Archive - December 2016

1
The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part One
2
Marchers in Trump’s Inaugural Parade Announced
3
The NPCA “Lucked Out” –They were turned down by Trumps’ parade people
4
“Third World and Ashamed of It” by Folwell Dunbar (Ecuador)
5
Review: GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL POWER AND AFRICAN POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS by John James Quinn (Zaire)
6
New Year’s Resolution! Write Your Peace Corps Memoir! & Hire an Editor!
7
CHRISTMAS 1974 by John Moehl (Cameroon)
8
Musing In The Morning
9
The Peace Corps’ Contributions to the Global Smallpox Eradication Program
10
Making Lemonade In The Maiatico Building , Part 8

The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part One

On this last day of 2016, I thought I might try and chart the impulses in America that brought about the creation of the Peace Corps–something positive to think about as we wait for 2017–and before all of “our” story is lost in the fog of history.  Most of the early history of the Peace Corps, as we know, lives only as oral history. Still, there are a few key books that spell out in some detail the foundations of the agency. Two important books are The Story of the Peace Corps by George Sullivan, and that has an introduction by Sargent Shriver. It was published by Fleet Publishing in 1964. A second one is Peace Corps: Who, How and Where by Charles E. Wingenbach, with a foreword by Hubert H. Humphrey, and published by John Day Company in 1963. A revised edition by Wingenback was later published by McGraw-Hill . . .

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Marchers in Trump’s Inaugural Parade Announced

Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Neil Boyer (Ethiopia 1962-64) Marchers in Trump’s Inaugural Parade Announced  No high school or university marching band in the D.C. area will march in the parade Forty organizations — including several military and veterans groups — will march in President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural parade. Trump’s inaugural committee announced Friday morning which groups accepted an invitation to participate on Jan. 20. DC-Area Marching Bands Opt to Sit Out Inaugural Parade No high school or university marching band in the D.C. area will march in the parade. These groups are set to participate: 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment – Fort Hood, Texas 1st Infantry Commanding General’s Mounted Color – Ft. Riley, Kansas Boone County Elite 4-H Equestrian Drill Team – Burlington, Kentucky Caisson Platoon, Fort Myer – Fort Myer, Virginia Cleveland Police Mounted Unit – Cleveland, Ohio Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums – Palm Coast, Florida Columbus North . . .

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The NPCA “Lucked Out” –They were turned down by Trumps’ parade people

A Note Regarding the Presidential Inaugural Parade As we have done on previous occasions, NPCA and our local affiliate group, RPCVs of Washington, D.C., submitted an application on behalf of the Peace Corps community to participate in the 58th Presidential Inaugural Parade on January 20, 2017. We received word this week that our group was not chosen.Historically, we most recently submitted a successful application in 2008, while our Peace Corps community was not chosen for the 2012 inaugural parade. We will continue to seek every opportunity to raise the Peace Corps flag high at public events of this nature.  

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“Third World and Ashamed of It” by Folwell Dunbar (Ecuador)

  Thanks for the ‘Heads Up’ about the following article from Carol Scott (Ethiopia 1966-68) • Third World and ashamed of it Published in the New Orleans Advocate December 27, 2016 As a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador, I lived and worked with people who had very little. There were children selling Chiclets on the square, women cooking tortillas on makeshift grills on sidewalks, young men singing on buses and trains, prostitutes advertising themselves in alleys, and elderly shaking tin cans on street corners. Poverty was a way of life for many. I came to define “Third World” by the number of people eking out an existence on the street, and by the way in which the government supported them (or didn’t). In reality, the definition is far more complicated, and the term itself is misleading and controversial. By my definition, though, Ecuador was certainly “Third World.” The other day . . .

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Review: GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL POWER AND AFRICAN POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS by John James Quinn (Zaire)

  Global Geopolitical Power and African Political and Economic Institutions: When Elephants Fight by John James Quinn (Zaire PCV/Staff 1983-86) Lexington Books 394 pages 2015 $110.00 (hardback); $104.50 (kindle) Reviewed by Robert Hamilton (Ethiopia 1965-67) • Tembo, zikipigana huumia nyasi (When two elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.) Swahili proverb   Professor John James Quinn of Truman State University in Missouri is moderately hopeful that economic and political changes during the period 1990 to the present will bring continued marginal success for Africa. Economic institutions in Africa changed after 1990 and the end of the Cold War, Quinn says.  African states were in debt and they were forced by international lending organizations to undertake fiscal reforms, including the “removal of impediments to trade, and some privatization of previously state-owned companies.” Still, Quinn notes, the African elite remains in control of large enterprises, and generally, a single majority party continues . . .

