Author - John Coyne

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Review: of A SILENT HERALD OF UNITY by Martha Driscoll (Ethiopia)
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The Peace Corps’ Charles Peters on Recapturing the Soul of the Democratic Party
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Traveling to the New York Times Travel Show
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To Die On Kilimanjaro
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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 6
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Chris Honoré: Why preserve the Peace Corps? (Colombia)
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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 5
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Charlie Peters remembers Appalachia in NYTIMES, Sunday Review
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“An Unexpected Love Story: The Women of Bati” by John Coyne (Ethiopia)
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Project Concern International celebrates the Peace Corps, March 1 Anniversary, and RPCV employees

Review: of A SILENT HERALD OF UNITY by Martha Driscoll (Ethiopia)

  A Silent Herald of Unity: The Life of Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu by Martha Driscoll OCSO (Ethiopia 1965–67) Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications 1990 142 pages $45.94 (hard cover), $4.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Patricia Taylor Edmisten (Peru 1962–64) • FOR NON-BELIEVERS, Protestants or Catholics who no longer attend services or Mass, the experience of reading this book will be like entering an exotic country without benefit of cultural sensitivity training. I speak as a still-practicing Roman Catholic, despite my disagreements with Rome. Without familiarity with the concepts and language of monasticism, self-denial (lots of it), ritual, and frequent prayer, at a time when women continue to press for respect and equal treatment under the law, this book will appear anachronistic. Readers would do well, however, to reserve judgment and pay respectful attention to the no-nonsense prose of Sister Martha Driscoll. “Mother Martha,” as she is known, is Mother Superior of an Indonesian . . .

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The Peace Corps’ Charles Peters on Recapturing the Soul of the Democratic Party

  Thanks to a ‘heads up’ from Neil Boyer (Ethiopia 1962-64) • Charles Peters on Recapturing the Soul of the Democratic Party In a new book, the Washington Monthly founding editor explains where liberal elites went wrong — and suggests a way forward. by Paul Glastris, editor Washington Monthly March/April/May 2017 •   MOST OF US, as we get older, tell ourselves that we’ll keep working past age sixty-five, or at least use our skills and experience productively in retirement. That’s especially true of writers. But few of us will pull off what Charlie Peters has done. At ninety years old, Peters, my mentor and the founding editor of the Washington Monthly, has just published an important book on the central issue facing the country. We Do Our Part is a history of how American political culture evolved from the communitarian patriotic liberalism of Peters’s New Deal youth to a get-mine conservatism in . . .

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Traveling to the New York Times Travel Show

Travel junkies journey every year in late January to the Javits Center for the annual New York Times Travel Show. This year topped all records, setting an attendance of 30,099 with 560 exhibits representing over 170 countries. It was a weekend of wandering aimlessly through exhibits and displays featuring tours and trips. There were eye-catching displays, as well as endless opportunities to win a free exotic trip to somewhere like Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Emirates Airlines, or a round-trip air ticket for two to South Africa with three nights at the Victoria & Alfred Hotel in Cape Town.  And this year Ramón Martín, executive director of Hello Travel, announced new “flexible travel packages where travelers have one year to select travel dates at six 5-star Catalonia Hotels & Resorts property.” In addition to the exhibits there are travel seminars, everything from a talk by travel author Pauline Frommer to . . .

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To Die On Kilimanjaro

To Die On Kilimanjaro By John Coyne I first went to the Blue Marlin Hotel at the edge of the Indian Ocean in the summer of ’63. It was the summer between my two years of teaching at the Commercial School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the time the Blue Marlin was full of Brits. It was the last days before Kenya’s independence. By the late Sixties the Brits had been replaced by German tourists. Today, I’m told, the village, and most of Kenya, suffers from a lack of tourists because of Al- Shabbaab. This story begins, however, in the early ‘70s when the hotel was full of Germans and where the few English speaking tourists gravitated to one end of the bar. It was there when I had come again to travel through Africa—heading back to Addis Ababa– that I met Phillip and his beautiful wife, April, and their . . .

