Author - John Coyne

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Remembering Roger Landrum (Nigeria)
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REVIEW — Jesus Was Arrested in Mexico City and Missed the Wedding by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras)
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Bill Josephson remembers Marvin Watson (PC/HQ)
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Peace Corps Application Test
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Marnie Mueller Writes of Japanese American Incarceration (Ecuador)
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The Peace Corps Says “Goodbye” To NorthWest D.C.
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A PCV Remembers and Returns (Tanzania)
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New books by Peace Corps writers — November 2017
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To Preserve and to Learn: Early ’60s Analysis of Youth Service
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“A Game in the Sun” Publishing in May (Short Story Collection)

Remembering Roger Landrum (Nigeria)

  National Peace Corps Association and the Peace Corps community mourn the passing of Roger Landrum (Nigeria 1961-63), who died early on Saturday, December 9, at his Washington, D.C. home following a brief illness. Roger was a central figure in the creation of what is now the National Peace Corps Association.  In his career in Washington, D.C. Landrum also became a leader in the national service movement, becoming the founding president of Youth Service America and the later Youth Service International. For several decades Roger worked closely with the Ford, Kellogg, and Mott foundations, and other philanthropies that supported non-government movement to offer voluntary community service in programs modeled after the Peace Corps. He worked closely with other champions of national service, including Senator Harris Wofford and Father Theodore Hesburgh. Roger was dedicated to the notion that all young people find their voice, take action, and make an impact on vital community issues. He . . .

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REVIEW — Jesus Was Arrested in Mexico City and Missed the Wedding by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras)

Jesus Was Arrest in Mexico City and Missed the Wedding by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975-77) CreateSpace Publisher September 2017 Paperback $13.95 Reviewed by Bob Arias (Colombia 1963-65) Chucho, alias Jesus, makes a simple but beautiful wedding into possible jail time in Mexico City…DF to locals. But this isn’t the plot, but the title that grabs you before you know what course to take. I have to admit I couldn’t put  Jesus Was Arrest in Mexico City and Missed the Wedding down. Lawrence had me by the “tostones.” And I don’t mean platanos! I read this awesome little book as an introduction to traditional Mexico, or Mejico…Weddings are extremely important to Mexican women, very! In Mexico, any unmarried female over 30 is considered yesterday’s tortilla! And Mexican traditions are not just this generation, but the time of Pancho Villa, to the Aztecs when they fought Cortez while he and Spain were stealing . . .

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Bill Josephson remembers Marvin Watson (PC/HQ)

  Dear John, The death of W. Marvin Watson on November 26, 2017 is an opportunity for the Peace Corps community to remember him, and, of course, President Johnson with gratitude.  The November 29, 2017 New York Times obituary describes him as President Johnson’s “Unofficial Chief of Staff.” The 1961-66 Peace Corps specifically did not want to have an office charged with “security” issues.  So, the General Counsel’s office handled liaison with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, the Civil Service Commission investigators, and so forth. When I was General Counsel of the Peace Corps and Sarge was preoccupied with OEO, but still Peace Corps Director, J. Edgar Hoover, through the FBI’s liaison to the Peace Corps, requested from me access to the personal records, including medical histories, of all Peace Corps volunteers.  This was a generalized demand, not related to a particular person or incident. I refused, citing . . .

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Peace Corps Application Test

Peace Corps Test In the early days of the Peace Corps there was a Placement Test given to all applicants. Actually it was two tests. A 30-minute General Aptitude Test and a 30-minute Modern Language Aptitude Test. The areas of testing were in Verbal Aptitude, Agriculture, English, Health Sciences, Mechanical Skills, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, World History, Literature, United States History and Institutions, and Modern Language Aptitude. One-hour achievement tests in French and Spanish were also offered during the second hour. The instruction pamphlet that accompanied the tests said that the results would be used “to help find the most appropriate assignment for each applicant.” For those who missed the opportunity to take the tests, which were given in the early days of the agency, I am including a few of the questions. Let’s see if you could still get into the Peace Corps. Verbal Aptitude The question below consists . . .

