Author - John Coyne

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 3
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Celebrating the Creation of the Peace Corps: 2017 Peace Corps Fund Third Goal Writing Contest $5,000 to be Awarded
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The Peace Corps on the list: “US foreign aid expected to be biggest casualty of Trump’s first budget”
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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 2
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President Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79) MARLBORO COLLEGE PARTNERS WITH REFUGEE CENTERS
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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 1
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New Novel by Roland Merullo–The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and Dalai Lama
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New book by Charlie Peters, legendary Peace Corps Evaluation Director
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What our children show us — and the world
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Review: HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND AVOID SACRED COWS by David Macaray (India)

The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 3

Why did the Peace Corps suffering such a decline in interest in the early ’70s, especially from younger potential PCVs? Why did the agency begin to ‘disappear’ after the assassination of JFK? Was it the focus of New Directions on ‘experienced’ and skilled volunteers? The War in Vietnam? Or did the ‘married couples with families’ change the image of the Peace Corps? (The ‘new and very brief and unsuccessful focus on married couples did give the agency our famous writer Maria Thomas (Ethiopia 1971-73) who served with her husband and young son and that experience produced some wonderful Peace Corps stories, including, Come to Africa and Save Your Marriage.) With the decline in interest in the Peace Corps, one might ask: why was it so initially successful? Here’s one reason why. The central image of the Peace Corps in the Sixties was captured and promoted ‘free’ on radio and television thanks . . .

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Celebrating the Creation of the Peace Corps: 2017 Peace Corps Fund Third Goal Writing Contest $5,000 to be Awarded

The Peace Corps Fund announces its 2017 writing contest. Prizes range from First Prize of $1000, Second Prize $500 and numerous Honorable Mentions of $250. Top prizes will be published on the Peace Corps Worldwide website and promoted throughout the Peace Corps community. Eligibility Must be a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer or Former Peace Corps Staff Submissions should generally advance the Third Goal of the Peace Corps Act: To increase the understanding of the peoples served on the part of Americans. The Third Goal Writing Contest Overview and Rules The Peace Corps Fund will appoint a panel to review submissions whose decisions are final. Submissions must be received by April 30th. Winners will be announced at the National Peace Corps Association Conference, August 1st. Submissions may include, poetry, essays or short stories. No submission may be more than 5,000 words. Submission may not have been previously published or have been . . .

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The Peace Corps on the list: “US foreign aid expected to be biggest casualty of Trump’s first budget”

  From The Guardian  @BenQuinn75 • Monday — 27 February 2017 US spending on overseas aid is expected to bear the brunt of dramatic cuts as part of Donald Trump’s plan to increase defence spending by $54bn in his upcoming budget. The US operates the largest and most expansive overseas aid programme in the world, with a proposed federal spend of $50.1bn (£40.3bn) for 2017 alone (pdf). More than $18bn of that is made up of economic and development assistance, commonly referred to as humanitarian aid. A further $8.1bn was due to go towards security assistance. While humanitarians had been bracing themselves for possible cuts to their budgets since Trump’s election, the indications coming out of Washington on Monday appeared to suggest that he was going to make good on a campaign pledge to “stop sending foreign aid to countries that hate us”. White House budget officials briefed on Monday said there would be a . . .

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 2

Nixon was no fan of ‘anything’ John F. Kennedy created. The Golden Age of the Peace Corps was over. The New Frontier for this agency came to an end on May 1, 1969, when Joe Blatchford was appointed the third Director and the second Republican to hold the job. (Jack Hood Vaughn was a Republican.) Blatchford had grown up wealthy in Beverly Hills where his father was involved with finances for the motion pictures. He attended UCLA and was captain of the tennis team. In 1958, when then Vice-President Nixon was charged by a mob in Venezuela, Blatchford began to think about what could be done to improve relationships between the U.S. and Latin America. With tennis friends and jazz musicians, he dropped out of college for a year and went on a goodwill tour in Latin America, playing tennis and jazz. He raised money for this venture with funds . . .

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President Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79) MARLBORO COLLEGE PARTNERS WITH REFUGEE CENTERS

Thanks to a “heads up” from Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80) MARLBORO COLLEGE PARTNERS WITH REFUGEE CENTERS FEB. 26, 2017, 12:06 PM BY MIKE FAHER Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79), the president of Marlboro College BRATTLEBORO – Working with refugees will become part of the curriculum for some Marlboro College graduate students later this year. Under a new partnership with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, students enrolled in the college’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program can apply to spend an academic year working in one of the committee’s resettlement centers scattered across the country. It’s meant as an immersive way for Marlboro master’s degree students to get practical experience in their field. It’s also “responsive to the needs of the world,” said Kara Hamilton, an admissions counselor at Marlboro’s graduate school who is coordinating what’s been dubbed the English for Refugees Fellowship. “How do you respond to the needs . . .

