Author - John Coyne

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RPCV Joe Kennedy says what makes RPCVs special today
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Can you help out Snopes: Was Karin McQuillan a real PCV? (Senegal)
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Review — HOT MILK ON MY CORNFLAKES (India)
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A Writer Writes: “Digging to China” a short story by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
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Talking with Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia)
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Watch Namibia’s tourism industry cash in on Trump’s diplomatic blunders (Namibia)
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Who is Karin McQuillan? (Senegal)
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Peace Corps Volunteer Does 180 After Living in Africa: ‘Trump Was Right”
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VULGAR FAVORS by Maureen Orth(Colombia)
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“Bitter Vengeance: A Mystery Short Story” by Carole Sojka (Somali)

RPCV Joe Kennedy says what makes RPCVs special today

  RPCV Rep. Joe Kennedy Picked To Give Democratic Response To Trump’s State Of The Union • Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.) has been picked to respond to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address next week. The 37-year-old three-term congressman will appear on national TV following Trump’s speech on Jan. 30 to present the Democratic Party’s response, according to The Boston Globe. Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64) Take a moment to watch this brief video of Joe Kennedy (Dominican Republic 2004-06) speaking about RPCVs and the Peace Corps.

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Can you help out Snopes: Was Karin McQuillan a real PCV? (Senegal)

  Yesterday I received this email from Dan Evon of the social media site Snopes Hey John, This is Dan Evon from the fact-checking web site Snopes. I’m trying to verify that Karin McQuillan was a member of the Peace Corps and I saw that you posted about her on Peace Corps World Wide. I tried reaching out to the Peace Corps but they wouldn’t verify if McQuillan was ever a member. Thank you very much for your time, Dan Snopes has published this account:  Did a Former Peace Corps Volunteer Defend Trump’s Sh*thole Comments? An opinion piece arguing that “Trump is Right” about African countries was written by Karin McQuillan. A chain email circulated in January 2018, spreading an opinion piece which argued that President Trump was right when he reportedly categorized African countries as “shitholes” during a meeting on immigration. Although the versions of this email that we encountered . . .

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Review — HOT MILK ON MY CORNFLAKES (India)

  Hot Milk on My Cornflakes: Peace Corps India-33 Remembers, A Collection of Vignette by Donald Clement (India 1966-68), editor;  and authors: Judy Barille (1966-69), Neal Barille (1966-69), Tom Carter (1965-67), Mike Thorburn (1966-68), Ken French(1966-68), Ruth Kister-Berry (1966-68), Tom McGarry (1966-68), Carol Reichert (1966-68), Katy Peek (1966-68) Createspace 173 pages September 2017 $4.95 (Kindle), $29.95 (paperback-color) Reviewed by Bob Arias (Colombia 1964-66) • DONALD CLEMENT AND THE TEN co-authors of Hot Milk On My Cornflakes, were members of India 33, from 1966-1968 during the biggest movement of Peace Corps Volunteers. Jack Hood Vaughn was the Peace Corps Director at that time.  In the book I like the memories of getting ready to report for Training before you leave home. Going to Philadelphia for staging where you meet your friends for life, and then leaving for Camp Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands where India 33 Trainees will spend three months. During 1966-1968, I was across the islands in Puerto Rico at Camp Radley as the Language . . .

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A Writer Writes: “Digging to China” a short story by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

    Digging to China by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80)   A feeling of déjà vu nagged Hunter Durrell as he crossed the Xaneria lot. It seemed like a dumb thing to be feeling. Of course he had been there before. Twice a day for three years, going to and coming from the cube farm. Then it hit him. Spring. The smell of turned over earth. Dogwood blossoms. A trace scent of last night’s rain. In the sky-blue distance, a tractor downshifted, and Hunter’s eyes teared. He had forgotten the world, and here it was forgiving him, reminding him it was still there. He had to get out more. Inside the cube farm, breathing institutional air, he was ambushed by Prudence raising a pallid hand as she rolled her chair into the aisle. “Stop in the name of Howard Roark.” Prudence needed to get out more, too. And quit dreaming in . . .

