Archive - 2017

1
Dr. Joseph T. English, M.D. Peace Corps Shrink
2
Review: of A SILENT HERALD OF UNITY by Martha Driscoll (Ethiopia)
3
The Peace Corps’ Charles Peters on Recapturing the Soul of the Democratic Party
4
Traveling to the New York Times Travel Show
5
An opportunity to TELL your PC stories in the San Francisco Bay Area
6
To Die On Kilimanjaro
7
The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 6
8
Chris Honoré: Why preserve the Peace Corps? (Colombia)
9
“Pay The Price” by Robert Gribbin (Kenya)
10
The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 5

Dr. Joseph T. English, M.D. Peace Corps Shrink

One of the famous Mad Men of the Peace Corps in the early years of the Peace Corps was the stoic Doctor Joseph English, a young MD and research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1961 when Shriver was putting together the Staff for the new agency, he came across a paper written about a student mental health center that English had established at his alma mater, Saint Joseph’s College. Sarge at the time was looking for a psychiatrist to evaluate new PCVs. As Joe recalls in a recent profile in The Chironian, a publication of the New York Medical College, where Dr. English is the Sidney E. Frank Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, he was in his office at the NIMH reading an article in the New York Times how JFK’s call for a New Frontier was exciting young people . . .

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Review: of A SILENT HERALD OF UNITY by Martha Driscoll (Ethiopia)

  A Silent Herald of Unity: The Life of Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu by Martha Driscoll OCSO (Ethiopia 1965–67) Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications 1990 142 pages $45.94 (hard cover), $4.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Patricia Taylor Edmisten (Peru 1962–64) • FOR NON-BELIEVERS, Protestants or Catholics who no longer attend services or Mass, the experience of reading this book will be like entering an exotic country without benefit of cultural sensitivity training. I speak as a still-practicing Roman Catholic, despite my disagreements with Rome. Without familiarity with the concepts and language of monasticism, self-denial (lots of it), ritual, and frequent prayer, at a time when women continue to press for respect and equal treatment under the law, this book will appear anachronistic. Readers would do well, however, to reserve judgment and pay respectful attention to the no-nonsense prose of Sister Martha Driscoll. “Mother Martha,” as she is known, is Mother Superior of an Indonesian . . .

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The Peace Corps’ Charles Peters on Recapturing the Soul of the Democratic Party

  Thanks to a ‘heads up’ from Neil Boyer (Ethiopia 1962-64) • Charles Peters on Recapturing the Soul of the Democratic Party In a new book, the Washington Monthly founding editor explains where liberal elites went wrong — and suggests a way forward. by Paul Glastris, editor Washington Monthly March/April/May 2017 •   MOST OF US, as we get older, tell ourselves that we’ll keep working past age sixty-five, or at least use our skills and experience productively in retirement. That’s especially true of writers. But few of us will pull off what Charlie Peters has done. At ninety years old, Peters, my mentor and the founding editor of the Washington Monthly, has just published an important book on the central issue facing the country. We Do Our Part is a history of how American political culture evolved from the communitarian patriotic liberalism of Peters’s New Deal youth to a get-mine conservatism in . . .

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Traveling to the New York Times Travel Show

Travel junkies journey every year in late January to the Javits Center for the annual New York Times Travel Show. This year topped all records, setting an attendance of 30,099 with 560 exhibits representing over 170 countries. It was a weekend of wandering aimlessly through exhibits and displays featuring tours and trips. There were eye-catching displays, as well as endless opportunities to win a free exotic trip to somewhere like Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Emirates Airlines, or a round-trip air ticket for two to South Africa with three nights at the Victoria & Alfred Hotel in Cape Town.  And this year Ramón Martín, executive director of Hello Travel, announced new “flexible travel packages where travelers have one year to select travel dates at six 5-star Catalonia Hotels & Resorts property.” In addition to the exhibits there are travel seminars, everything from a talk by travel author Pauline Frommer to . . .

