Archive - May 3, 2017

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New legislation introduced to improve health services for Peace Corps Volunteers
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Peace Corps Writers MFAs
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Florence, From the Simple to the Spectacular (Travel)

New legislation introduced to improve health services for Peace Corps Volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) and Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) introduced the bipartisan Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act (H.R. 2259) to improve the health, safety and well-being of current and returned Peace Corps volunteers. Peace Corps volunteers represent what is best about America. They give years of their lives to help others whom they have never met, building goodwill across the globe for the United States. After Nick Castle, a 23-year-old Peace Corps volunteer teaching in rural China, fell violently ill in January 2013, no one recognized the severity of his symptoms and he passed away. A 2014 Peace Corps Inspector General report found that Nick was the victim of medical negligence and exposed “failures and delays in treatment” that ultimately led to his death. “After Nick’s death, it became clear that the Peace Corps staff was not properly trained or equipped and failed to respond,” said Congressman Ted Poe. “When young American Peace Core volunteers head . . .

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Peace Corps Writers MFAs

National University’s online MFA program has yet to launch a PCV & RPCV MFA cohort, though several Peace Corps Volunteers are already enrolled and taking classes. (The farthest away from sunny California and the main campus of Natural University is PCV Sally La Rue in Mongolia. Sally finishes up in-country this summer, will tour on her way home with her husband, and be back in an online class this fall wherever they decide to settle down.) I am now teaching a class (No Peace Corps Volunteers in it) on non-fiction for National University. While I have only ‘met’ my students online, they range in age from 23 to 65. All are getting their MFAs in Creative Writing. While National University has one of the few ‘totally online” programs, online classes are increasing across the US. Just last week Purdue University announced it was buying for-profit Kaplan University to boost enrollment . . .

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Florence, From the Simple to the Spectacular (Travel)

Florence, From the Simple to the Spectacular Is it worth an overnight flight to Firenze for a taste of gelato at La Carraia near Ponte alla Carrala? Is it worth a sleepless night on a jet for a sandwich of street food (porchetta and more) at all’Antico Vinaio near the Uffizi Gallery? Or perhaps dinner, after a day of sightseeing, at the friendly neighborhood hangout Alla Vecchia Bettola on the Piazza Tasso? Yes, it is. Throw in Florence’s showier treasures—the Medici Chapel, the Duomo, and the leather-goods stores, to name just a few—and this ancient yet lively Italian city becomes an irresistible destination. Last year my wife and I planned a trip to Florence for early May, hoping to beat the rush of summer tourists (we did). We wanted a room with a glorious rooftop view and a location within an easy walk of the museums, churches and restaurants—and to . . .

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