Archive - November 2016

1
Review: SHOULD I STILL WISH by John W. Evans (Bangladesh)
2
Former Peace Corps Director Elaine Chao new Transportation Secretary
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# 28 Mad Men At The Peace Corps: Bob Gale (Washington, D.C.)
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Review: KINGDOMS IN THE AIR by Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean)
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#27 Mad Men At The Peace Corps: Bill Moyers (Washington, D.C.)
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Nigeria Senate passes bill to establish “Nigerian Peace Corps”
7
“What Liberal Academics Don’t Get” by Roland Merullo (Micronesia)
8
#26 Mad Men At The Peace Corps: Sally Bowles (Washington, D.C.)
9
New Novel “WWW.DROPDEAD” by Dick Lipez writing as Richard Stevenson (Ethiopia)
10
I found a way to combine my passions….Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Review: SHOULD I STILL WISH by John W. Evans (Bangladesh)

  Should I Still Wish: A Memoir John W. Evans (Bangladesh 1999–01) University of Nebraska Press January 2017 $16.00 (paperback), $15.20 (Kindle) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971–73) John Evans’ moving memoir reads like a Greek tragedy with deep Peace Corps roots. Should I Still Wish is the second of his books to tell a story in Bangladesh where he served with his wife, Katie, as well as his second wife, Cate, all of whom were part of the “Peace Corps Tribe.” The first book, Young Widower tells a dreadful tale of his wife being mauled to death by a brown bear in the Carpathian Mountains while they were working for a year in Romania. The unfairness of this loss and the brutality of nature would impact him for much of his life after this violent event. In his second memoir, the author uses dreams, memories and a series of compelling . . .

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Former Peace Corps Director Elaine Chao new Transportation Secretary

Donald Trump has chosen Elaine Chao, the former Labor Secretary, Peace Corps Director, and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to be Transportation Secretary, an official briefed on the matter told CNN on Tuesday. The announcement is expected to come this afternoon. RPCVs will remember how Chao would burst into tears when talking about meeting PCVs overseas. It became a joke with them; they would laugh at the woman who couldn’t believe Americans would “volunteer” to live in the developing world. (She wouldn’t, of course.) She also earned the reputation of scheduling hair appointments every day while traveling in the developing world, and for not meeting with government officials but rather spend her time, when she could, playing volleyball with Volunteers. Back in DC, she was famous for her ‘little bell’ that she kept on her desk so she could summon her secretary from the outer office when she . . .

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# 28 Mad Men At The Peace Corps: Bob Gale (Washington, D.C.)

Regardless of what else might be said about the “Gale Method” it established two important elements for the Peace Corps. HQ staff now understood how recruitment was done, and had acquired the skills that would make them effective recruiters. More importantly was that within the first years, the Peace Corps was established as part of campus life. Peace Corps Recruiters would be invited back every year, and would be welcomed, often with the same deference and cooperation shown in 1963. By now, and this was early in 1965, the Peace Corps was starting the “In, Up & Out” policy that Robert Textor had crafted in a memo for the agency, and Bob Gale was thinking of leaving. He didn’t want to be Director of Recruiting for Life, as Shriver had declared at the senior staff meeting in March 1963. Gale wanted to leave when the going was good. In the academic year 1963-64, his recruiting techniques had bought in thirty-six . . .

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Review: KINGDOMS IN THE AIR by Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean)

  Kingdoms in the Air: Dispatches from the Far Away by Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean 1975-76) Grove Atlantic June 2016 383 pages $26.00 (hardback) $14.04 (Kindle) Reviewed by Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) Travels abroad tend to inspire Peace Corps Volunteers, some (many) of whom have gone on to become noted writers. You can count National Book Award winner Bob Shacochis among them. He started out in the 1970s posted in the Caribbean (Grenada), and since then he has crisscrossed the globe seeking challenging stories to write — fiction and non-fiction, novels and essays, praiseworthy literary reportage, and adventurous travelers’ tales. The first story in Kingdoms in the Air: Dispatches from the Far Away takes up almost half the book. It is set in the Land of Lo (Lo-Manthang to its inhabitants), the high, uppermost part of Mustang District in north-central Nepal, crammed right up next to Tibet (China’s Xizang) on the . . .

