Archive - 2018

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Honoring Sargent Shriver & Special Olympics
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Mark Walker makes video about Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond (Guatemala)
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OUR WOMAN IN HAVANA published by Vicki Huddleston (Peru)
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New York City “Story Slam!”
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Talking with Joanna Luloff about her new novel (Sri Lanka)
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Jody Olsen on Federal Drive Radio
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Looking for Our RPCV Ambassadors
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Management Challenges: Peace Corps and the Office of the Inspector General
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RPCVs of Gulf Coast of Florida hosted World Heritage Festival
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Jody Olsen to speak at U of Md/Baltimore commencement — May 18

Honoring Sargent Shriver & Special Olympics

“Working with Sargent Shriver at the Peace Corps was one of the best experiences of my professional life, and our friendship continued to grow. Sarge gave his all to service – domestic, international, anti-poverty, anti-racism, justice, equality and freedom for all. Throughout the last two decades of his life, Sarge continued to devote himself to service for the intellectually challenged as the Chair and CEO of Special Olympics.  Let’s honor Sarge and his Sargent Shriver Special Olympic Global Messengers.  Harris Wofford Instrumental in forming the Peace Corps Peace Corps Director/Ethiopia; Special Rep to Africa Associate Director of the Peace Corps ***** Sargent Shriver was a man of conviction and courage. He stood for important things with a reputation of not letting anyone down. He was outstanding.  C.. Payne Lucas Co-founder AFRICARE, President 31 years; Peace Corps Director Togo & Niger; RPCV ’60s ********* “During these times which cry out for heroic action, we should remember that no couple . . .

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Mark Walker makes video about Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond (Guatemala)

  “The Making of  Different Latitudes” is a 3:30 minute video of Mark  talking about his Peace Corps book, published by Peace Corps Writers last year. His son was the cameraman, an RPCV, Hal Rifken, directed the video, and a local t.v. producer, Donald Griffith, edited it. Watch:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZmJhe-E9rc&feature=youtu.be • Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971–73) Peace Corps Writers April 2017 332 pages $18.00 (paperback)    

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OUR WOMAN IN HAVANA published by Vicki Huddleston (Peru)

[Not a Review} Our Woman in Havana chronicles the past several decades of U.S.-Cuba relations from the bird’s-eye view of State Department veteran and longtime Cuba hand Vicki Huddleston, our top diplomat on the ground in Havana under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. After the U.S. embassy in Havana was closed in 1961, relations between the countries ground to a halt. In 1977, the U.S. established the U.S. Interests Section to serve as a de facto embassy. Ambassador Huddleston’s spirited and compelling memoir about her time as a diplomat in Havana and beyond takes the reader through some of the most tense and dramatic years of Castro’s Cuba, from her first days going face-to-face with Fidel Castro, pressing to improve relations and allow hundreds of thousands of Americans to visit Cuba, to the present day, as she peers forward to the future of the relationship. She writes incisively about the . . .

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New York City “Story Slam!”

Proudly presents, STORY SLAM! This could be YOU onstage! Got a medical horror story? Can’t stop talking about your digestive track? Did you ever rescue a dog from a latrine? If so, you may have been a Peace Corps Volunteer! Come hear true tales of adventure and what it was really like to have the toughest job you’ll ever love told LIVE at our 7th Annual Peace Corps Story Slam! As we all know, Peace Corps is 27 months of continuous funny, poignant, and amazing stories. When RPCVs tell stories, they humanize and illuminate places and people with that unique, grassroots, Peace Corps perspective. We’ll have a brand new batch of stories this year, all sure to make you laugh, cringe, and cry … maybe all at once. But wait, there’s more! We are taking a cue from our friends at The Moth and hosting our first open-mic storytelling telling show! Think that you have a GREAT story to tell? Well, . . .

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Talking with Joanna Luloff about her new novel (Sri Lanka)

Joanna Luloff received her MFA from Emerson College and her PhD from the University of Missouri. Before all of those years of graduate school, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Baddegama, Sri Lanka. Her short stories have appeared in The Missouri Review, Confrontation, Western Humanities Review, Memorious, and New South, and her collection The Beach at Galle Road was released by Algonquin Books in October, 2012. Her debut novel Remind Me Again What Happened is forthcoming in June from Algonquin. She is an Assistant Professor of English at University of Colorado Denver. More information at www.joannaluloff.com. Joanna, where were you before the Peace Corps? Well, I was born in Belgium, but my family moved to Massachusetts when I was quite young. I grew up in Southboro, a small town near Worcester. I went to Algonquin Regional High School, then on to Vassar College for my BA, Emerson College . . .

