Archive - September 2017

1
Review — BOLIVIA 30 edited by Frank Darmiento (Bolivia)
2
Cambodia PM calls on U.S. to withdraw Peace Corps volunteers
3
Funding for Peace Corps for FY2018: It’s complicated!
4
Write your House and Senate leadership for better RPCV health care
5
The Sins of Kalamazoo
6
Review — WHITE MOON IN A POWDER BLUE SKY by Julie Dargis (Morocco)
7
Anson Lihosit (Panama) publishes PEACE CORPS EPIPHANIES
8
New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2017
9
A Writer Writes: “House of Flowers” — A short story by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
10
Happy Ethiopian New Year

Review — BOLIVIA 30 edited by Frank Darmiento (Bolivia)

  Bolivia 30: Life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the 1960s Frank T. Darmiento (Bolivia ), author and editor CreateSpace April 2015 172 pages $24.99 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971–73) • Frank Darmiento, the author of Bolivia 30 provides a unique perspective of life in the Peace Corps in Bolivia by sharing in great detail his own story of the training process in the U.S. as well as when serving in Bolivia with his young wife. His book also includes dozen stories of others who were in his training group, which added to the texture and broadened the diversity of perspectives. Twenty four photos, most of them in color, greatly enhance the stories of places and circumstances we could not imagine. Darmiento provides a detailed description of the life of a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in a very isolated part of South America. I commiserated . . .

Read More

Cambodia PM calls on U.S. to withdraw Peace Corps volunteers

  Thanks to RPCV Alan Toth for this”heads up” on his facebook page. — JR Reuters reports the following: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cambodia-usa/cambodia-pm-calls-on-u-s-to-withdraw-peace-corps-volunteers-idUSKCN1BQ0DB PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen called on the United States on Friday to withdraw Peace Corps volunteers in an escalating row over accusations that U.S. agents conspired with an opposition leader to plot treason. Hun Sen was responding after the U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh issued a travel warning that urged citizens to show caution amid “anti-American rhetoric by officials”. “Are you scaring Cambodians?” Hun Sen said of the United States in an address to garment workers at factories which export much of their production to the United States. “Are you prepared to invade Cambodia and that’s why you told Americans to be careful? It’s good if you pull out the Peace Corps,” Hun Sen said. The U.S. embassy declined to comment. It has previously dismissed . . .

Read More

Funding for Peace Corps for FY2018: It’s complicated!

  The fiscal year for the federal government runs from October 1 from one year to September 30 of the next year. Each year, Congress must approve a budget to fund the federal government for the fiscal year beginning October 1. The President proposes a budget and sends it to the House of Representatives.  The House is free to disregard it, if it wishes. Congress has the sole authority to fund the federal government. The Budget must begin in the House of Representatives. The Senate will also compose a version of a budget. When the two Houses are not in agreement on the budget, then there is a negotiation to arrive at a final budget. The final version goes to the President for his signature. When the two Houses of Congress cannot reach a compromise bill by September 30, then Congress may pass a Continuing Resolution. A Continuing Resolution, or . . .

Read More

Write your House and Senate leadership for better RPCV health care

  This is from Nancy Tongue (Chile 1980-82)  director of Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers, an RPCV who has led the fight for better medical treatment of RPCVs. This is her latest campaign and she needs our help. Nancy writes: We are desperately trying to get bills passed in both the House and the Senate. So many RPCVs are living in squalor with illnesses and injures that they can’t get help for. It is imperative that a call go out to folks to write to their Reps NOW, or we will lose any opportunity to get what we need on the bill. Can you please post this? We are asking people to do this SIMPLE TASK THAT WILL TAKE 3 MINUTES: Copy and paste in the letter below or change it however you’d like. Then: Send a message to your Congressperson asking for co-sponsorship for H.R. 2259. Please remove the email . . .

Read More

The Sins of Kalamazoo

In the spring of 1962 I was a graduate student in English at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We all know Kalamazoo if we know the poet Carl Sandburg. The sins of Kalamazoo are neither scarlet nor crimson. The sins of Kalamazoo are a convict gray, a dishwater drab. And the people who sin the sins of Kalamazoo are neither scarlet nor crimson. The run to drabs and grays–and some of them sing they shall be washed whiter than snow–and some: We should worry. Well, I wasn’t sinning in Kalamazoo! (We never sinned back in the early Sixties.) I was a grad student and I had just been selected to go to Ethiopia. A country I couldn’t at first find on a map of Africa. (Oh, there it is!) I wasn’t the only Western student joining the Peace Corps in 1962. Bill Donohoe, a history major at Western, also had . . .

Read More

Review — WHITE MOON IN A POWDER BLUE SKY by Julie Dargis (Morocco)

  White Moon in a Powder Blue Sky: A Primer in Healing from both Sides of the Veil in Memoir, Sonnets and Prose by Julie R. Dargis (Morocco 1984–87) Indie House Press July 2016 78 pages $9.50 (paperback) Reviewed by Taylor Barahona (Dominican Republic (2015–17) • With a bold and unique approach, Julie R. Dargis sets out to bring her readers on a spiritual journey through her book White Moon in a Powder Blue Sky: A Primer in Healing from both Sides of the Veil in Memoir, Sonnets and Prose. Dargis successfully captures a feeling that will surely resonate for any reader who dedicates themselves to serving the greater good and finds it difficult to step back and take care of themselves. Dargis writes, in her Author’s Note: I had been ready and willing to undertake anything that would have been asked of me. But what I was being told, in . . .

Read More

Anson Lihosit (Panama) publishes PEACE CORPS EPIPHANIES

  New Peace Corps Experience Memoir/Panama   Anson K. Lihosit recently trudged home after two years’ service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama. An urban planner by trade, he was recruited to teach English. Before packing again to begin a masters degree program in urban planning at the University of Arizona in Tucson, he wrote and published a book about his Peace Corps experience titled Peace Corps Epiphanies: Panama. Assigned to a remote village near the famous Darien Gap and 95 miles from the Colombian border, he assisted middle and high school teachers, offered community night classes, and assisted other Volunteers with conferences for indigenous people that offered him the opportunity to visit other parts of the country. In his book, Lihosit describes Peace Corps Training, and life in the rural Panama. Like all Volunteers, he had difficulty adjusting to a new culture and language as well as dealing with . . .

Read More

New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2017

  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 from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards.   We are now including a one-sentence description — provided by the author — for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order the book and 2) to volunteer to review it. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • If You Are Retiring, You Might Join the Peace Corps! by Sally Jo Nelson Botzler (Mexico 2009–11) WestBowPress July 2017 122 pages $16.95 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle) Following retirement, the author and her husband served as Peace Corps Volunteers at the Sierra . . .

Read More

A Writer Writes: “House of Flowers” — A short story by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

  A former U.S. foreign service officer, Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) has published more than 100 stories in magazines including The Atlantic, Playboy, The Idaho Review, The S0uthrn  Review, and The Kenyon Review. He has stories forthcoming in several magazines including The Hudson Review. His story “How Birds Communicate” won The Iowa Review fiction prize. His five books include A Handful of Kings, published by Simon and Schuster, and Stone Cowboy, by Soho Press, which won the Maria Thomas Award. His website can be found at markjacobsauthor.com. This story appears in the Fall 2016 issue of Border Crossing. • House of Flowers Poppa Billy was living in the basement at the House of Flowers even though his name was on the mortgage. The basement was set up to be an apartment with its own separate door, so he came and went as he pleased. At maximum capacity, the House of Flowers accommodated seven room-renters. I was number seven, taking Nasturtium after Mr. . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.