal Meas Muth Family
7
Winner of the Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award — At Home on the Kazakh Steppe: A Peace Corps Memoir by Janet Givens (Kazakhstan 2004–06)
8
Health Justice Awareness Day
9
An RPCV Who Never Came Home
10
Peace Corps Connect June 2015 Berkeley

Winner of the 2015 Award for Best Poetry Book — THE CONSOLATIONS by John W. Evans

The winner of the 2015 Peace Corps Writers Best Poetry Book is THE CONSOLATIONS by John W. Evans (Bangladesh 1999–2001) John Evans was twenty-nine years old and his wife, Katie, was thirty. They had met in the Peace Corps in Bangladesh, taught in Chicago, studied in Miami, and were working for a year in Romania, when they set off with friends to hike into the Carpathian Mountains. In an instant, their life together was shattered. Katie became separated from the group. When John finally found her, he could only watch helplessly as she was mauled to death by a brown bear. In the quieter, daily emotions that continue after the formal occasions for mourning are over, and in the six years that follow Katie’s death, the poems of The Consolations articulate the dislocations and disruptions of grief in a continuing life. It looks to both past and future to make . . .

Read More

Stan Meisler’s SHOCKING PARIS reviewed in NYTimes last Sunday

Deborah Solomon, art critic of WNYC radio, reviewed  two art books under the topic “Montmartre/Montparnasse” for the Sunday, June 28th issue of the NYTimes “Book Review.” One of the books was Stanley Meisler’s  Shocking Paris: Soutine, Chagall and the Outsiders of Montparnasse. Here, in part is what Ms. Solomon had to say about Shocking Paris: I far preferred Stanley Meisler’s “Shocking Paris: Soutine, Chagall and the Outsiders of Montparnasse,” which picks up where [Sue] Roe’s book [In Montmartre: Picasso, Matiss and Modernism in Paris 1900–1910] leaves off. In 1912, irritated by an influx of tourists who were crowding the cafes and poking around in his neighborhood, Picasso moved out of his studio in the Bateau-Lavoir and across the Seine to Montparnasse, on the Left Bank. Other artists arrived in short order. Among them was Chaim Soutine, a Russian Jewish exile who became the leading Expressionist painter of his era. For . . .

Read More

Winner of the 2015 Fiction Award — KILOMETER 99: by Tyler McMahon (El Salvador 1999–2002)

First given in 1990, the Maria Thomas Fiction Award is named for the novelist Maria Thomas [Roberta Worrick (Ethiopia 1971–73)] who lost her life in August, 1989, while working in Ethiopia for a relief agency. • The winner of the 2015 Maria Thomas Fiction Award is Kilometer 99 — A Novel by Tyler McMahon (El Salvador 1999–2002) Quoting our review by Phil Damon (Ethiopia 1963–65): This is a gem of a book. It’s a coming of age saga that touches on visceral themes affecting numerous cultures in a disarmingly naïve narrative voice. Under the guise of a surfer’s escape fantasy gone haywire, author Tyler McMahon deftly enables his part-Hawaiian Peace Corps Volunteer engineer Malia to narrate her story in such a way that it unfolds on numerous levels of situation and meaning. At one level, it’s a fictional chronicle of the El Salvador earthquakes of 2001, limning the experiences of . . .

Read More

India, Eggs and Peace Corps: Why the loss of Peace Corps history is tragic

Sunday, the New York Times published an article, “Saving the Cows, Starving the Children”  by SONIA FALEIRO. The author contends that poor children in India are undernourished and one reason is the failure to use cows for beef and feed eggs to these children. To read the article, here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/opinion/sunday/saving-the-cows-starving-the-children.html?_r=0 From that article: “GANDHI famously denied himself food. And by starving himself to protest British rule, he ultimately made India stronger. But India’s leaders today are using food as a weapon, and they are sacrificing not themselves, but others. Their decisions threaten to make India’s children — already among the most undernourished in the world — weaker still. Earlier this month, the chief minister of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, struck down a proposed pilot project to introduce eggs in free government nursery schools in districts populated by economically disadvantaged indigenous groups. . . .

Read More

The Man Who Got Early RPCVs Jobs–Bob Calvert. His Obituary

Bob Calvert was hired by Sargent Shriver in the early days of the agency to set up a Placement Office for RPCVs returning home. He was a wonderful man, low keyed with a great sense of humor. This office he created for the agency did not last, of course, and today as most newly returned PCVs quickly realize, the agency turns their back on RPCVs. It wasn’t so when Calvert was around. Obituary Robert Calvert Jr., decorated WWII veteran, Peace Corps administrator, publisher-advocate for women and minorities, and beloved family man, died on June 11, 2015 at his home in Silver Spring, MD. He had been a long-time resident of Garrett Park. Bob was born December 23, 1922 in Santa Barbara, CA to Robert and Mary Calvert, the oldest of their three children, and raised in Scarsdale, NY. World War II was a defining experience in Bob’s life. He scored . . .

