Archive - April 2016

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Time in you life for Peace Corps Response?
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“Be a Literary Agent” article on AWP website by John Coyne (Ethiopia)
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The Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps reviews Health Services
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The Peace Corps Storytelling Contest
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One mother’s story of how the Peace Corps failed her daughter
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Talking to Mark Jacobs (Paraguay) about his short story “Not John”
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Joanie Laurer (Guatemala) known as Chyna, a professional wrestler and reality TV entertainer, dies at 46
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New Books by Peace Corps writers — March 2016
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RPCVs want to help Ecuador After the Earthquake
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Grants writer at Peace Corps HQ writes bodice ripper

Time in you life for Peace Corps Response?

The Peace Corps is always seeking RPCVs (and non-RPCVs) for Peace Corps Response. These are the basic requirements: An experienced professional A returned Peace Corps Volunteer A licensed physician or nurse Go to the Peace Corps Response Search openings View current opportunities or search on specific criteria to find opportunities that match your experience. Submit resume This is not an application, but HQ may reach out to you if they have a position that fits your skills and experience. If  you would like to be considered for a specific assignment, you must apply directly to a posted position. The email is: pcresponse@peacecorps.gov Positions range from three months to one year in length and are designed to address development needs as identified by the host country. Volunteers provide targeted assistance in diverse assignments covering a range of projects, including food security, civil engineering, information systems, library science, and university level teaching. . . .

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“Be a Literary Agent” article on AWP website by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

CAREER ADVICE Be a Literary Agent John Coyne profiles six literary agents and offers suggestions for that career path for the Association of Writers & Writers Programs Website. April 2016 I called a novelist friend (Mary-Ann Tirone Smith Cameroon 1965-67) and asked her if she knew of any MFA graduates who were employed as literary agents and she replied, “MFA graduates are writers, not agents.” She was categorically right, but she wasn’t totally correct. Just as there are book and magazine editors who also write fiction, nonfiction, or poems, there are also literary agents with BAs in English and/or MFAs in writing. Some later change horses and become agents, putting their own literary knowledge into play when advising their clients. Others continue to write but work as agents for the sake of having a steadier income while finishing their next novel or waiting for the last one to be made . . .

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The Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps reviews Health Services

Tragically, Meghan Wolf’s ordeal is not the only story of Peace Corps Volunteers receiving indifferent and/or inadequate care. The illness and death of a Volunteer in Morocco prompted an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps. The OIG  followed up with  that 2009 report with  this examination not only of the situation in Morocco but the overall status of Health Services within the Peace Corps. The final report was issued in March of this year, 2016. It is the most current evaluation of Peace Corps Health Services. From that report: “In 2009, the Office of Inspector General conducted an independent inquiry into the facts and circumstances related to the illness and death of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. As part of its inquiry, OIG reviewed the organization and care provided to Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco…….This follow- up evaluation seeks to understand to what extent . . .

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The Peace Corps Storytelling Contest

 Third Goal of the Peace Corps To promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.   There’s something about the process of crafting personal stories to be told in front of an audience that brings you closer to yourself and to others. – Zach Matheson, Northern California Peace Corps Association This year we are proud to launch Peace Corps’ first-ever Storytelling Contest. Storytelling usually evokes images of huddling around a campfire or childhood bedtimes, but in recent years it has developed an exciting new image. The expansion of “Story Slams” is revitalizing the ancient tradition of storytelling to spread culture, ideas, and thought provoking experiences through spoken word. This summer, returned Peace Corps Volunteers will be invited to submit their stories in video form. Contest Theme: Building Bridges to Intercultural Understanding Humanize your host country by letting us get to know a special community member Share the moment . . .

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One mother’s story of how the Peace Corps failed her daughter

This is a long, heartbreaking and true story of the experiences of a PCV who served in Malawi, became ill overseas as a Volunteer, and had the Peace Corps turn their back on her plight while overseas and when she was home again. Why the Peace Corps didn’t help Meghan Wolf receive medical care is the fault of the Peace Corps Staff and the Peace Corps legislation. Why the legislation hasn’t been changed is the fault of the agency, the US Department of Labor (the agency responsible for managing medical claims and loss of wages for Peace Corps service-related health issues) and Congress, which sets the budget and determines laws governing the care PCVs and RPCVs.  RPCVs, the NPCA, and those who support the Peace Corps are also at fault for not having successful argued all these years to have the laws changed so sick and injured RPCVs are properly cared for . . .