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#27 Mad Men At The Peace Corps: Bill Moyers (Washington, D.C.)

Bob Gale was apprehensive being called into Moyers’s office. It wasn’t Moyers’s way to have a tete-a-tete. Moyers was edgy standing behind his desk, and while only about 27 at the time, he appeared “fatherly,” thought Bob. There had been “talk,” Bill told Gale. Talk of ‘after-hour’ antics on the California advance trip. Moyers told Gale that as the head of Recruitment it was his responsibility to behave himself and to see that others did at well. They (the recruiters) had no right to ‘party on a business trip at government expense.’ He told Gale that his ‘antics’ could bring shame to the Peace Corps. “He was being very‘Baptist’ with me,” Gale recalled. Moyers had also been “thoroughly informed” as to all of their doings in California and had exaggerated them in his mind, or his informer had exaggerated them to the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps. Moyers told Gale that it was dangerous to cavort into . . .

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Nigeria Senate passes bill to establish “Nigerian Peace Corps”

The Senate on Thursday passed the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill which seeks to empower, develop and provide gainful employment for youths. The Bill, which was sponsored by Senate Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume(APC-Borno), was first read at plenary on March 10, 2016 and scaled second reading. It seeks to facilitate peace volunteerism, community service, neighborhood watch and nation building. The bill will also facilitate the training of youths to advance the course of peacebuilding and conflict transformation through peace education, mediation, and conflict resolution among warring groups or communities where there is crisis in Nigeria. The passage of the Bill followed a report presented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Sen. Bayero Nafada (APC-Gombe North) after clause by clause consideration. According to the report, the head of the corps will be referred to as Commandant General with six Deputy Commandants from the six geopolitical zones of the country. The headquarters of the corps would be domiciled . . .

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“What Liberal Academics Don’t Get” by Roland Merullo (Micronesia)

The current issue of The ChronicleReview, November 25, 2016, is devoted to the reaction on college campuses to the Trump win. One article by Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80) I found particularly insightful and on target to “why Trump won.” Roland, as you may know, is the author of his Peace Corp novel, Leaving Losapas, published in 1992. He is also written twenty books of fiction, and non-fiction, and is a former faculty member at Bennington and Amherst Colleges, and now teaches in the low-residency M.F.A. program at Lesley University. He is also a great golfer, which as we know, covers all necessary qualifications. Just ask Trump. — jc • What Liberal Academics Don’t Get By Roland Merullo  NOVEMBER 20, 2016 All the election postmortems make me think of the disgraced former presidential candidate John Edwards, who famously talked about “the two Americas.” There are different ways to delineate these two Americas: according to race, . . .

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#26 Mad Men At The Peace Corps: Sally Bowles (Washington, D.C.)

The most famous recruitment trip of them all was in early October 1963. It was the one that gave rise to the term, Blitz Recruiting. Gale put together five advance teams and five follow-up teams. Each team spent a week in southern California and then a week in northern California, visiting every major campus in both areas. Coates Redmon sums up the ‘teams’ in her book. “One advance team consisting of Nan McEvoy, then deputy director of the Africa Regional Office, and Frank Erwin, then deputy director of Selection, were assigned first to Los Angeles Sate University (where there was only modest interest in the Peace Corps) and next to San Francisco State University (where there was considerable interests). Bob Gale, Linda Lyle (his secretary) and Doug Kiker took on the University of Southern California in the south and then the University of California at Berkeley in the north. Gale had friends at both.” . . .

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New Novel “WWW.DROPDEAD” by Dick Lipez writing as Richard Stevenson (Ethiopia)

KickAssQueer is a gay Web site thousands go to for news, gossip, and as a forum to exchange often heated opinions about GLBT life in America. When one of KAQ’s editors is savagely murdered, it’s PI Don Strachey’s job to uncover whether one of the site’s many harsh critics, gay or straight, is responsible for this young man’s death—and possibly for other brutal assaults on gay men in and around New York City. What Strachey is soon forced to confront is a side of the Internet that is not just disturbing, but sometimes downright lethal. Note on Lipez Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64) currently resides in Massachusetts. He is best known for his Donald Strachey mysteries, which are published under the pen name Richard Stevenson. He is the author of 16 novels (and you think you write a lot!) and according to the website Thrilling Detective, “For those of you who haven’t . . .

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