Author - John Coyne

1
The Museum of the Peace Corps Experience
2
Do Africans Want Peace Corps Volunteers?
3
Joanna Luloff (Sri Lanka) reads from REMIND ME AGAIN WHAT HAPPENED
4
Early Peace Corps evaluator Dick Richter passes away
5
Review — OUR WOMAN IN HAVANA by Vicki Huddleston (Peru)
6
A Partial List of RPCV Ambassadors–7/3/2018
7
RPCV Jennifer Mamola’s Health Struggles (Uganda)
8
Part Six–First RPCV Ambassador: Parker Borg
9
Part Five–RPCV Ambassadors: Women in the State Department
10
Part Four –RPCV Ambassadors: Has the Peace Corps changed?

The Museum of the Peace Corps Experience

Introducing… The Museum that Celebrates Your Service! The Museum of the Peace Corps Experience (MPCE) debuts virtually in 2018 and will soon becomes brick and mortar in Washington, D.C.  Help us realize this dream! Imagine a museum designed to tell Peace Corps stories, displaying artifacts from all around the world . . .. A museum that connects people and increases global understanding . . .. A place which inspires young people to serve their communities at home and abroad . . .. A shrine to our common humanity, demonstrating that our connections are more fundamental than all the forces that divide us into separate cultures and nations. You can get involved from the very beginning of this new adventure!  Here’ s how — 1. Visit our new website! Learn more about the plans for developing the Museum. 2. Login to the Museum’s new website.  Click here to create a password and login. By logging in, you’ll be able to update your . . .

Read More

Do Africans Want Peace Corps Volunteers?

Thanks to ‘heads up’ about the following article  from Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) • Do Africans Want Peace Corps Volunteers? by Francis Tapon Contributor, Forbes Magazine Most tourists use the city of Tambacounda as a pitstop as they traverse Senegal. There’s little to see or do in town. There are even fewer touristic sites in the surrounding villages. Still, sometimes it’s the unpopular destinations that yield the most interesting stories. The United States Peace Corps operates in safe, poor African countries. It avoids dangerous regions. The Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) in Tambacounda invited me to celebrate the Fourth of July with them. We had no fireworks but we shared some hotdogs and Doritos under an American flag. I asked them, “Is the Peace Corps useful in Senegal?” One PVC said that they had trouble convincing locals to plant their own crops because they knew a . . .

Read More

Joanna Luloff (Sri Lanka) reads from REMIND ME AGAIN WHAT HAPPENED

  This summer and fall Joanna R. Luloff (Sri Lanka 1996–98) will read from her novel Remind Me Again What Happened (Algonquin Books, 2018) at the locations listed below . She describes the book this way: After Claire, a journalist working in Tamil Nadu, contracts encephalitis and loses much of her memory, she becomes reliant on her estranged husband and best friend to return to an understanding of herself. In 2012, she published the collection  The Beach at Galle Road: Stories from Sri Lanka (Algonquin Books), which won the  Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Fiction Award in 2013. • Monday, July 16, 7 p.m. Harvard Book Store with Heather Abel 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138 Tuesday, July 17, 7:30 p.m. Words 179 Maplewood Ave, Maplewood, NJ 07040 Wednesday, July 18, 7 p.m. RJ Julia Booksellers 768 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT 06443 Thursday, July 19, 7 p.m.    Savoy Bookshop 10 Canal St, Westerly, RI 02891 Wednesday, July . . .

Read More

Early Peace Corps evaluator Dick Richter passes away

  Richard (Dick) William Richter, 88, died on June 29, 2018 in Issaquah, WA. He is survived by Joan, his wife of 67 years, two sons, Dave (Jenni) and Rob, as well as granddaughter India and grandson Kai, and eight nieces and nephews. Earlier in his career, shortly after the Peace Corps was started, Dick was an evaluator, traveling to nine different countries, including Afghanistan. Subsequently, he became Deputy Director of the program in Kenya, where he lived for two years with his wife and two young sons, traveling throughout East Africa. This experience opened the world for the Richter family and launched a lifetime of traveling to distant lands. Dick, who was raised in New York City, next became an award-winning journalist, working for newspapers and television in New York and Washington, DC. After retiring from ABC News and WETA, he was appointed President of Radio Free Asia. Supported by . . .

Read More

Review — OUR WOMAN IN HAVANA by Vicki Huddleston (Peru)

  Our Woman in Havana A Diplomat’s Chronicle of America’s Long Struggle With Castro’s Cuba BY Ambassador Vicki Huddleston (Peru 1964–66) The Overlook Press 304pages $29.95 Reviewed by Patricia Taylor Edmisten (Peru, 1962–64) • The title of Ambassador Vicki Huddleston’s memoir, Our Woman in Havana, is a riff on Graham Greene’s novel, Our Man in Havana, published in 1958. In the novel, Graham sardonically takes on British intelligence, especially M16 and its use of Cuban informants. Ambassador Huddleston, by contrast, has written a forthright memoir covering the years 1999-2002 when she worked as Chief of the US Interests Section in Havana.  As backstory to those years, she provides an interesting narrative of the historical events leading to early US attempts to dominate Cuba and shape its future.  In a brief epilogue, she brings us up to the year 2017 when hopes for a continuing Cuban Spring were jeopardized with Donald . . .

