Miscellany

As it says!

1
Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes: “Tables Turn under the Olive Tree”
2
Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes from refugee camp in Greece
3
Fox News fires RPCV Bob Beckel (Philippines)
4
F.F. Quigley (Thailand) seeks a way to raise the numbers at Marlboro College
5
Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) wins City Council seat in Morgantown, WV
6
Lets help Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) win in West Virginia … make a donation to this RPCV!
7
Protests greet Charles Murray (Thailand) at Indiana
8
RPCV Ned Butler (Panama) gave a talk about the Guna (Kuna) tribe of the San Blas Islands
9
“Stories of People Moving Places” to be presented by S. Olivia Donaldson (Benin)
10
RPCV Mike Cox (Malawi) has last word at EPA

Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes: “Tables Turn under the Olive Tree”

  Tables Turn Under the Olive Tree PLEASE EXCUSE English errors and typos as due to time and priorities, I have little editing time 🙂 • Much of today was playing with kids under the olive tree. We brought some books from the warehouse and kids were looking through them. One girl hung on to one at which point a boy grabbed it from her. This sparked them hitting each other and then she burst into tears. It’s so very hard as unless you have the exact same thing for every child there is a fight. Sometimes I find that I lose my temper a bit but mostly it just ruffles my mood when I have to break up a fight or tell the kids repeatedly to stop in as many languages as I can. I once actually stood in between 2 boys who were fighting and closed my eyes as I . . .

Read More

Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes from refugee camp in Greece

  A “typical” day, serving tea and the toilet: the 3 T’s PLEASE EXCUSE English errors and typos as due to time and priorities, I have little editing time 🙂 I’ve been asked who are the volunteers. Samos Volunteers are a privately funded organization and work with many partners on the island. Samos Volunteers is funded only through private donations and crowd funding which is remarkable to me. What this means is that most (if not all) people are pure volunteers and come to donate their time and energy. Some stay for a month but most stay much longer and most are returnees (have already volunteered earlier and come back). This speaks volumes about the organization. Some volunteers come with their parents or vice versa with their kids. We have 2 sets right now which is inspiring to see. Many are in their 20s and 30s but there are some older volunteers . . .

Read More

Fox News fires RPCV Bob Beckel (Philippines)

Fox News this Friday announced that it had fired “The Five” co-host Bob Beckel (Philippines 1971-72) for a remark he made to an employee of color. “Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” a network spokesperson said in a short statement. Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, lawyers handling a growing racial discrimination lawsuit filed by current and former Fox employees, said in a joint statement that Beckel told one of their clients, a black IT worker, that he was leaving the office while the employee serviced his computer because the employee is black. When the IT worker filed a complaint, Beckel attempted to intimidate him to withdraw it, Wigdor and Christensen said. “As with our other 22 clients, we intend on holding 21st Century Fox accountable for these actions and will be filing multiple other complaints in other matters next week,” Wigdor and . . .

Read More

F.F. Quigley (Thailand) seeks a way to raise the numbers at Marlboro College

Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79 & CD Thailand 2013-15 plus the former head of the NPCA) has a new problem as the president of Marlboro College, in Vermont. A recent study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers is showing that tuition discounting at private colleges and universities is straining colleges and their enrollment is still weak. Colleges are now worried about the sustainability of their tuition discounting strategies. “We offer an incredibly generous financial aid package, and someone else increases it by $10,000 or $15,000,” Kevin is quoted in an interview with Inside Higher Education. “We talk to the students or parents and they say, ‘We love Marlboro, we love what you do there, but they just sweetened the pot by $10,000 or $15,000.’ What can you do about it?” Marlboro is in many ways an extreme example of the pressures placed on small colleges. It enrolls . . .

Read More

Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) wins City Council seat in Morgantown, WV

Post-Election Statement I am proud of the positive, idea-driven campaign we’ve run. We’ve introduced big and essential ideas: expanding our borders in a fair and comprehensive way in order to increase revenue; fixing our roads and sidewalks; preserving and enhancing our recreational and green spaces; pursuing every grant for which we are eligible; and creating a healthy, prosperous city—the kind of great small city that allows us all the best chance at success. Progress is never easy, and there will be obstacles put in the way of our city’s success. With tonight’s victory, however, I am confident that there is a clear path forward for us to create the dynamic, healthy, and successful city we deserve. —Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) A Morgantown, WV referendum on Trump. And he lost.    

