Author - John Coyne

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Winner of the 2017 Maria Thomas Fiction Award
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A GAME IN THE SUN AND OTHER STORIES by John Coyne (Ethiopia)
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W. Patrick Murphy (Cameroon) nominated for ambassadorship
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Review — NATURE’S POETRY by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)
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Vanity Fair article by Maureen Orth (Colombia) on Colombia’s most-feared female revolutionary
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Peace Corps and Sri Lankan Ministry of Education sign memorandum of understanding
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4 reasons you should not hire a returned Peace Corps Volunteer
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Mark Gearan back in DC . . . for Harvard
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NATURE’S POETRY by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)
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“The RPCV: An Example of a Successful Person” (Ethiopia)

Winner of the 2017 Maria Thomas Fiction Award

  Dead Cow Road: Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) Page Publishing March 2017 506 pages $24.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Bob Criso (Nigeria 1966-67, Somalia 1967-68) •   Dead Cow Road is an ambitious work of historical fiction told through the eyes of a Foreign Service worker assigned to Somalia during the political struggles and famine crisis in 1992. Mark Wentling combines real and fictional events with real and fictional characters to weave an engrossing and complex tale unfolding during a chaotic time in a desperate country. With over 45 years experience living and working in Africa with the Peace Corps, USAID, US Foreign Service, Care and World Vision, Wentling is well-equipped to be writing about it. He has the rare distinction of having lived or worked in all fifty-four African countries. Ray Read . . .

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A GAME IN THE SUN AND OTHER STORIES by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

  I set this story, “Game in the Sun” —  one of three “Peace Corps” stories in my collection of ten short stories in this book — in Dessie, Ethiopia. At the time — and this was about 1965 —  there was an American couple running a religious mission in Dessie. I knew them slightly, and they were well known to the PCVs in the town. They were, I believe, a a nice couple and nothing like the missionaries in this story. Also, to my recollections, there were no Peace Corps couples in Dessie. — JC •  A Game in the Sun 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 rainforest which grew thick and dense to the edges of the Mission Compound. The . . .

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W. Patrick Murphy (Cameroon) nominated for ambassadorship

  Thanks for the heads-up from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964–67) — • — from www.phnompenhpost.com/international   US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US State Department. He has served over 25 years in senior positions in the Foreign Service, including as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs since 2016. Murphy has also worked as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2013 to 2016 and as acting special representative and policy coordinator for Myanmar from 2012 to 2013. US Embassy spokesman in Phnom Penh Arend Zwartjes said he has not been informed of . . .

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Review — NATURE’S POETRY by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)

  Nature’s Poetry by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia 1962–64) CreateSpace 112 pages July 2018 $5.99 (paperback)   A Review by Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia 2011–13)   This assemblage of words is about a man I feel I know. After seeing the way his words flow, off the page and into my mind Named Eldon, he’s lived a life of creation From our nation to many others he’s roamed He joined the Peace Corps back in 1962 With his wife Adrienne, before cell phones and email and what’sapp Teaching in Harar and Uganda, sketching the countryside as he went along He kept drawing and painting, collaging, and writing his poems From his days in the bush, to his 8th decade, he wrote About nature and cats and birds and beaches, trees, and seasons On places . . . domestic as Indiana, as a foreign as Vietnam The name of the book is Nature’s Poetry, 100 pages long His . . .

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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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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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“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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