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Marnie Mueller Writes of Japanese American Incarceration (Ecuador)

Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) has recently been asked by Densho.org, the preeminent website on the incarceration of Japanese Americans, to write a short biography of Mary Mon Toy.  As a result of working with them on it, they have asked Marnie to digitize all of her archive on Mary Mon. Below is a brief overview by Marnie of Mary Mon Toy’s life. Singer and showgirl best known for her comedic role as Minnie Ho in The World of Suzie Wong on Broadway. Mary Mon Toy’s career was begun and forged after her incarceration in the Minidoka concentration camp. Her love of singing and her need to prove to herself that she had not been destroyed by what she’d been through spurred her to fulfill a youthful dream of becoming an opera singer. Like many Nisei, she reentered America with a determination to succeed. Early Life and Wartime Incarceration Born Mary Teruko Watanabe on June 3, . . .

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The Peace Corps Says “Goodbye” To NorthWest D.C.

Press Release Peace Corps to Move to New Headquarters in Washington’s NoMa District in 2020 WASHINGTON – Today (December 4, 2017) the Peace Corps announced that the federal agency, which sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change, will move to a new headquarters building in Washington in 2020. The General Services Administration (GSA) announced the award of a new lease at 1275 First Street N.E. (One Constitution Square) on behalf of the Peace Corps.After two decades of occupancy in a 20th Street building in the Central Business District, the Peace Corps will gain efficiency by joining other federal agencies in the burgeoning NoMa district. “The new, modern headquarters will enhance our agency’s efficiency and productivity,” Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer Sheila Crowley said. “The NoMa building is Platinum LEED certified and will include much-needed conferencing facilities, teaming rooms, and media . . .

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A PCV Remembers and Returns (Tanzania)

Thanks to a ‘Heads Up’ from Alana DeJoseph (Mali 1992–94) Producer & Director  –  “A Towering Task” I received this following letter from Susan Garrett Rickert. Dear Peace Corps, From 1964-66 I taught a secondary all-girls school in Kidugala, Tanzania. It was a life transforming experience. In the year 2000, I decided to return to Tanzania and see if it still called my name. At the end of two weeks of in-country travel, I visited a primary school in Karatu that was badly in need of help. I and my group of 12 travelers then decided to donate money to repair the roofs of 3 classrooms. I returned to Karatu the following year to see the results. I have been returning every year since. I continue to help three primary schools, and in 2005 I helped found a secondary school in the same village where there was no secondary school. Now, over . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — November 2017

  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 peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • A Country Boy’s Dream Comes True by Edward Franklin Burkett (Micronesia 1986–87) iUniverse Press 108 pages 2004 $22.95 (hardcover), $12.78 (paperback) From a rural southern boy hauling hay in the hot sun to a University graduate to traveling around the world living adventures . . .

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To Preserve and to Learn: Early ’60s Analysis of Youth Service

To Preserve and to Learn — occasional essays about the history of the Peace Corps Early ’60s Analysis of Youth Service IN EARLY 1960, Maurice (Maury) L. Albertson, director of the Colorado State University Research Foundation, received a Point-4 (precursor to USAID) contract to prepare a Congressional Feasibility Study of the Point-4 Youth Corps called for in the Reuss-Neuberger Bill, an amendment to the Mutual Security Act. The Youth Corps was “to be made up of young Americans willing to serve their country in public and private technical assistance missions in far-off countries, and at a soldier’s pay.” Then in late 1961, Public Affairs Press in Washington, D.C. published, New Frontiers for American Youth: Perspective on the Peace Corps written by Maury Albertson, and co-authored with Andrew E. Rice and Pauline E. Birky. The book was based on their Point-4 study.      According to the authors, “The roots of the Peace Corps idea . . .

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“A Game in the Sun” Publishing in May (Short Story Collection)

Betsy was not allowed to play croquet with her husband and the Reverend, so she sat in the shade of the trees at the top of the mound. The mound overlooked a lush African rain forest, which grew thick and dense to the edges of the mission compound. The view was compelling and frightening to Betsy. The close, steamy jungle made her feel insignificant, and as she half listened to Mrs. Shaw’s chatter, she watched the bush as if it were alive. The Reverend and Mrs. Shaw had started their mission twenty years before. Landscaping woods near a village of mud and cattle-dung huts, they cut into the underbrush, leaving only the ancient acacias and gum trees for shade, and planting lawns and gardens. The African laborers had instructions to keep the lawns neatly trimmed during the rainy season, well-watered the remainder of the year. The Shaws had been the . . .

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