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An opportunity to TELL your PC stories in the San Francisco Bay Area

  Beyond Borders Storytelling in the Bay Area • Founded by 3 returned Peace Corps Volunteers, Beyond Borders Storytelling (BBS) is dedicated to promoting understanding between peoples and cultures of the world through the art of storytelling. They have been running International Story Jams in San Francisco every other month now for over 3 years, and the organization is looking for Peace Corps Volunteers living in the Bay Area to share 5-10 minute stories of their overseas experiences at their next  Story Jam on April 12 at Piano Fight, 144 Taylor Street in San Francisco. Most storytellers have never told a story on stage so BSS provides free workshops, practices and coaching to prepare them for live Story Jams. To prepare people for the upcoming event BBS is having a storytelling workshop on March 15, 6:30pm–8:00pm at the Hostelling International USA offices located at 1212 Market St, Third Floor, in San Francisco. This . . .

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To Die On Kilimanjaro

To Die On Kilimanjaro By John Coyne I first went to the Blue Marlin Hotel at the edge of the Indian Ocean in the summer of ’63. It was the summer between my two years of teaching at the Commercial School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the time the Blue Marlin was full of Brits. It was the last days before Kenya’s independence. By the late Sixties the Brits had been replaced by German tourists. Today, I’m told, the village, and most of Kenya, suffers from a lack of tourists because of Al- Shabbaab. This story begins, however, in the early ‘70s when the hotel was full of Germans and where the few English speaking tourists gravitated to one end of the bar. It was there when I had come again to travel through Africa—heading back to Addis Ababa– that I met Phillip and his beautiful wife, April, and their . . .

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 6

In the middle of 1989, Loret Ruppe left the Peace Corps to become a U.S. ambassador in Europe and Paul Coverdell was appointed Director on April 20. Once again the head of the agency became a revolving door. All Directors, as we know, have a way of stamping their tour (however brief) with some new project. For Coverdell it was the famous school-to-school program and the establishment of the Fellows/USA which helps RPCVs get into graduate programs. Coverdell would also say that the Peace Corps should be a “vibrant, vital part of the U.S. foreign policy.” This was a radical change for an organization that has embodied the spirit of altruism since its inception. The Peace Corps has always been about helping other people because it was the right thing to do, not because it was politically advantageous or even politically correct. Coverdell, however, is most famous for a front . . .

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Chris Honoré: Why preserve the Peace Corps? (Colombia)

Why preserve the Peace Corps? Mar 6, 2017 at 12:01 AM By Chris Honoré One of Donald Trump’s first acts as president was to eliminate funding for nongovernmental organizations in poor countries if they offer abortion counseling as a family planning option or if they advocate for the right to seek an abortion in their countries. The freeze applies even if the NGO uses other funds for such services. Republicans have supported this policy since the Reagan administration.   But the reality is that despite how freighted with ideology the above policy is, it’s not a one-off. The Trump administration has submitted a budget that will propose severe cuts to foreign aid programs as part of a 37 percent cut to the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development. As well, Trump has told interviewers that he does not plan on filling hundreds of currently vacant posts in State or at USAID, . . .

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“Pay The Price” by Robert Gribbin (Kenya)

  Pay the Price by Robert Gribbin (Kenya 1968–70) • I WATCHED HIS TWO BROWN FINGERS thump against my arm. “Aha,” he muttered under his breath, then I saw the needle poised slowly before it plunged into the vein. Has it come to this? I thought morosely as I slipped away into somnolence while my blood dripped into the bag. Shortly, I awoke with a start to find Mamadou grinning down at me. “Okay, Jimmie,” he grimaced, “all done.” “You rest until dark, then go. Arrangements are in place. You’ll be safe.” I nodded assent. I was indeed ready to go.   TWO AND A HALF YEARS in Sierra Leone was more than enough. I had dawdled and procrastinated, found myself bound by slippery ties to a place that I didn’t really like and to a culture that I could not fathom. Yet that is partly why I stayed to try . . .

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 5

On April 27, 1979, President Carter signed an amendment to the ACTION legislation granting the Peace Corps special independence. Dick Celeste was appointed Peace Corps Director and ACTION associate director for International Operations. I’m told Bill Josephson, a New York lawyer, and one of the Mayflower Gang that created the agency in 1961 was involved in writing the amendment. Peace returned to the Peace Corps with the appointment of Loret Miller Ruppe on May 6, 1981. She is, so far, the longest serving Peace Corps Director. In her tenure from 1981 to 1989 the budget increased almost 50%, the number of PCVs by 20%, the average attrition rate decreased significantly and according to Senator Chris Dodd (Dominican Republic 1966-68) she “took the Peace Corps out of the pit of politics and made it non-partisan.” Programs began or were renewed in 14 countries. One of the disturbing pieces of information that . . .

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