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 1

In the 56 years since the Peace Corps was launched in March 1961, the US government agency has sent more than 225,000 volunteers to 141 countries. Today, 7,213 PCVs are in 65 countries working in education, community economic development, the environment, agriculture, health and nutrition, and in youth development. Women make up 62% of volunteers serving overseas; minorities 29%. 7% of all volunteers are over the age of 50. That said, in the minds of many Americans, the Peace Corps is lost in time, as if it, too, was assassinated on the streets of Dallas. It is not uncommon to hear even informed Americans ask, “is there still a Peace Corps?” or “Is Shriver still the Director?” A question might be asked by this new administration: Is the Peace Corps worth the money and effort to fund and support? Trump and his people would not be the first administration (after . . .

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New Novel by Roland Merullo–The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and Dalai Lama

Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80) new novel has the Pope and the Dalai Lama taking a road trip. What happens when the Pope and the Dalai Lama decide they need an undercover vacation? During a highly publicized official visit at the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist. Before dawn, two of the most beloved and famous people on the planet don disguises, slip into a waiting car, and experience the countryside as regular people. Along for the ride are the Pope’s overwhelmed cousin Paolo and his estranged wife Rosa, an eccentric hairdresser with a lust for life who cannot resist the call to adventure—or the fun. Against a landscape of good humor, exploration and spiritual delight, not to mention the sublime rolling hills of Italy, The Delight of Being Ordinary showcases the charming sensibilities of Roland Merullo (whose bestselling Breakfast with Buddha . . .

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New book by Charlie Peters, legendary Peace Corps Evaluation Director

  For those who don’t know, Charlie Peters (PCW/staff 1961–65) put together the first self-evaluation unit in the federal government for the Peace Corps. It would develop by the government into the Inspector General’s Office that we have today. It grew out of an idea of another very early staff member Bill Haddad who told Shriver, as Coates Redmon relates in her book on the early days of the agency, Come As You Are, “Let’s get our own guys to go out there and find out what’s goin’ on, and if there’s something wrong, we’ll be the first to know and can correct it before the press gets onto it and starts screamin’.” Charlie Peters was named head of the Evaluation Division, and known in the agency as “The burr under the saddle.” He hired first-rate journalists and writers, including Fletcher Knebel, Mark Harris, Richard Rovere, Calvin Trillin, James Michener, Stan . . .

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What our children show us — and the world

   Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Jackie Dinneen recently the White House Liaison and also Director of Gifts and Grants Management at the Peace Corps. — JC Note What Our Children Show Us — and the World COMMENTARY From RealClearPolitics By Mark Salter, RCP Contributor February 22, 2017 • Our daughter accepted an assignment as a Peace Corps volunteer yesterday. I’ll leave out the particulars of the job except to note she will be living on the other side of the world in a remote location without electricity or plumbing, and she won’t be home for two years and two months. Her mother and father are experiencing equal measures of pride and dread, and suffering what you might call anticipatory separation anxiety. She won’t leave for several months yet, but I already find myself looking at her picture several times a day. We are going to miss and worry about her constantly. In . . .

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Review: HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND AVOID SACRED COWS by David Macaray (India)

    How to Win Friends & Avoid Sacred Cows: Weird Adventures in India: Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims When the Peace Corps was New by David Macaray (India 1967-68) The Ardent Writer Press (Brownsboro, Alabama) December 2016 291 pages $29.95 (hardcover), $19.95 (paperback), $2.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Kitty Thuermer (PCV/Mali 1977-79) • Every Peace Corps Volunteer has a near-death story. For David Macaray, supplementing his diet of curry and rice with a ball of opium did the trick. But not to worry. Had he died, he wrote, “Our mothers and fathers would have received the obligatory telegram from the State Department: ‘Dear Parent: [stop] Your son ate opium, passed out, and set house on fire. [stop] He is deceased. [stop] Details to follow.” Fifty years later, one wonders if Macaray, in a fit of nostalgia, ingested a bit of opium while organizing this sometimes heartbreaking, but mostly hilarious, book. Because it’s not really . . .

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