Archive - January 2018

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Reading and promoting Peace Corps writers
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Michael Meyer’s New Book Reviewed Sunday in NYTIMES (China)
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PC/HQ Replies to to Dan Evon of Snopes
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This is All that Karin McQuillan Has to Say (Senegal)
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RPCV Joe Kennedy says what makes RPCVs special today
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Can you help out Snopes: Was Karin McQuillan a real PCV? (Senegal)
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Review — HOT MILK ON MY CORNFLAKES (India)
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A Writer Writes: “Digging to China” a short story by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
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Talking with Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia)
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Watch Namibia’s tourism industry cash in on Trump’s diplomatic blunders (Namibia)

Reading and promoting Peace Corps writers

From John Coyne: In this age of technology where we have fewer and fewer books and everyone walks around town with their eyes glued to iPhones, it does us all good to promote the books written by RPCVs about their experiences as Volunteers and as travelers in the world. To promote the story of the Peace Corps through nonfiction, fiction and poetry is the central reason why Marian Haley Beil and I started Peace Corps Writers & Readers back in the Seventies and continue that mission today on this website. I also take any opportunity I can to write about RPCV books. As a parttime travel writer for a Westchester, New York newspaper, I just published a short piece about five travel books by former Volunteers hoping to encourage sales and spread their knowledge of foreign counties. I’d suggest if you have a favorite RPCV book, try and get it . . .

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Michael Meyer’s New Book Reviewed Sunday in NYTIMES (China)

This is an edited version of a long review appearing this Sunday, February 4, 2018 in The New York Times Book Section. JCoyne China From the Ground Up By HANNAH BEECH  Southeast Asia bureau chief of The Times. – THE ROAD TO SLEEPING DRAGON Leaming China From the Ground Up By Michael Meyer (China 1995-97) 296 pp. Bloomsbury. $28. Michael Meyer, a Minnesotan who went to China as one of the Peace Corps’ first volunteers there; and Xiaolu Guo, a writer and filmmaker who grew up in a salt-spattered Chinese fishing village, explore the meaning of home in a nation perpetually in transition. The China they describe in their memoirs no longer exists, covered by layers of concrete, glass and fiber-optic cables that have tethered even the most isolated farmer to the modern age. Still, it is the journey through heady, whiplash times that helps us understand where the nation . . .

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PC/HQ Replies to to Dan Evon of Snopes

Snopes.com  formally known as the Urban Legends Reference Pages, is one of the first online fact-checking websites. It is a widely known resource for validating and debunking urban legends and similar stories in American popular culture. Dan Evon from Snopes received this email from Peter Ter at the Peace Corps Office when Snopes tried to find out if Kevin McQuillan was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal.  Note: Jcoyne Dear Dan: My name is Peter Ter. I am the Certifying Officer at U.S. Peace Corps. I am writing to you this message regarding your message that you posted online. I did talk to a lady (your colleague) last week who said that she wanted to verify a former PCV. It usually takes only less than 3 minutes to verify a person’s Peace Corps service with or without a Social Security Number (SSN) Thus,  I do have more than a remedy or knowledge to . . .

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This is All that Karin McQuillan Has to Say (Senegal)

I emailed Karin McQuillan several days ago asking if she wanted to reply to the comments made on our site about her blog item that appeared on American Thinker blog as well as elsewhere.  I wanted to find out if she had ETed or had been medically separated from the Peace Corps or been terminated from service by the agency. She  wrote back this note to me after Marian Beil, the publisher of our site, removed information, at Karin’s request, that listed her home address as it appeared, as public record, in two NPCA Directories. Note: Jcoyne Karin’s email to me. Thanks, John.  There are so many really nasty people on the web, I am quite concerned about having references to my personal information. (Karin is right about ‘nasty people’ just look at the tweets from the White House.) As for your questions about my experience in the Peace Corps. I . . .