Read More

PCV in Cambodia Hosted by Khmer Rouge War Criminal Meas Muth Family

An article in today’s Phnom Penh Post states that Meas Muth’s son hosted a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2013-14 during In-Country Training. The Peace Corps in-country has confirmed that fact. The news article written by reporters Charles Rollet and May Titthara and was published today, Monday, June 29, 2015. This is the article: Meas Muth, a former navy chief of the Khmer Rouge and war-crimes suspect A current volunteer for the United States’ Peace Corps program in Cambodia lived with alleged Khmer Rouge war criminal Meas Muth for several months last year as part of his official service in Battambang’s Samlot district, the program has acknowledged. Muth, 76, lives freely despite being charged in Case 003 by the Khmer Rouge tribunal for allegedly executing, enslaving and torturing enemies of the regime, including many foreigners, during his time as one of the Khmer Rouge’s top commanders. But that history didn’t stop the Peace . . .

Read More

Winner of the Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award — At Home on the Kazakh Steppe: A Peace Corps Memoir by Janet Givens (Kazakhstan 2004–06)

THE PEACE CORPS EXPERIENCE AWARD was initiated in 1992. It is presented annually to a Peace Corps Volunteer or staff member, past or present for the best depiction of life in the Peace Corps — be it daily life, project assignment, travel, host country nationals, other Volunteers, readjustment. Initially entries could be short works including: personal essay, story, novella, poem, letter, cartoon, or song. Beginning in 2009 memoirs were added to the list. In 1997, this award was renamed to honor Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965–67) whose Living Poor has been widely cited as an outstanding telling of the essence of the Peace Corps experience. • The winner of the 2015 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award is At Home on the Kazakh Steppe: A Peace Corps Memoir by Janet Givens (Kazakhstan 2004–06) • In her memoir, Janet clearly expresses the First Goal of the Peace Corps, writing that as a . . .

Read More

Health Justice Awareness Day

Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers in partnership with the National Peace Corps Association has sponsored today as a time to focus on Health Justice for all Volunteers, serving and returned. The announcement  on Peace Corps Connect, gives an overview of various activities and lists the opportunities for PCVs and RPCVs to participate and advocate, as well as contribute their own stories about Peace Corps and medical services. Read the announcement from Peace Corps Connect: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/advocacy/peace-corps-health-justice-awareness-day/ Additionally, Sara T. Thompson is a RPCV who has a legal suit pending against Peace Corps in regard to the use of mefloquine, the anti-malaria drug that has been used by Peace Corps since 1991. She is collecting documentation from RPCVs and PCVs who have had trouble with mefloquine. For further information, please contact Sara, directly. It is necessary to copy and paste her email address in your email form.The email links may not be . . .

Read More

An RPCV Who Never Came Home

I  met up this past week with Sara Dixon Hester in Hempstead, England where Sara has lived most of her life since her volunteer days as a PCV in Addis Ababa and Shashamane, Ethiopia. I was an APCD when Sara arrived in 1965. Sara, in her first year, went on a blind date (arranged by another PCV) and met John Hester, a Brit teaching at the Wingate School, and one of the ex-pats involved with a theater group in Addis. It was Sara’s second year in Ethiopia when she had the date and she had already ‘begged’ me to move her out of the city and I agreed to do so, just before she met the ‘man of her life.’ So John Hester and Sara had a long-distance romance in Ethiopia. Luckily, Hester had a car to get him on weekends down into the Rift Valley to Shashamane, a town . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Connect June 2015 Berkeley

Over coffee last October in Berkeley, Marian Haley Beil revealed that the 2015 Peace Corps Connect Conference was to be held in….Berkeley. I couldn’t believe my luck – my beloved alma mater and a thirty minute drive from my hometown across the Bay, the destiny of my annual California visits. Confident that my memoir would be ready by the June date, I asked Marian if I could participate in the Peace Corps Writers Worldwide events she’d be planning. And so it was. I convinced my old Peace Corps friend, Barbara to go, so that, at least, we’d know each other. It was exciting to see those five hundred smiling faces and bobbing heads (the majority grey, like me) at the opening session in Wheeler Hall, where over fifty years ago, I studiously took notes for sociology and physics classes. We looked for familiar faces and names on name tags, many . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.