Archive - 2018

1
Review — GHOST TRAIN TO THE EASTERN STAR by Paul Theroux (Malawi)
2
Review — JAMIE’S MUSE by Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon)
3
Maureen Orth wins Emmy (Colombia)
4
C. Payne Lucas and Kevin Lowther’s Book on the Peace Corps (Sierra Leone)
5
The Senate has passed health care legislation to improve care for Peace Corps Volunteers
6
Peace Corps Office of Inspector General announces criminal case against former trainee
7
An RCPV Sexual Harassment Story in America and the Peace Corps (Uzbekistan)
8
Ethiopia’s First Peace Corps Staff, Part Six
9
From the Washington Post: C Payne Lucas, leader of relief efforts across Africa, dies at 85
10
Today fifty seven years ago, September 22, 1961, President Kennedy signed the Peace Corps Act.

Review — GHOST TRAIN TO THE EASTERN STAR by Paul Theroux (Malawi)

  Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar By Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 511 pages August 2009 $8.32 (paperback), $10.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971–73) • Follow Theroux as he embarks on a 25,000-mile epic journey through Asia retracing the steps of a trip he’d taken thirty years before. Since then, Theroux records phenomenal change. The Soviet Union has collapsed and China has risen; India grows, while Burma is mothered by a military dictatorship and, most interestingly, Vietnam flourished despite the havoc the United States had unleashed on it. No one describes the texture, sights, sounds and the flavors of this changing landscape better than Theroux. Thirty years after the epic journey chronicled in his classic work, The Great Railway Bazaar, the world’s most acclaimed travel writer re-creates his 25,000-mile journey through eastern Europe, central . . .

Read More

Review — JAMIE’S MUSE by Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon)

  Jamie’s Muse Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon 1996-98) Nighthawk Press May 2018 236 pages $15.00 (paperback)  $9.99 (Kindle)   Reviewed by Terez Rose (Gabon 1985-87) • The only ghosts, I believe, who creep into this world, are dead young mothers, returning to see how their children fare. There is no other inducement great enough to bring the dead back. — J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird In Jamie’s Muse, author Bonnie Lee Black (Somewhere Child, How to Cook a Crocodile, How to Make an African Quilt) has created a luminous reimagining of her great-grandmother’s life, her emigration from Scotland to South Africa and its sorrowful ending. Black’s grandfather had been born in South Africa, spent time in an Edinburgh orphanage and stowed away on a New York-bound steamer as a teen, yet on his 1954 death certificate, under “mother” was written “unknown.” The story behind the story haunted Black, igniting in her . . .

Read More

Maureen Orth wins Emmy (Colombia)

RPCV Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) won an Emmy for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Limited Series Or Movie “Best Limited Series for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” based on her book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. It was presented on September 17, 21018 at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards. The Emmy Awards honored the best in U.S. prime time television programming from June 1, 2017 until May 31, 2018, as chosen by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The ceremony was held on September 17, 2018, at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, California, and was broadcast by NBC. Congratulations, Maureen!

Read More

C. Payne Lucas and Kevin Lowther’s Book on the Peace Corps (Sierra Leone)

  Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) In 1978, C. Payne Lucas and Kevin Lowther  published Keeping Kennedy’s Promise: The Peace Corps, Unmet Hope of the New Frontier. It was critical of some aspects of Peace Corps. Kevin wrote a follow-up summary of the book in 2002, and repeated the criticisms.  Here are Kevin Lowther’s comments on the book. • Keeping Kennedy’s Promise: The Peace Corps’ Moment of Truth Kevin Lowther (Sierra Leone –65)   The Peace Corps — and the society from which it springs — has not always faced hard truths. This was so when we first published Keeping Kennedy’s Promise in 1978. It is no less true today, in a world — and a country —which needs the Peace Corps even more than it did at its founding in 1961. Many of those who helped to create and build the Peace Corps in the 1960s regarded . . .