Read More

Lets help Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) win in West Virginia … make a donation to this RPCV!

Today I asked Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) how his campaign for City Council was going. He replied: The campaign has gotten a little ugly. The other side tried to red-bait me because of my association with Mountaineers for Progress (an organization that helps poor people)! “Anticipating that they’d go after my mental-health history,” he went on, “I beat them to the punch with ‘Tom Eagleton is my political role model: Voices’” I urge you to take a look at Mark’s column that was published in USA Today. Mark’s campaign site is www.MarkForWestVirginia.com

Read More

Protests greet Charles Murray (Thailand) at Indiana

Tuesday students rallied outside as Charles Murray (Thailand 1965-67), the controversial co-author of The Bell Curve, gave a talk at Indiana University at Bloomington. Scores of faculty members signed an open letter calling the invitation to Murray — by the campus chapter of the American Enterprise Institute — “highly irresponsible and detrimental to the university community.” Police were visible outside the building where Murray spoke. Students shared on Twitter some of the signs and chalkings that opposed his visit. Murray’s talk took place without disruptions, although chants from those outside could be heard. The event was open to all Indiana students and faculty members, but attendees needed to reserve tickets in advance.

Read More

RPCV Ned Butler (Panama) gave a talk about the Guna (Kuna) tribe of the San Blas Islands

  Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77) • Former volunteer talks about changes in Panamanian tribe Mount Desert Islander (Bar Harbor, Maine) March 31, 2017     BAR HARBOR, MAINE — Ned Butler presented a talk and slide show about the Guna (Kuna) tribe of the San Blas Islands in Panama when he visited the Jesup Memorial Library on Friday, April 7. When Butler was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the 1960s, he spent time working on tribal development projects with members of the tribe. His talk explored the history and development of the Guna tribe over the past 50 years. Butler covered the history of the tribe as well as why the tribe decided to invite the Peace Corps to the region to help with tribal community development. He also highlighted three of the projects that the Peace Corps has worked on and the role that . . .

Read More

“Stories of People Moving Places” to be presented by S. Olivia Donaldson (Benin)

  UMF Public Classroom talk asks “how migration transforms people” —April 18   FARMINGTON, ME  (April 5, 2017)—The University of Maine at Farmington welcomes the public to “Stories of People Moving Places,” the next presentation in the UMF Public Classroom Series by S. Olivia Donaldson, UMF assistant professor of French. This talk takes place at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 18, in the UMF Emery Community Arts Center. It is free and open to the public. This engaging presentation spans contemporary literature, comics, art, film and digital media as it asks how migration transforms individuals, families, communities and nations. Why do people move from one place to another? Where do they go and when? What are the risks and rewards of border crossings? Donaldson’s research on migrant women writers has appeared in the journal, Reconstruction; is forthcoming in the journal, Contemporary Women’s Writing; and the anthology, . . .

Read More

RPCV Mike Cox (Malawi) has last word at EPA

  Thanks to a “heads up” from Catherine Varchaver (APCD Kyrgyzstan 1995-97) about this article.   • EPA Staffer leaves with a bang, blasting agency policies under Trump by Joe Davidson/Columnist Washington Post — April 7 When Mike Cox quit, he did so with gusto. After 25 years, he retired last week from the Environmental Protection Agency with a tough message for the boss, Administrator Scott Pruitt. “I, along with many EPA staff, are becoming increasing alarmed about the direction of EPA under your leadership … ” Cox said in a letter to Pruitt. “The policies this Administration is advancing are contrary to what the majority of the American people, who pay our salaries, want EPA to accomplish, which are to ensure the air their children breath is safe; the land they live, play, and hunt on to be free of toxic chemicals; and the water they drink, the lakes they swim . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.