Archive - November 9, 2015

1
Follow Up on the GAO Report on Post PC Service Disability Benefits
2
Happy Birthday, Sarge…100 Years….Your PCVs Are Still Working Around the World
3
Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) Writes About the Virgin Mary in National Geographic Magazine
4
Return to Piojo by Dana Dahl Seton (Colombia 1963–65)
5
A Writer Writes:The Lesson of the Machi by David C. Edmonds
6
Michael Varga’s (Chad) award winning story published in Glimmer Train

Follow Up on the GAO Report on Post PC Service Disability Benefits

Nancy Tongue and her Health Justice for Volunteers team have been working to establish adequate post service care for Volunteers who have service connected medical problems.  The GAO has issued an analysis on the benefits afforded RPCVs vs the benefits of Govermemt contractors such as State Department  and USAID.  Here is the first reporting we did on the issue : http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/report-from-congress-on-post-service-disability-benefits/ Now, Jonathan Pearson, National Peace Corps Association Advocate, has summarized the report. Read his commentary at: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/2015/11/study-examines-peace-corps-workers-comp-program/ Health Justice for Volunteers has reviewed the report and issued a response.  The response points out deficiency with the data in the report.  Follow the link at the bottom of Jonathan’s report to read their response.

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Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) Writes About the Virgin Mary in National Geographic Magazine

In its December 2015 issue National Geographic carries a cover story by Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) that calls the Virgin Mary, “the most powerful woman in the world”. Award-winning journalist Orth, also a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, has been wandering the world and telling unexpected stories since her days as a PCV. In this article, she has taken a journey through some of the most famous Marian apparitions (including the alleged apparitions of Medjugorje) while mixing the stories of those who benefit from such intercession of the Virgin Mary as well as the process followed by the Church to recognize the supernatural occurrences or not. At one point in the article, Orth also includes a brief reference to the role of Mary in Islam because, although it is little known in the Muslim world, there is also a reverence for whom they also considered the holiest woman: Mary. You can read the whole story here: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/12/virgin-mary-text

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Return to Piojo by Dana Dahl Seton (Colombia 1963–65)

Dana was one of the first RPCVs to donate her Peace Corps papers to the Friends of Colombia Peace Corps Archive at American University.  When she returned to Piojo in 2008, she wrote the following essay about her experience.  It, too was donated to FOC Archives at AU.  We print it here through the courtesy of American University. Dana sadly lost her courageous battle with cancer last week. • Return to Piojo by Dana Dahl Seton (Colombia 1963–65) Two events in 2007 conspired to help me realize a 43-year old dream of returning to my beloved Peace Corps site of Piojo, Colombia, in the department of Atlantico on the northwest coast. The first was finding an envelope on my hallway floor postmarked 1973 and bearing the return address of a Colombian family with whom I had lost contact later in the decade. The second was receiving news from the organization . . .

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A Writer Writes:The Lesson of the Machi by David C. Edmonds

A Writer Writes The Lesson of the Machi By David C. Edmonds (Chile (1963-65) Mapuche village near Chol Chol, Arauca, Chile September 1964 Friday-The drums wake me again. Now what? Another funeral for some poor child? A wedding? No, the village Machi, who performs all healing and religious rituals, is going to offer another lesson for the young girls. I don’t know the details because things that happen here don’t always make sense. So when I see the Machi’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Ñashay, passing by my little dirt-floor ruca with a pale of milk, I ask her what is going on. “It is called the Lesson of Two Loves,” she tells me in her broken way of speaking Spanish, standing there on the mud walkway in her head dress and shawl, all four feet, ten inches of her. “What is the Lesson of Two Loves?” “Yes, the Lesson of Two Loves. . . .

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Michael Varga’s (Chad) award winning story published in Glimmer Train

Michael Varga’s short story, “Chad Erupts in Strife,” which won the Fiction Open in 2014 from Glimmer Train Magazine [“harder to get into than Harvard”], is published in November (Issue #96) of the magazine). The story centers on how a Peace Corps Volunteer’s family reacts when word arrives in a cryptic newspaper article that war has broken out in Chad. Michael (Chad 1977–79) is a  Foreign Service Officer, playwright and actor, as well as a writer of fiction.  Three of his plays have been produced, and one published (Payable Upon Return).  His Peace Corps novel, Under Chad’s Spell, published by Peace Corps Writers, is available at Amazon.com.  For other works by Michael Varga, visit his website at www.michaelvarga.com.

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