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 6

In the middle of 1989, Loret Ruppe left the Peace Corps to become a U.S. ambassador in Europe and Paul Coverdell was appointed Director on April 20. Once again the head of the agency became a revolving door. All Directors, as we know, have a way of stamping their tour (however brief) with some new project. For Coverdell it was the famous school-to-school program and the establishment of the Fellows/USA which helps RPCVs get into graduate programs. Coverdell would also say that the Peace Corps should be a “vibrant, vital part of the U.S. foreign policy.” This was a radical change for an organization that has embodied the spirit of altruism since its inception. The Peace Corps has always been about helping other people because it was the right thing to do, not because it was politically advantageous or even politically correct. Coverdell, however, is most famous for a front . . .

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Chris Honoré: Why preserve the Peace Corps? (Colombia)

Why preserve the Peace Corps? Mar 6, 2017 at 12:01 AM By Chris Honoré One of Donald Trump’s first acts as president was to eliminate funding for nongovernmental organizations in poor countries if they offer abortion counseling as a family planning option or if they advocate for the right to seek an abortion in their countries. The freeze applies even if the NGO uses other funds for such services. Republicans have supported this policy since the Reagan administration.   But the reality is that despite how freighted with ideology the above policy is, it’s not a one-off. The Trump administration has submitted a budget that will propose severe cuts to foreign aid programs as part of a 37 percent cut to the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development. As well, Trump has told interviewers that he does not plan on filling hundreds of currently vacant posts in State or at USAID, . . .

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 5

On April 27, 1979, President Carter signed an amendment to the ACTION legislation granting the Peace Corps special independence. Dick Celeste was appointed Peace Corps Director and ACTION associate director for International Operations. I’m told Bill Josephson, a New York lawyer, and one of the Mayflower Gang that created the agency in 1961 was involved in writing the amendment. Peace returned to the Peace Corps with the appointment of Loret Miller Ruppe on May 6, 1981. She is, so far, the longest serving Peace Corps Director. In her tenure from 1981 to 1989 the budget increased almost 50%, the number of PCVs by 20%, the average attrition rate decreased significantly and according to Senator Chris Dodd (Dominican Republic 1966-68) she “took the Peace Corps out of the pit of politics and made it non-partisan.” Programs began or were renewed in 14 countries. One of the disturbing pieces of information that . . .

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Charlie Peters remembers Appalachia in NYTIMES, Sunday Review

  I Remember When Appalachia Wasn’t Trump Country By CHARLES PETERS MARCH 4, 2017 New York Times Sunday Review • I am a liberal from West Virginia. That didn’t used to be unusual. I remember when the people of the state were liberal, and what liberalism meant for their lives. In 2016 a majority of West Virginia’s voters supported Donald J. Trump, and many expressed outright hatred of Barack Obama. But when I was last active in the state’s politics, in 1960, the state was a leader in desegregating schools in response to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. John F. Kennedy won the state by a wide margin, and I was one of an overwhelming majority of Democrats elected to the state’s House of Delegates — along with a handful of Republicans. Today that tiny minority is the majority. So how did we get from there to here? The . . .

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“An Unexpected Love Story: The Women of Bati” by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

  An Unexpected Love Story: The Women of Bati   by John Coyne If the reader prefers, this may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a piece of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.                                                                   Ernest Hemingway A Moveable Feast • AT AN ELEVATION OF 4,000 FEET,  the town of Bati, Ethiopia, off the Dessie Road, is the last highland location before the Danakil Depression. A hard day’s drive from the Red Sea, it’s famous only for its Monday market days when the Afar women of the Danakil Depression walk up the “Great Escarpment” to trade with the Oromo tribe on the plateau. These tribeswomen arrive late on . . .

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Project Concern International celebrates the Peace Corps, March 1 Anniversary, and RPCV employees

(l to r) Mark O’Donnell (Honduras  ) PCI COO; PCDirector Carrie Hessler-Radelet; Gaddie Vasquez (PCDirector 2002-06) never a PCV, Board of PCI; Bob Sullivan (Ethiopia 1968-70) Board PCI Former Peace Corps Director takes helm of International Development Organization SAN DIEGO—Carrie Hessler-Radelet was selected as the new President & CEO of Project Concern International (PCI) by its Board of Directors on February 3. Hessler-Radelet will lead PCI’s efforts working with families and communities in 16 countries to enhance health, end hunger, and overcome hardship. It was 56-years-ago today that President Kennedy established the Peace Corps and began a legacy of Americans serving abroad. Over the years, the Peace Corps has attracted more than 225,000 motivated changemakers to promote world peace and friendship in 141 countries across the globe. The international development community is full of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), and that is especially true here at PCI. While we have . . .

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