Archive - 2018

1
Vanity Fair article by Maureen Orth (Colombia) on Colombia’s most-feared female revolutionary
2
Peace Corps and Sri Lankan Ministry of Education sign memorandum of understanding
3
4 reasons you should not hire a returned Peace Corps Volunteer
4
Current Status on Peace Corps Health Legislation
5
New books by Peace Corps writers — July 2018
6
Mark Gearan back in DC . . . for Harvard
7
NATURE’S POETRY by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)
8
Are the “Times A’Changing” for the Peace Corps?
9
“The RPCV: An Example of a Successful Person” (Ethiopia)
10
Listen to Michael Joseloff (Tunisia), author of CHASING HEISENBERG . . . & read book review

Vanity Fair article by Maureen Orth (Colombia) on Colombia’s most-feared female revolutionary

She was Colombia’s most-feared female revolutionary. Can she help it find peace?   As one of the few women FARC commanders, Elda Neyis Mosquera, also known as “Karina,” has confessed to a host of barbarous crimes—including forcing abortions on her own soldiers. Now that peace has broken out, she is helping to give voice to the history of entrenched sexual violence against women in the movement. by Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) Vanity Fair September 2018 • Ex–guerrilla commander Elda Neyis Mosquera, known by her nom de guerre Karina, under house arrest at a 17th Brigade army base in northwestern Colombia. Her nom de guerre was Karina, but her given name—the name she goes by now—is Elda Neyis Mosquera. She was the youngest of five children born in northwestern Colombia to Jose Leopoldino Mosquera, a black man, and Flor Ester García, a white woman. Neither ever learned how to read. From the . . .

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Peace Corps and Sri Lankan Ministry of Education sign memorandum of understanding

Peace Corps Press Release Today,(08-09-2018) Peace Corps/Sri Lanka Country Director Kris Besch and Sri Lankan Secretary to the Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi announced a new Memorandum of Understanding to formalize efforts to develop an English education sector. Chargé d’Affaires to Sri Lanka and Maldives Robert Hilton and Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam witnessed the signing at the Ministry of Education. “The Peace Corps has a long history of partnership with the people of Sri Lanka, and I am honored to be here today to formally confirm our commitment,” said Besch. “I look forward to collaboration with the Ministry of Education, local schools and community partners as we develop our program, create new success stories and strengthen our long history of respect, partnership and friendship.” The event was attended by leaders in the education sector, government officials and community members. An oil lamp was lit to formally commence the signing . . .

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4 reasons you should not hire a returned Peace Corps Volunteer

  Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77) First published on the peacecorps.gov website.     4 reasons you should not hire a returned Peace Corps Volunteer By Caitlin Bauer (Ghana 2011-13)   Yes, you read that right: should not. The Peace Corps used to have a saying: “At Peace Corps we are practical idealists.” Those kind of crazy ideas make returned Peace Corps Volunteers terrible employees. Here are a few reasons why hiring a returned Peace Corps Volunteer will ruin your business. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) question the status quo. Business as usual is exactly what a PCV is trained to rebel against. We are indoctrinated to look for the status quo and squash it. Cashew farmers in Ghana were just given cashew trees when the great drought of the 1980s destroyed all the cocoa. They’ve continued farming the same way, because it works. But we taught . . .

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Current Status on Peace Corps Health Legislation

  Update August 12, 2018:  Jonathan Pearson, NPCA Advocate writes:  We continue to encourage people to reach out to Congress to promote passage of the House version of the legislation (H.R. 2259), especially Senators. People can take action on the issue by sending messages using this link  https://advocacy.peacecorpsconnect.org/email-congress/#/40 The National Peace Corps Association joins Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers in urging Congress to pass legislation improving health care for both serving Volunteers and RPCVS. There are two bills.While similar in many ways, the bills are not identical and differ on some key provisions. The National Peace Corps Association is  urging support of both the House legislation, H.R.2259, the Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act, and in the Senate, S. 2286 the Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018. For a complete description of the  legislation and the provisions of each bill, read this June 8th update from Nancy Tongue . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — July 2018

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 Marian at peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • The Last Thing I Told You by Emily Arsenault (South Africa 2004-06) William Morrow Publisher 416 pages July 2018 $14.75 (paperback); $10.9 (Kindle); $14.95 (Audible) This psychological thriller about the murder of a psychologist in a quiet New England town and . . .