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Talking to Mark Jacobs (Paraguay) about his short story “Not John”

  Mark was a PCV in Paraguay from 1978 to 1980. After the Peace Corps he earned a doctorate in English from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, then joined the Foreign Service in 1984 and served in Latin America, Turkey, and Spain. Today he spends about five months a year going abroad on teams inspecting American embassies. Over the years he had published a number of books, A Cast of Spaniards, a collection of story with Talisman House; Stone Cowboy a novel from Soho; The Liberation of Little Heaven, another collection of stories and published again by Soho; the novel  A Handful of Kings, from Simon and Schuster; and Forty Wolves, a novel published by Talisman House. He has also published somewhere in the neighborhood of 110 stories in magazines including Playboy, The Atlantic, The Baffler, The Kenyon Review, and The Idaho Review. Stories of his have won the Iowa . . .

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Joanie Laurer (Guatemala) known as Chyna, a professional wrestler and reality TV entertainer, dies at 46

Joanie Laurer, who overcame a troubled home life in Rochester, N.Y., to win an international following as the pro wrestler Chyna, has died at age 45, according to her official website and World Wrestling Entertainment. Police found her body at her home in Redondo Beach, Calif., on Wednesday, according to local media. After college, and after 1992, she writes in her book that she joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Guatemala. More at the Washington Post.  

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New Books by Peace Corps writers — March 2016

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com, click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, we’ll send you a copy. • The Seed of Joy (Peace Corps novel) William  Amos (Korea 1979-80) CreateSpace, 2nd ed., 2015 344 pages $12.99 (paperback), $4.99 (Kindle) • Journey to the Heart of the Condor: Love, Loss, and Survival in a South American Dictatorship (A “parallel” memoir that relates the Peace Corps experience) Emily C. Creigh (Paraguay 1975–77) and Dr. Martín Almada Peace Corps Writers February 2016 470 pages $17.50 (paperback), (Kindle) •   Two Pumps for the Body Man by B.A. East (Malawi 1996–98) New Pulp Press March 2016 . . .

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RPCVs want to help Ecuador After the Earthquake

Peace Corps reported that all Volunteers in Ecuador were safe. I could not find any notice of  organized plans to help survivors of the Earthquake on the official Peace Corps site. However, RPCVs want to help. Bob Arias, (RPCV Colombia 1964-1966Response Volunteer:Panamá 2009-2010, Paraguay 2010-2011Colombia 2011-2013, Panamá 2013-2014 CD Uruguay, Argentina) emailed from Panama that RPCV’s want to get involved, it is part of the Third Goal. Bob also said  “we offered our services to Director Carrie as former Volunteers and Response Volunteers.” The RPCV group, Friends of Ecuador, has both a website and a Facebook page.  Both offer ways on how you can help.  Go to the website for further information on how to help and where to send donations. Here is the link to the  website: http://www.friendsofecuador.org/2016/04/ecuador-earthquake-how-you-can-help/      From the website: “Current Peace Corps volunteers have expressed an interest in helping and many of them who live along the coast . . .

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Grants writer at Peace Corps HQ writes bodice ripper

Rachel Mannino is a new novelist and at the Peace Corps she is also Grants Writer in the Office of Gift and Grants Management. (And you thought writing grants had nothing to do with fiction. Ha!) This what they have this to say about Rachel: Rachel Mannino is a passionate writer who creates characters and settings that allow readers to explore power dynamics in relationships, the empowerment of women, and the ethical and moral dilemmas love can create in our lives. Rachel also uses her writing skills to raise thousands of dollars for entities that enrich our lives and create community change around the world.  She has worked for the Peace Corps; the Humanities Council of Washington, DC; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; and the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events in Boston, MA. Her first novel, Love or Justice, was published by Limitless Press in November, 2015. Her second novel, Fractal, . . .

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