Archive - February 2016

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We’re baaaack!
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Journals of Peace — Karin Schumacher (Philippines)
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John Ashford (Botswana) publishes MEETING THE MANTIS
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Peace Corps Worldwide on vacation this weekend
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Review — TIME PASSAGES by Jay Hersch (Colombia)
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Christopher West Davis (Kenya) publishes AFRICAN WITCH
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Donate to Peace Corps Projects
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Write a Book in 18 Holes
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THE GREAT SURGE by Steven Radelet (Western Samoa) reviewed in WSJ
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Review — PERCEPTION AND DECEPTION by Joe Lurie (Kenya 1967-70)

We’re baaaack!

Looking different, but with the same purpose to promote, publicize and recognize the writers of the Peace Corps — whose writings are the ultimate fulfillment of the Third Goal! The site is now much more secure vis-à-vis hacking so John and I don’t have to lose any sleep about that issue — as if we ever did — by I do believe our tech guy, Noah, did. There’s been some rearranging to make more accessible articles about our countries of service. Just click on the tag at the bottom of the righthand column to read about your other home. A word of warning — this transfer has been a huge job and all is not complete. Yet to come is a complete review of articles to assign them to their appropriate country tags, the Bibliography of Peace Corps Experience Books, the listing of books published under the Peace Corps Writers Imprint and some rearrangement of Category assignments. . . .

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Journals of Peace — Karin Schumacher (Philippines)

Journals of Peace Karin Schumacher (Philippines 1968–70) Monday, November 21 3:30 pm • There was never a doubt in my mind. From the moment I heard him speak of the Peace Corps, as a high school freshman, I knew it was for me. Then, it was a simple dream of far-away places, colorful people and a chance to “help”. The assassination of President Kennedy plummeted me into a shocking realization of the real world – its irrationality and the terrible consequences of self-interested power. His death strengthened my resolve, and I entered Peace Corps training upon college graduation at age 21. I hadn’t yet formed any plans for after the Peace Corps. It was well that I hadn’t, for it was for the experience itself that I shaped my long-term goals. I spent two years in Cebu City, Philippines at the height of the Vietnam War, 1968-1970. I could never . . .

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John Ashford (Botswana) publishes MEETING THE MANTIS

John Ashford was a library director at Seattle Community College for almost twenty years when he decided he needed a change of scenery, a change of activity, and a dose of another culture. In preparation he obtained a certification as a teacher of English as a Second Language. Then, both he and his wife Genevieve ended their careers and went to Botswana in 1990 with the Peace Corps as teachers. John spent his two years as a lecturer in library studies at Tonota College of Education. Facing the end of their Peace Corps service in Botswana, the Ashfords began making plans for travel with the purpose of learning more about the San, an indigenous people of Southern Africa — also known as the Kalahari Bushmen. Years earlier, while still in college, John had been introduced to the Kalahari Bushmen in an anthropology class and had retained a fascination with them. . . .

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Review — TIME PASSAGES by Jay Hersch (Colombia)

Time Passages (Peace Corps memoir) Jay Hersch (Colombia 1964–66) A Peace Corps Writers Book October 2015 102 pages $7.99 (paperback), $2.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Ralph Bates (Colombia 1964–66) . This review was first published in the Winter 2016 issue of Friends of Colombia: Newsletter of the Colombia RPCVs • It isn’t often that a person gets to see paths in his or her life intimately interwoven in the journey of another  — in my case it is the journey of a dear friend. The author of that journey is Jay Hersch and his story is told in his entertaining book Time Passages. Jay and I go back to dormitory days at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1960. We didn’t know each other well, but Jay told me a few years later that he voted for me for Student Senate. Probably that revelation when we met, quite by surprise and . . .