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New Year’s Resolution! Write Your Peace Corps Memoir! & Hire an Editor!

One, start writing your memoir. Two, hire an editor. Yes, you need an editor. What I have noticed over the years is that many interesting, fact-filled and engaging memoirs are being written and self-published by RPCVs. However, a good number of them would have benefited greatly if they had been first edited by a professional editor. All writers need the fine hand of an experienced book or magazine editor to bring out the best in a book. If you are writing your story for your family or for posterity, you should do yourself a favor and hire an editor. Also, a good editor will help you develop your story and get you through the tough spots with your narrative and prose. If you can’t locate a person or don’t know where to look, drop me an email and I’ll help you. I have put a few RPCV writers in touch with professional . . .

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CHRISTMAS 1974 by John Moehl (Cameroon)

CHRISTMAS 1974 by John Moehl (Cameroon 1974-80) Beneath palm tree and mango sit I, thinking of pleasant times done by. Times of laughter, times of zest — but best of all: the time of Christmas. Sun birds search out palm nut’s soft meat; through the rustling fronds their chirping sounds sweet. Yet, how distant it is from Winter’s fine grace, as snow flake and icicle bedeck Nature’s face. Dry season starts, skies filled with Earth’s red dust; a far-away voice fills my soul with forgotten lust. The marvelous sounds of metal runners on ice, a burning cold that is the Northland’s own spice. Down ermine cloaked streets, shoppers do glide; examining each doll and train with professional pride. With a holiday pageant that puts the North Pole to shame, into each shopkeeper’s window comes Santa’s own name. Eves and shutters, windows and sash — all have donned their festive splash. from . . .

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Musing In The Morning

Today I think, Trump might have a chance to help those old bald white guy after all. Perhaps there is light at the end of the Blue Collar tunnel. The good news is that you, (or most of you) “Baby Boom Generation” are retiring. The reason why that is “good” is because Baby Boomers (51-69) make up 20% of the workforce. That means there are more jobs for Generation X (35-50) and those Millennials.(18-34). As for the rest of us, the Silent Generation…well, we are increasingly that. The bad news is the declining manufacturing jobs. They have declined, according to the Labor Department, something like 35% since 1980. Also, I read recently In a New York Times article that thirty years ago the US had had one of the highest employment rates for women. Today that rate has been outpaced by European and other countries. In 1999, 74 percent of . . .

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The Peace Corps’ Contributions to the Global Smallpox Eradication Program

  The Peace Corps Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning (OSIRP) has completed and published a report on the role of Peace Corps Volunteers in eradicating the scourge of small pox.  It is an important historical survey and excellently done. It is a tribute to the work of Volunteers and  a Holiday Gift to the entire Peace Corps Community! The report concentrates on Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Zaire, but acknowledges the work of Peace Corps Volunteers in all countries in the 60s and early 70s in eradicating this disease.  Here is a summary.  The link to the entire report follows.  Please read it.   “In 1966, the global burden of smallpox was estimated at 10 million cases and 2 million deaths per year. Global smallpox eradication, achieved in October 1977, required country-specific partnerships of national and international resources. As described in this report, Peace Corps and returned Peace Corps Volunteers contributed . . .

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Making Lemonade In The Maiatico Building , Part 8

The signs that the special role for the Peace Corps in foreign aid was in trouble were all over Washington in March and April of ’61. Wofford ran into Ralph Dungan in the White House mess (Wofford was then a Special Assistant to the President on Civil Rights) and Dungan told him the Peace Corps would be a subdivision of the new AID. “Not if Sarge has anything to say about it,” Wofford tossed off, half joking, but also firmly believing Shriver walked on water. The truth was that all these “new guys” Shriver brought in to work for the Peace Corps believed Sarge could get anything he wanted from the White House. But Shriver was scheduled to leave D.C. and the U.S. Who would carry the fight that was developing in D.C.? Before leaving for his ’round the world trip to secure placements for PCVs, Shriver lobbied Sorensen, Dungan, and . . .

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