Archive - 2017

1
Laurette Bennhold-Samaan Final Week at Refugee Camp in Greece
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Wofford and Shriver cited in new book: KENNEDY AND KING
3
NPCA Conference in Colorado This August
4
A Different View of the Ocean
5
“Astronomer Jillian Bellovary (The Gambia) on Black Holes, the Peace Corps and Roller Derby”
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JFK commemoration taps into Peace Corps history
7
Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes: “Tables Turn under the Olive Tree”
8
Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes from refugee camp in Greece
9
Now is the hour to support the Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act to guarantee adequate health care for Volunteers.
10
Jim McCaffery Makes A Case For Second Generation PCVs (Ethiopia)

Laurette Bennhold-Samaan Final Week at Refugee Camp in Greece

July 1 Samos is Small: people impressions Give what you have to someone. It may be better than you dare to think. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words and action is all that is necessary. — Margaret Cousins I grew up in a small town- about 15, 000 townspeople and then 15,000 university students. The entire island of Samos has only 35,000 people and the capital Samos about 6,000 (not including the refugee camp which is about 1000 give or take). First, a bit about Samos, Greece. It’s in the eastern Aegean Sea, separated from Turkey (which I can see with the naked eye) by the mile-wide Mycale Strait. It was the birthplace of mathematician Pythagoras and philosopher Epicurus and is known for producing sweet Muscat wine which I don’t actually care for. On the southeast . . .

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Wofford and Shriver cited in new book: KENNEDY AND KING

The story of Harris Wofford and Sarge Shriver’s advice to Jack Kennedy in the 1960 election has been told many times. I first heard it from Wofford in Ethiopia when a group of PCVs were at the Woffords’ home for dinner back in 1962. For those who do not know the history, Wofford was the first Peace Corps Director in Ethiopia, having already helped to create the Peace Corps with Shriver, and after having been Kennedy’s civil rights advisor in the White House, and before that involved in the campaign to elect Kennedy president when this incident took place. In a new book: KENNEDY AND KING The President, the Pastor, and the Battle Over Civil Rights by Steven Levingston, reviewed in the  New York Times in this week’s Sunday edition, that event in the presidential campaign is detailed again. Many believe it was the ‘key’ event that swayed the election in Kennedy’s favor. In his review, James . . .

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NPCA Conference in Colorado This August

Meet Acting Director Sheila Crowley at Peace Corps Connect   Acting Director Sheila Crowley  to Join Peace Corps Connect Conference. NPCA is pleased to announce that Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley will be a featured speaker at the Peace Corps Connect conference on Saturday, August 5, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Acting Director Crowley will join NPCA President and CEO Glenn Blumhorst in a “fireside chat” to talk about Peace Corps’ priorities under her leadership and then present the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award. Register now to get your front row seat at these important events. Meet Acting Director Sheila Crowley Sheila Crowley has served as Acting Director of the Peace Corps since January 2017. She brings to that role more than 25 years of public and private-sector experience, including leadership roles in international development, business, and the financial services industry. Most recently, Sheila served from 2015 to 2017 as Acting Associate Director of Peace Corps’ Office of . . .

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A Different View of the Ocean

Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes from refugee camp in Greece Courage is the ladder on which all other virtues mount― Clare Boothe Luce The gift we can offer other is so simple a thing as hope- Daniel Berrigan I love the ocean and always have. It gives me a peaceful sense and an appreciation of nature. My dream has always been to retire at the ocean someplace sometime. I now look at the ocean in a different way. Yesterday I learned much more about the EU/Turkey deal the end of March in which the EU paid Turkey to accommodate more refugees however many of the refugees would prefer to be reunited with various family members in other countries. In 2015 when there were hundreds of refugees arriving daily, to Samos, they were sleeping on the streets as there was no coordinated location to house them (no refugee camp). Last night at dinner, . . .

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“Astronomer Jillian Bellovary (The Gambia) on Black Holes, the Peace Corps and Roller Derby”

  Thanks for the ‘Heads up’ about the following article from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77)  • Astronomer Jillian Bellovary On Black Holes, The Peace Corps And RollerDerby Written by Swapna Krishna, Syfy Wire Women are doing amazing things in space science, and today I want you to meet Jillian Bellovary. Jillian studies black holes, and in this interview she was kind enough to talk to me about her research, her experiences as a woman in STEM, the Peace Corps, roller derby, and how knitting led her to a dream job.     Can you tell me about how you got to where you are professionally? What was your path to becoming an astronomer? Jillian Bellovary: I’m interested in everything. I wasn’t one of those kids who always wanted to be a scientist because I have always wanted to do everything. Everything! I almost majored in Anthropology but decided the job . . .