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Talking with Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia)

If you want to find a successful Peace Corps Volunteer and the legacy he left in-country look no further than Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia 2011-13), the co-author of three reference books on Amharic, Tigrinya, and Afan Oromo written after his tour and while he was still living in Ethiopia. Andrew is an example of the ‘new’ PCVs joining the agency in recent years. Andrew and PCVs like him are bringing new skills to this ancient land that is swiftly evolving into a significant African nation. In Andrew’s case, it is his environmental and landscape architecture background, as well as, his linguistic ability. He, and others like him, have much more to offer Ethiopia (and other Peace Corps countries) than those of us in the early years who went into the developing world fresh out of college with our BA degrees, nursing certificates, community development training, and goodwill. Today, because of technology, . . .

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Watch Namibia’s tourism industry cash in on Trump’s diplomatic blunders (Namibia)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Mark Wentling ((Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff/Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) Watch Namibia’s tourism industry cash in on Trump’s diplomatic blunders

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Who is Karin McQuillan? (Senegal)

Karin McQuillan (Senegal 1972) writes, I was looking for a new hobby to balance out my work as a psychotherapist. I was an avid mystery reader, and I had two subjects I very much wanted to write about – Africa and wildlife. I’d been in the Peace Corps, and just come back from a wildlife safari, which was a joyful experience, and thought it would be fun to put all those things together. My only problem was that I had never written anything and didn’t have a clue how to write a mystery – so first I had to learn how to write. I was in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and then went to Kenya three times on safari. I read hundreds of books on Africa – culture, history, wildlife, anthropology, fiction. And I subscribed to the Nairobi daily paper, to get detailed local color. As a result, . . .

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Peace Corps Volunteer Does 180 After Living in Africa: ‘Trump Was Right”

  Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Bob Arias (Colombia 1964-66) I emailed Karen for her comments but have not heard back from her. • Peace Corps Volunteer Does 180 After Living in Africa: ‘Trump Was Right’ CONSERVATIVE TRIBUNE BY CHRIS GOLDEN JANUARY 19, 2018 AT 3:25AM   We’re just a little over halfway through the month of January, but I think we’ve pretty much established what the “covfefe” of 2018 is going to be: “s***hole countries.” It’s not even clear whether or not the president actually said those words, mind you, but it’s sparked a debate about the diversity lottery and other forms of visas for individuals from nations that wouldn’t ordinarily qualify for migration to the United States. Oh, and it’s also given the left an opportunity to vehemently declare the president a flaming racist, but they’ve also utilized taco salads for that selfsame purpose. (Seriously.) There have been plenty of . . .

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VULGAR FAVORS by Maureen Orth(Colombia)

  American Crime Story: Author Maureen Orth On the “Fact-Based Reporting” of Her Book Vulgar Favors   Before Andrew Cunanan shot designer Gianni Versace on the front steps of his Miami home in July 1997, Vanity Fair contributor Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) was already steeped in the mind of the serial killer. That murder is portrayed in the upcoming FX series American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which is based on Orth’s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. At the time of the murder, Orth had spent two months reporting for Vanity Fair on Cunanan and the events that might have led to him to kill four other people before finally targeting Versace. Even before law enforcement announced that Cunanan was a suspect, Orth and the fact checkers at Vanity Fair had a hunch they knew exactly who had pulled the trigger at Ocean Drive. The full story at: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/01/still-watching-versace-episode-2-maureen-orth

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“Bitter Vengeance: A Mystery Short Story” by Carole Sojka (Somali)

      Carole Sojka (Somali 1962-64) is the author of two mystery novels set in Florida featuring a female police detective named Andi Battaglia and her male partner, Greg Lamont — A Reason to Kill, and So Many Reasons to Die. She has also published a stand-alone mystery novel, Psychic Damage, set in Southern California. She has had a number of short stories published in various venues and is also on the board of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles. You can read her most recent story, “Bitter Vengeance ” at Kings River Life.  

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