Author - John Coyne

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Trump, Lies, and the Peace Corps
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Fifth Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: “The Stories We Tell” by GraceAnne Heater (Rwanda)
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Fourth Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: Peace Corps Poems by Earl Huband (Oman)
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More “Fall Out” from Hessler’s Letter From Colorado (Spain)
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Third Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: “Of That Wide Water, Inescapable” by Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde)
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Peace Corps Writers: Sell Your Books at NPCA Conference This August
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Second Prize Peace Corps Fund Awards: “Samarkand Calling” by Beatrice Hogan (Uzbekistan)
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Review — GOING TO MEXICO: STORIES OF MY PEACE CORPS SERVICE by David H. Greegor (Mexico)
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“How Trump Is Transforming Rural America” by Peter Heller (China)
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First Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: Penye Nia, Pana Njia by Kristen Grauer-Gray (Tanzania)

Trump, Lies, and the Peace Corps

 Op-Ed in The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, July 21, 2017 (Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) • Trump, lies, and the Peace Corps BY GENE NICHOL Contributing columnist Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley distinguished professor of law at the University of North Carolina. His daughter in a Peace Corps Volunteer in The Gambia. She would be unaffected by Trumps proposals. Several times each week, Americans are pressed with an odd question – how did we come to this? Who would have thought it possible, for example, that when the presidents of the United States and Russia give conflicting accounts of their joint discussions, most of us would assume that a murderous, dictatorial KGB operative was closer to the truth. Even Republicans seemed to wince: “It’s certainly conceivable Putin is lying, but we know Trump lies constantly – all day, every day, whether he . . .

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Fifth Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: “The Stories We Tell” by GraceAnne Heater (Rwanda)

  GraceAnne Heater (Rwanda 2014-16) served in Peace Corps Rwanda as an ESL high school teacher. She has won many contests, including a pie eating contest at age 10, a cow milking contest at age 17, and a peeps diorama competition at age 28. She is an avid reader and a passionate but undisciplined writer. She currently resides in Philadelphia with her husband and their adopted Rwandan cat.       • The Stories We Tell by GraceAnne Heater   MURUNDA, MY VILLAGE, was in the only district in Rwanda without a paved road. It was remote, poor, and nearly inaccessible during the rainy season. It was an hour and a half away from the main road, a motorcycle ride that stopped my heart and took my breath, nothing but steep mountains, sharp curves, uneven roads, and views of Lake Kivu with the DRC looming in the distance. Murunda was home . . .

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Fourth Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: Peace Corps Poems by Earl Huband (Oman)

  Earl Huband (Oman 1975-78) worked for the Oman Ministry of Education. During his first two years, Earl taught 1st – 6th year English 4th–9th grade) in Bukha, a small Musandam fishing village in the northern part of Oman, near the mouth of the Persian Gulf. During his third year, Earl worked in Salalah, the capital of Oman’s southern district, splitting his time between teaching English and serving as assistant to that region’s Chief English Inspector. The following are a few of the 28 poems he submitted. • The Journey from the Interior Airborne over the Batinah plain, we skirt the coast en route to Bukha, a small Musandam fishing village near the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Arabian — not Persian — Gulf: these Arabs never say Persian. This Sky Van, this bumblebee of planes, this flying buzzsaw bears the number nine — one — one emblazoned . . .

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More “Fall Out” from Hessler’s Letter From Colorado (Spain)

If you read Peter’s letter about “How residents of a rural area started copying the President” you might have been surprised when you read these two paragraphs. “In Grand Junction, I learned to suspend any customary assumptions regarding political identity. I encountered countless strong working women, some of whom believed in abortion rights, who had voted for Trump. Cultural cues could be misleading: I interviewed one gentle, hippieish Trump voter who wore his gray hair in a ponytail. An experience like leaving a small town for an Ivy League college, which might lead some people to embrace more liberal ideas, could inspire in others a deeper conservatism. And so I wasn’t entirely surprised to learn that Tyler Riehl, like me, was a former Peace Corps volunteer. “He had served in Slovakia. “Every time you get to look at how somebody else lives, it gives you perspective that’s useful,” Riehl told . . .