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JFK commemoration taps into Peace Corps history

  Thanks to a a ‘heads up’ about this article from Catherine Varchaver, (APCD Kyrgyzstan 1995-97). •   Mongolians, Zimbabweans and refugees come to sing for JFK Washington Post, June 23, 2017 By Anne Midgette • How do you commemorate John F. Kennedy in a performing arts festival? All this season, the Kennedy Center has been trying to answer that question with a series of performances honoring Kennedy’s centennial that often seem only tenuously linked to Kennedy. “I don’t care if [audiences] don’t get it,” Deborah Rutter, the Kennedy Center’s president, told The Washington Post earlier this year about the connection of some of the performances to Kennedy’s legacy. “I don’t need to them to. I know it’s going to soak in, and that’s why we’re doing it.” But starting Thursday, the Kennedy Center is co-presenting a festival that does proceed directly from a Kennedy initiative. The choral festival “Serenade” is coming to the Kennedy . . .

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Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes: “Tables Turn under the Olive Tree”

  Tables Turn Under the Olive Tree PLEASE EXCUSE English errors and typos as due to time and priorities, I have little editing time 🙂 • Much of today was playing with kids under the olive tree. We brought some books from the warehouse and kids were looking through them. One girl hung on to one at which point a boy grabbed it from her. This sparked them hitting each other and then she burst into tears. It’s so very hard as unless you have the exact same thing for every child there is a fight. Sometimes I find that I lose my temper a bit but mostly it just ruffles my mood when I have to break up a fight or tell the kids repeatedly to stop in as many languages as I can. I once actually stood in between 2 boys who were fighting and closed my eyes as I . . .

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Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes from refugee camp in Greece

  A “typical” day, serving tea and the toilet: the 3 T’s PLEASE EXCUSE English errors and typos as due to time and priorities, I have little editing time 🙂 I’ve been asked who are the volunteers. Samos Volunteers are a privately funded organization and work with many partners on the island. Samos Volunteers is funded only through private donations and crowd funding which is remarkable to me. What this means is that most (if not all) people are pure volunteers and come to donate their time and energy. Some stay for a month but most stay much longer and most are returnees (have already volunteered earlier and come back). This speaks volumes about the organization. Some volunteers come with their parents or vice versa with their kids. We have 2 sets right now which is inspiring to see. Many are in their 20s and 30s but there are some older volunteers . . .

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Now is the hour to support the Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act to guarantee adequate health care for Volunteers.

  Today, NPCA, the Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers, and friends will be walking the halls of Congress advocating for the passage of the Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act. The law is bipartisan and introduced by Republican Representative Poe and Democratic Representative Kennedy. Kennedy is an RPCV and the grandson of Robert Kennedy. To join this effort, please contact your Congressional Delegation. NPCA will help you to do this:http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/cpages/health-justice-day This is so timely because we can assume that the new Republican health care legislation, introduced in Congress, today, June 22, 2017,  will make it more difficult for those of us with pre-existing conditions to access health insurance and thus medical care. If serving PCVs get the best medical care available, they may not arrive home with medical problems. If they do, then the provisions of the Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act would help guarantee that they receive adequate . . .

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Jim McCaffery Makes A Case For Second Generation PCVs (Ethiopia)

I got the attached PDF from Jim McCaffery (Ethiopia 1966-68) recently. It is an article by Jim published in the old Volunteer Magazine. It is a terrific article and I’m glad Jim sent it. Jim is from Wisconsin and went to Ethiopia in 1966. Later he worked at a Trainer in Addis Ababa and then went to Botswana as the Deputy Director. (I’m indebted to Jim for when I was traveling through Africa for a year in 1969 he put me up for several weeks and never charged me rent!) After the Peace Corps Jim got a PhD from the University of Wisconsin and in 1981 he and a couple others founded TRG, an organization development consulting firm that has been very successful and well respected. Now semi-retired Jim is the process (as we all are) of tossing away most of the Peace Corps files we have in the attic and . . .

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