Read More

A Partial List of RPCV Ambassadors–7/3/2018

LATEST LIST OF RPCV AMBASSADORS—7/3/2018 Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, U.S. Ambassador to Malta (2012-16); (PCV Oman 1980-82) Charles C. Adams Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Finland (2015); (PCV Kenya 1968-70) Frank Almaguer, U. S. Ambassador to Honduras (1999 to 2002) ; (PCV Belize 1967–69) & (PC/CD Honduras 1976-79) Michael R. Arietti, U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda (2005-2008); (PCV India 1969-71) Charles R. Baquet III, U.S. Ambassador to Republic of Djibouti (1991-94); (PCV Somalia 1965-67) Robert Blackwill, U. S. Ambassador to India (2001-03); (PCV Malawi 1964-66) Julia Chang Bloch, U.S. Ambassador to Nepal (1989-1993); (PCV Malaysia 1964-66) Parker Borg, U.S. Ambassador to Mail (1981-1984) & Iceland (1993-1996); (PCV Philippines 1961-63) Richard Boucher, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2009-2013), (PCV Senegal 1973–75) Peter Burleigh, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka (1995-1997); (PCV Nepal 1963-65) Katherine Hubay Canavan (formerly Peterson), U.S. Ambassador to Botswana (2005-2008); (PCV Zaire 1973-76) Johnnie Carson, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya (1999-2003) & Zimbabwe (1995-97) . . .

Read More

RPCV Jennifer Mamola’s Health Struggles (Uganda)

  Jennifer Mamola, an advocate for HJPCV and RPCV from Uganda 2012-2013, shares her story about mental and physical health struggles and solutions during and after Peace Corps. • My Health Struggles by Jennifer Mamola (Uganda 2012–13) 23 June 2018   Flexibility, one might argue, is a key quality for Peace Corps Volunteers. It starts with the application process, continues with packing up your life to leave for service, sees you through your first bout of illness, and follows you on your return home. We rightly value this trait. However, Volunteers shouldn’t be pressured to flex on our health. As a Volunteer and public servant, I want to believe that I’m an iron woman. However, I admit that I experienced mental health struggles during Peace Corps service. Later, I also experienced severe physical health issues. April 2018 was a significant month for me. It marked five years since I lost . . .

Read More

Part Six–First RPCV Ambassador: Parker Borg

Parker Borg was a PCV with the initial group of Volunteers to the Philippines, 1961-63. While not from Yale, but Dartmouth, Class of ’61, Parker was nevertheless “pale and male.” What made him rare in the State Department was that he was an RPCV. He would be nominated by three separate Presidents for Ambassadorial positions: Mali, Burma, and Iceland, but never went to Burma because of Senate objection to Burma’s human rights problems. When first nominated to go to Mali in 1981, the Peace Corps Director, Loret Ruppe, was thrilled by the news. Finally, the State Department would have an RPCV Ambassador. It had taken the State Department twenty years to fulfill JFK’s hope for the Peace Corps, that someday RPCVs would fill the ranks of U.S. Ambassadors. (We all know how slow the government bureaucracy is. Peter McPherson (Peru 1965-66) was named the Director of AID also in 1981, making . . .

Read More

Part Five–RPCV Ambassadors: Women in the State Department

JFK’s call to the Peace Corps men and women “from every race and walk of life.” One woman who responded was Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where her mother was a secretary and her father an attorney, and where she had developed an international interest early. In her public high school, Hebrew was offered because of the large local Jewish population, so she decided to study the language. This interest led to participation in an international exchange program in Israel (1978-1979), while she was still in college. “I was too young to hear the President Kennedy’s speech, but as a young child I saw the commercials of young American men and women working in far off places training the trainer. The people in the commercials came in a variety of ethnicities and it was easy to imagine some of the Africans might even be African Americans helping others. The work . . .

Read More

Part Four –RPCV Ambassadors: Has the Peace Corps changed?

From the advantage point of their Foreign Service, and their role as Ambassadors, these RPCVs have noticed how the Peace Corps has changed over the years. At one time the Peace Corps was an organization that prided itself on sending Volunteers to parts of the world where no one else in the U.S. would go. No longer. The new rules circumscribe the ability of Volunteers to serve anywhere there is a hint of danger. Today’s Peace Corps, says these Ambassadors, is increasingly risk averse. One Ambassador had a daughter serving in China. She was issued a cell phone so that she could call the office regularly, and risked termination if she didn’t. As he said, “This completely changes the nature of the Peace Corps Volunteer experience, and makes a Volunteer service less meaningful. It becomes like any other job. The slogan I used to think really encapsulated the PC experience, . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.