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Christopher West Davis (Kenya) publishes AFRICAN WITCH

Christopher West Davis (Kenya 1975-78) is a journalist who lived in Kenya and now lives and works in the New York City at the China Daily. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Reader’s Digest and other publications. In 2005, he was named Aerospace Journalist of the Year by the Royal Aeronautical Society (London). Katherine Stirling of The New Yorker called his previous book, Letters from Moritz Thomsen, “An utterly engrossing story… these marvelous letters and the attendant chronicle of the relationship that developed over their course is a story that is at once fascinating and quite moving, a hard balance to strike, in writing as in life.” Chris has a new book, a novel, entitled African Witch: A Modern Tale of Magical Harm. The write-up on Amazon for the book is: Kenya in its golden age, the safest, sexiest and most wildly popular playground in Africa. . . .

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Donate to Peace Corps Projects

The Peace Corps has added a new link to its official Home page. At the bottom of the page, the last section is “Donate”. Each link describes Peace Corps  programs for which Peace Corps can accept tax deductible donations. The projects include Volunteer Projects, Special Funds, and Country Projects. Here is the link for more information: https://donate.peacecorps.gov/donate/projects-funds/#issue Peace Corps has also created Memorial Funds for Fallen Volunteers, at the request of the families. These funds support project that honor these Volunteers.  For more information, go to: https://donate.peacecorps.gov/donate/projects-funds/memorial/ All of the contributions go to fund the projects. The administrative costs are included in the Peace Corps budget and do not come from the donations. The web pages are comprehensive and also ask for feedback on the new site.

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Write a Book in 18 Holes

Write a Book in 18 Holes Last year I published a book entitled How To Write A Novel in 100 Days. Now I thought I might attempt to tighten that frame of reference (and time) and focus on, How To Write a Book in 18 Holes. Over my writing career I have published three novels on golf, and edited three books of golf instruction. Now I have some advice on how to do both for anyone who writes or plays golf, or both, like myself. In my mind, playing golf and writing a novel are incongruously connected. I’m not the only writer who would know so. The wonderful novelist, John P. Marquand wrote Life at Happy Knoll (1957) and John Updike Golf Dream (1997), then there’s Herbert Warren Wind who started to play the game at 7 and wrote about golf all his life for The New Yorker, or James . . .

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THE GREAT SURGE by Steven Radelet (Western Samoa) reviewed in WSJ

Friday, February 12, 2016 the Wall Street Journal carried a long review by Mark Moyer, visiting scholar at the Foreign Policy Initiative, of  The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World written by Steven Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83), a former chief economist of AID and now holder of  the Donald F. McHenry Chair in Global Human Development at Georgetown University, is well as an economic adviser to the president of Liberia, and  most importantly, husband of Carrie Hessler Radelet, Director of the Peace Corps. In his review, Moyer writes, “Combining the real-world knowledge of a practitioner with the rigor of an academic, Mr. Radelet delivers a stimulating reconsideration of development aid.” Moyer points out that Radelet believes what has triggered the “great surge” was the crumbling of the Soviet Empire. “The discrediting of Marxist-Leninism encouraged poor countries to discard autocracy and state control of the economy in favor of liberal democracy and capitalism. The end of superpower competition also . . .

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Review — PERCEPTION AND DECEPTION by Joe Lurie (Kenya 1967-70)

Perception and Deception: A Mind-Opening Journey Across Cultures Joe Lurie (Kenya 1967–70) Cultural Detective 180 pages 2015 $12.95 (paperback), $7.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Patricia S. Taylor Edmisten (Peru 1962–64) • After completing my Peace Corps years in Peru and earning a graduate degree, I married, left my home-town of Milwaukee for New York City, and took up residence in a dinky studio apartment at Columbia University’s International House. My then husband, also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru, was pursuing his doctorate while serving as resident advisor. Author Joe Lurie is executive director emeritus of International House (I House) at the University of California, Berkeley, which opened in 1930.  “It is one of the largest, most diverse residential cultural program centers in the U.S., second only to the International House in New York City,” according to the introduction of Chapter Two. Lurie is especially equipped to write about the erroneous . . .

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