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RPCV Joe Kennedy says what makes RPCVs special today

  RPCV Rep. Joe Kennedy Picked To Give Democratic Response To Trump’s State Of The Union • Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.) has been picked to respond to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address next week. The 37-year-old three-term congressman will appear on national TV following Trump’s speech on Jan. 30 to present the Democratic Party’s response, according to The Boston Globe. Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64) Take a moment to watch this brief video of Joe Kennedy (Dominican Republic 2004-06) speaking about RPCVs and the Peace Corps.

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Can you help out Snopes: Was Karin McQuillan a real PCV? (Senegal)

  Yesterday I received this email from Dan Evon of the social media site Snopes Hey John, This is Dan Evon from the fact-checking web site Snopes. I’m trying to verify that Karin McQuillan was a member of the Peace Corps and I saw that you posted about her on Peace Corps World Wide. I tried reaching out to the Peace Corps but they wouldn’t verify if McQuillan was ever a member. Thank you very much for your time, Dan Snopes has published this account:  Did a Former Peace Corps Volunteer Defend Trump’s Sh*thole Comments? An opinion piece arguing that “Trump is Right” about African countries was written by Karin McQuillan. A chain email circulated in January 2018, spreading an opinion piece which argued that President Trump was right when he reportedly categorized African countries as “shitholes” during a meeting on immigration. Although the versions of this email that we encountered . . .

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Review — HOT MILK ON MY CORNFLAKES (India)

  Hot Milk on My Cornflakes: Peace Corps India-33 Remembers, A Collection of Vignette by Donald Clement (India 1966-68), editor;  and authors: Judy Barille (1966-69), Neal Barille (1966-69), Tom Carter (1965-67), Mike Thorburn (1966-68), Ken French(1966-68), Ruth Kister-Berry (1966-68), Tom McGarry (1966-68), Carol Reichert (1966-68), Katy Peek (1966-68) Createspace 173 pages September 2017 $4.95 (Kindle), $29.95 (paperback-color) Reviewed by Bob Arias (Colombia 1964-66) • DONALD CLEMENT AND THE TEN co-authors of Hot Milk On My Cornflakes, were members of India 33, from 1966-1968 during the biggest movement of Peace Corps Volunteers. Jack Hood Vaughn was the Peace Corps Director at that time.  In the book I like the memories of getting ready to report for Training before you leave home. Going to Philadelphia for staging where you meet your friends for life, and then leaving for Camp Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands where India 33 Trainees will spend three months. During 1966-1968, I was across the islands in Puerto Rico at Camp Radley as the Language . . .

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A Writer Writes: “Digging to China” a short story by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

    Digging to China by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80)   A feeling of déjà vu nagged Hunter Durrell as he crossed the Xaneria lot. It seemed like a dumb thing to be feeling. Of course he had been there before. Twice a day for three years, going to and coming from the cube farm. Then it hit him. Spring. The smell of turned over earth. Dogwood blossoms. A trace scent of last night’s rain. In the sky-blue distance, a tractor downshifted, and Hunter’s eyes teared. He had forgotten the world, and here it was forgiving him, reminding him it was still there. He had to get out more. Inside the cube farm, breathing institutional air, he was ambushed by Prudence raising a pallid hand as she rolled her chair into the aisle. “Stop in the name of Howard Roark.” Prudence needed to get out more, too. And quit dreaming in . . .

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Talking with Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia)

If you want to find a successful Peace Corps Volunteer and the legacy he left in-country look no further than Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia 2011-13), the co-author of three reference books on Amharic, Tigrinya, and Afan Oromo written after his tour and while he was still living in Ethiopia. Andrew is an example of the ‘new’ PCVs joining the agency in recent years. Andrew and PCVs like him are bringing new skills to this ancient land that is swiftly evolving into a significant African nation. In Andrew’s case, it is his environmental and landscape architecture background, as well as, his linguistic ability. He, and others like him, have much more to offer Ethiopia (and other Peace Corps countries) than those of us in the early years who went into the developing world fresh out of college with our BA degrees, nursing certificates, community development training, and goodwill. Today, because of technology, . . .

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Watch Namibia’s tourism industry cash in on Trump’s diplomatic blunders (Namibia)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Mark Wentling ((Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff/Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) Watch Namibia’s tourism industry cash in on Trump’s diplomatic blunders

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