Read More

The Senate has passed health care legislation to improve care for Peace Corps Volunteers

  Congratulations to the RPCV advocacy group, “Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers” who have worked so hard for years to get improved health care for Volunteers and RPCVs. From their Face Book page, about an hour ago: Success on our to obtain legislation to improve care for Peace Corps Volunteers!!!! The House Bill: HR 2259 – “The Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act” was signed by the Senate today and awaits being signed into law by the President. It is a step forward. Unfortunately, the increase in disability income was dropped as were many other improvements we had written into the bill. Rep. Judge Ted Poe noted in his submitted remarks to the committee, “I fought long and hard to increase the disability payment provided to disabled returned volunteers so they can make ends meet. I hope that this provision will one day become law. Peace . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Office of Inspector General announces criminal case against former trainee

The Peace Corps Office of Inspector General announced that yesterday, September 19, 2018, a former Peace Corps trainee was charged with three counts of video voyeurism stemming from conduct he engaged in while a trainee in Zambia. Matthew Walker, 30, was charged by an information in the Northern District of Florida at the U.S. District Court in Panama City, Florida. As alleged in the information, Walker was a Peace Corps trainee in Zambia in 2016. On three occasions Walker is alleged to have used his GoPro camera to record a fellow trainee, without consent, while the fellow trainee was naked and changing in areas where the fellow trainee had a reasonable expectation of privacy.  The name of the victim is being withheld from the public to protect the victim’s privacy. Inspector General Kathy A. Buller said of the matter, “Our Volunteers are some of the best and brightest that America . . .

Read More

An RCPV Sexual Harassment Story in America and the Peace Corps (Uzbekistan)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from  Beatrice Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) Jessica Shortall is married with two children and is a strategy consultant, social entrepreneur, and the author of Work, Pump, Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work. In October 2015, she delivered a TED talk, “The American Case for Paid Maternity Leave” at TEDxSMU. She was a PCV in (Uzbekistan 2000-02) Everything I can remember by Jessica Shortall published on MEDIUM Sep 20, 2018 When I was about 8, my mother took my sister and me to a local state park, a place where we would often ramble among the rocks and trees and streams. I waded up a stream on this particular trip, and when I looked back for my mom, I had gone a bit too far. A man was standing there in the stream, blocking my way, looking at me. He . . .

Read More

Ethiopia’s First Peace Corps Staff, Part Six

Bill Kruse, who flew into Addis Ababa on August 5, 1962, was born in Chicago and raised in Des Plaines, Illinois. He was a student at the University of Illinois in 1944 when he became a flight engineer with the Army Air Corps and was shipped off to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Defense Command, where he became the founder and editor of the Caribbean Defense Command News Digest. After his army discharge, he returned to the University of Illinois and before earning his B.A. in English in 1949, he knocked off one semester to hitch-hike with a friend through the South and back to Chicago working as common laborers on the way. For a few years after his graduation he moved from job to job—to the steel mills of South Chicago, to Marshall Field’s furniture department, to the stockyards, a trucking firm. In June, 1953, he became a copywriter . . .

Read More

From the Washington Post: C Payne Lucas, leader of relief efforts across Africa, dies at 85

C Payne Lucas, leader of relief efforts across Africa, dies at 85 Payne Lucas, who died Sept. 15 at 85, led Africare for more than three decades. (Dudley M. Brooks/The Washington Post) By Emily Langer Payne Lucas, who was credited with improving lives across Africa as a founder and longtime president of Africare, a Washington-based relief organization that has constructed roads and wells, established schools and literacy programs, and improved health care in some of the neediest countries in the world, died Sept. 15 at a hospital in Silver Spring, Md. He was 85. The cause was advanced dementia, said his wife, Freddie Hill Lucas. Mr. Lucas, one of 14 children born to a lumber mill worker and his wife, was once described by The Washington Post as an “accidental idealist.” He grew up in poverty, achieved an education through scholarships and rose through the ranks of the fledgling Peace Corps before . . .

Read More

Today fifty seven years ago, September 22, 1961, President Kennedy signed the Peace Corps Act.

From the website at the National Archives: “Act of September 22, 1961 (Peace Corps Act), Public Law 87-293, 75 STAT 612, Which Established a Peace Corps to Help the People of Interested Countries and Areas in Meeting Their Needs for Skilled Manpower, 9/22/1961” Read the Act  here: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/299874 Coincidentally, RPCV Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968-70) host of MSNBC’s Hard Ball, ended his show last night with a tribute to his Peace Corps group, from whose reunion he had just returned. He spoke of  pride in his fellow RPCVs and his affection and appreciation for them and all the people of Swaziland, who had welcomed and helped them.  What a fitting way to commemorate the 57th!

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.