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Mark Gearan back in DC . . . for Harvard

  Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Susan Zawalich   Dear friend, The Institute of Politics was proud to host a Summer Celebration in Washington, D.C. for students interning in public service and to welcome Harvard’s new President, Lawrence S. Bacow, for one of his first public events since assuming his duties as the 29th President of Harvard. President Bacow spoke powerfully about the importance of public service and the significant role the IOP played in his life as a joint degree student at the Kennedy School and Law School. He fondly recalled the conversations he enjoyed about politics and ideas at the IOP, and commended current Harvard undergraduates for their commitment to the public good. The special night at the National Portrait Gallery welcomed Harvard alumni serving in Congress, former IOP students and fellows, Senior Advisory Committee members and more than 300 current Harvard students interning in Washington, many . . .

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NATURE’S POETRY by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)

      Nature’s Poetry  is an engaging, though none too rigorous, informal compilation of the author’s poetry and art. Black and white illustrations appear on almost every page. The nature drawings are snapshots from the author’s sketchbooks, some dating back to his Indiana youth and others recording his experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Harar, Ethiopia in the 1960s. Eldon was Chair of the Department of Art Education and Crafts and Professor of Art Education at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He was also editor of SchoolArts magazine for 11 years and president of the National Art Education Association. In the 1950s he taught art in Park Ridge, Illinois and later in Needham, Massachusetts. As Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s, Eldon and his wife, Adrienne, taught at a teacher training school in Harar, Ethiopia and then worked for the Teacher Education in East Africa Project in Kampala, Uganda. . . .

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Are the “Times A’Changing” for the Peace Corps?

The Peace Corps is a federal agency and subject to Executive Orders from the White House. There are three Executive Orders, in particular, which impact Peace Corps. They are: The Executive Order to all federal agencies to reduce staff by 20%. The Executive Order to reorganize the agency. The Executive Order to eliminate  all contracts and partnerships with any organization which works with abortion providers or counsels about abortion. Of these three, we only have specific information on the first.  FOIA 117-0166 provided the list of sunset positions and Marian Haley Beil has posted those positions.  http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Peace-Corps-Sunset-Positions.pdf  FOIA 18-0053, submitted on February 27, 2018, requested a copy of the Peace Corps Reorganization Plan.    However, the release of the Reorganization plan has not yet been authorized. The FOIA Officer has sent this statement: “I am coordinating with the Office of Management and Budget to ensure they have no objection to its . . .

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“The RPCV: An Example of a Successful Person” (Ethiopia)

  The only Peace Corps official to visit my classroom at the Commercial School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was Sargent Shriver. In November, 1962, he saw my tenth graders among other Volunteer classrooms he was visiting in his swing through East Africa. In his usual manner, he came rushing through the classroom door with his hand outstretched and bursted out, “Hi, I’m Sarge Shriver.” I flippantly replied, “No kidding?” It was uttered more in surprise than rudeness. I was thrilled by Shriver’s visit. It was the first time my students had been quiet since September. To rescue myself and the class, I  asked Sarge to tell my students about the Peace Corps in Ethiopia and his trip, and he told us all about seeing the Emperor, and having told His Majesty that there would be another 200 PCVs coming to the Empire the next fall. Our first group of PCVs numbered . . .

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Listen to Michael Joseloff (Tunisia), author of CHASING HEISENBERG . . . & read book review

  LISTEN TO MICHAEL JOSELOFF’S ORAL HISTORY ON VOICES OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECT   Michael Joseloff (Tunisia 1967-69) is a four-time Emmy Award-winning TV news and documentary producer. While working as a producer for the MacNeil Lehrer Newshour in 1993, he worked on a program related to alleged Soviet espionage during the Manhattan Project. This piqued his interest in the development of the atomic bomb. Joseloff ultimately learned that several Manhattan Project scientists had been friends with Werner Heisenberg, chief architect of Germans’s atom bomb program before the war. Their story of friends turned bitter rivals led him to write Chasing Heisenberg: The Race for the Atom Bomb. “Voices of the Manhattan Project” is a joint project by the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society to create a public archive of our oral history collections of Manhattan Project veterans and their families. • Chasing Heisenberg: The Race for the Atom Bomb Michael  Joseloff . . .

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