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Third Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: “Of That Wide Water, Inescapable” by Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde)

  Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde 1998-2000) is the author of two books of poems, Bartram’s Garden and The Book of Sleep (both from Carnegie Mellon University Press). Her  poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, The Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, and many others. Eleanor’s Peace Corps memoir, História, História: Two Years in the Cape Verde Islands, received the 2014 Peace Corps Writers Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award. She was a 2014/2016 Fulbright fellow to Brazil, where she researched and wrote about traditional midwifery. She lives now in the Philadelphia area. • Of That Wide Water, Inescapable • We live in an old chaos of the sun, Or old dependency of day and night, Or island solitude, unsponsored, free, Of that wide water, inescapable. from “Sunday Morning,” Wallace Stevens • MY HOUSE ON THE ISLAND of Fogo was built into the side of the volcano. When I moved in, Gustinha . . .

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Second Prize Peace Corps Fund Awards: “Samarkand Calling” by Beatrice Hogan (Uzbekistan)

  Beatrice Hogan served in the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Uzbekistan (1992-94), and in 2001, returned to the region as an International Reporting Project (IRP) Fellow. She’s worked as a book editor, a radio reporter, and a magazine researcher, and her work has appeared in More, Business 2.0 and Marie Claire, among other publications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown and a master’s in international affairs from Columbia. • Samarkand Calling WE WERE IN UZBEKISTAN, heading for Bukhara, an historic city about four hours outside Samarkand, when a soldier flagged down our car with a white baton. My husband and I stared at each other nervously as our driver pulled into the checkpoint. I was in Central Asia on a month-long journalism fellowship; Kevin had come along as my photographer. The soldier demanded our passports and disappeared into a roadside shack. I realized that . . .

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Review — GOING TO MEXICO: STORIES OF MY PEACE CORPS SERVICE by David H. Greegor (Mexico)

    Going To Mexico: Stories of My Peace Corps Service by David H. Greegor (Mexico 2007-11) CreateSpace Publisher April 2017 132 pages $14.99 (paperback), $6.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Bob Criso (Nigeria 1966-67, Somalia 1967-68) • DAVID H. GREEGOR’S Going To Mexico is a short, light and breezy collection of anecdotes and vignettes that illustrate various aspects of rural Mexican culture during the author’s Peace Corps service. Mr. Greegor and his wife Sonya, both older PCVs, lived in Queretaro, Mexico from 2007 to 2010 and worked as environmental advisors in nearby pueblos. David worked on deforestation and erosion while Sonya promoted environmental education. Having lived in Tuscon, Arizona, they had been to Mexico many times, but it was their adventures in the small pueblos that revealed a different, more indigenous, Mexico to them and became their most memorable experiences. More like a diary or a journal than a memoir, Going To Mexico . . .

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“How Trump Is Transforming Rural America” by Peter Heller (China)

  This is a brilliant article by Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) in the current issue of The New Yorker. My only regret is that in the bio about Peter they never mention his Peace Corps service. It’s as if he never served in the army, was a Boy Scout, or was a bed wetter as a child. Nevertheless, we PCVs will prevail. — JC ♦ How Trump Is Transforming Rural America In Colorado, the President’s tone has started rubbing off on residents. By Peter Hessler When Karen Kulp was a child, she believed that the United States of America as she knew it was going to end on June 6, 1966. Her parents were from the South, and they had migrated to Colorado, where Kulp’s father was involved in mining operations and various entrepreneurial activities. In terms of ideology, her parents had started with the John Birch Society, and then they became more . . .

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First Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: Penye Nia, Pana Njia by Kristen Grauer-Gray (Tanzania)

  Kristen Grauer-Gray served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Karatu District, Tanzania from 2007 to 2010. She taught chemistry and biology at a rural secondary school, managed the school science lab, and contributed to a manual for Peace Corps Volunteers on how to conduct experiments using cheap, local materials. She is serving now as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Liberia, where she is teaching chemistry and education classes at a community college. The following is a true story from her service in Tanzania. Some names have been changed, but all events are true to the best of her memory. •   Penye Nia, Pana Njia [Where there’s a goal, the road is wide. — Swahili proverb]   “I’D LOVE FOR HER to continue with her education,” Rehema’s mother says. “But there’s the problem of the cow.” I’m sitting in the house where Rehema grew up. The dirt floor is . . .

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