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Jody Olsen on Federal Drive Radio

  New Peace Corps director Jody Olsen most enjoys seeing ‘people change’  May 7, 2018 9:03 am        Best listening experience is on Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Subscribe to Federal Drive’s daily audio interviews on Apple Podcasts or PodcastOne. • Tom Temin Interviews Jody Olsen Jody Olsen cannot quite seem to leave the Peace Corps behind. She volunteered in Tunisia for the Corps in the 1960s. In between various jobs, she has returned to the Peace Corps as a country director and deputy director. Now she has returned again, this time as director. She was sworn in just a month ago and joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin in the studio. Career Peace Corps Staffer Jody Olsen gives a short interview on Federal Drive and praises (without naming) past Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and how Carrie led “historic reforms to modernize the agency.” Olsen mentioned the changes in Recruitment and the application Carrie did and how that . . .

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Looking for Our RPCV Ambassadors

Could you help me? We have many, many RPCV Ambassadors and I am trying to track down their names and Peace Corps countries, as well as, email addresses so I might interview them for an article about how PCVs have gone from their tours onto careers in the Foreign Service, much as JFK envisioned when he created the agency. Take a look at the list and send me your additional names as well as updates to the information I have collected. Write me at: jcoyneone@gmail.com . Many thanks for your help.   Charles C. Adams Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Finland (???), (PCV Kenya 1968 – 1970) Frank Almaguer, U. S.Ambassador to Honduras (Belize 1967–1969) Michael R. Arietti, U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda (India ?–?) Charles R. Baquet III U.S. Ambassador to Republic of Djibouti  (Somalia 1965-67) Robert Blackwill, U. S. Ambassador to India  (Malawi 1964 – 1966) Richard Boucher, Deputy Secretary-General of . . .

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Management Challenges: Peace Corps and the Office of the Inspector General

There are no Peace Corps Volunteers working in Washington. The heart and soul of Peace Corps are Volunteers working all over the world. But the management machine which places and supports them is in Washington DC. It is a federal agency and like many federal agency, it has its problems, or in bureaucratic speak: “Challenges”. In a recent report by the Peace Corps’s Office of the Inspector General, this observation was made: “The Peace Corps is a small agency that finds itself challenged to meet its global mission while at the same time complying with all of the requirements of a Federal agency. While the Peace Corps has shaped its core values around Volunteer wellbeing, commitment to national service, and other areas related to quality programming, diversity, and innovation, the agency has not made complying with Federal laws, regulations, and other requirements a priority.” (page 11, https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/documents/inspector-general/Management_and_performance_challenges_WEB_page_numbers.pdf) I can almost hear . . .

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RPCVs of Gulf Coast of Florida hosted World Heritage Festival

  Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) •    A note from Leita — The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of the Gulf Coast of Florida hosted World Heritage Festival Saturday, April 28, 2018, at Bayfront Park from 11 am to 3 pm, in partnership with “Embracing Our Differences.” RPCVs showed displays representing the seven regions Peace Corps Volunteers serve in and shared their stories. We had artifacts, sights and music from all over the world. Hundreds of people attended and  what a wonderful surprise when students from Manatee School of the Performing Arts and Sarasota School for the Arts and Sciences did cultural dances for us! That spontaneity was so uplifting! All the students that were there contributed so much and worked steadfastly to make sure our event was a success!

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Jody Olsen to speak at U of Md/Baltimore commencement — May 18

  Peace Corps Director to speak at University of Maryland, Baltimore commencement   The director of the Peace Corps will deliver the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s spring commencement address, university officials said. Jody Olsen will speak to graduates during the May 18 graduation ceremony in Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena. She “is a tireless champion for developing the campus infrastructure and faculty and student competencies to ensure that we can effectively and safely deliver great global education,” said Richard P. Barth, dean of the university’s school of social work. “She is a terrific communicator, relentlessly optimistic and affirming, and exceptionally knowledgeable about all things international.” Olsen began her work in the Peace Corps as a Volunteer in Tunisia in 1966. She gradually moved up through the ranks, before being confirmed as the Peace Corps’ director in March, having made the Peace Corps her career. She has also been a visiting professor in . . .

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