The Peace Corps

Agency history, current news and stories of the people who are/were both on staff and Volunteers.

1
What is wrong with the Office of Third Goal in the Peace Corps? (Washington, D.C.)
2
Goodreads singles out B.A. East (Malawi) and TWO PUMPS FOR THE BODY MAN
3
Peace Corps to cut 20% of its workforce
4
So well remembered — Judith & Michael Jerald (Turkey)
5
Elaine Chao Stands By Her Man (Not Her Husband)
6
Yes, Virginia, there are RPCVs who support Trump
7
New book by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey (Ethiopia)
8
Random comments from 1965 Peace Corps Conference (Washington, D.C.)
9
Niki Tsongas, wife Of Paul Tsongas (Ethiopia) retiring From Congress
10
First Peace Corps Conference: RPCVs on the Couch (Washington, D.C.)

What is wrong with the Office of Third Goal in the Peace Corps? (Washington, D.C.)

  The DC Office of the Third Goal has 16 employees — yes, 16 employees. I wonder what do they do all day? After five months of asking by Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65), they still have not listed any books written by RPCVs or Peace Corps staff on their webpage. The ‘official’ Mission Statement of the Peace Corps states:. The Office of Third Goal and Returned Volunteer Services (3GL) engages the Peace Corps community to further intercultural understanding and supports Volunteers through career transitions. Is there any better way for Americans of all ages to learn about the developing world than to read the prose and poetry of RPCVs? Com’on Peace Corps turn to former Volunteers to tell the world about living and life overseas. They know the story and they have written brilliantly about their experiences for 56 years. Wise up and use their books.  Office of Third Goal (3GL)* Mission . . .

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Goodreads singles out B.A. East (Malawi) and TWO PUMPS FOR THE BODY MAN

  Goodreads.com published the following review. • Two Pumps for the Body Man by B.A. East (Goodreads Author) 4.44 [out of 5 starts]·  9 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews Jeff Mutton walks the diplomatic beat protecting American officials in Saudi Arabia. An expert with guns, knives, grenades, and rockets, he’s survived assaults and sieges, stabbings and chokeholds, car bombs, carjackings, criminal hits, and countless other enemy threats. But instinct tells Mutton the menace he now faces dwarfs all these killers combined. The fool-his foot fetish has him in hot water again! Part soft-boiled noir, part literary satire, Two Pumps for the Body Man is an unserious look at a serious situation, a grim reminder that no matter how high the barricade, how sharp the razor wire, there is no front line to the War on Terror. And the enemy is everywhere, even within. Website — https://beneastbooks.com Twitter —hBenEast Genre: Fiction, Humor and Comedy Member of Goodread since: January 2014 B.A. East taught English . . .

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Peace Corps to cut 20% of its workforce

  Thanks to a ‘head up’ from John Pettit (Ethiopia 1965-67). • Peace Corps to Cut 20 Percent of Its Workforce By Eric Katz August 16, 2017 — GovExec.com   The Peace Corps is eliminating more than 20 percent of its workforce, the agency announced to employees earlier this month, in an effort to meet the demands in an executive order from President Trump. The agency is not planning at this point to lay off any of its employees, according to internal documents obtained by Government Executive, though it has not ruled out the possibility. Peace Corps employees working domestically serve on five-year term limits and must depart the agency at the expiration of that period. It is now “sunsetting” about 200 of its roughly 900 stateside workers, meaning when those employees hit their “not to exceed” dates they will depart the agency and their positions will not be filled. If the employees . . .

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So well remembered — Judith & Michael Jerald (Turkey)

I received a note from Ken Hill (Turkey 1965-67) about the Instagram message from Judith Jerald (Turkey 1965-67) that he received and I contacted Judith who wrote back, “There are not many people who would be interested in this, but since many of you may have had similar experiences, I am sending it along to you.  It touched my heart and confirmed for me, once again, that although we were ( mostly) very young Volunteers, we perhaps had more of an impact on our students and neighbors than we thought at the time. It has been 50 years since we left Turkey, so I find this pretty amazing. Meral found me on Instagram, and the conversation we had is below.” • Hi Dear Judith this is Meral from Kozan.  | If you are my teacher I will be very happy to find you. Because you have affected very much to our life . . .

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Elaine Chao Stands By Her Man (Not Her Husband)

Former (and briefly) Peace Corps Director Elaine Chao (1991-92) looks on lovingly as President  Trump defended those gathered in a Charlottesville park to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”

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Yes, Virginia, there are RPCVs who support Trump

  As I have mentioned a few times, with my long experience with the agency, I have come to the conclusion that Peace Corps Volunteers reflect our society. So, we do have Trump supporters. Here is a thoughtful comment from a thoughtful woman who was an older PCV serving from 2013 to 2015 in Eastern Europe. JC • I appreciate your comments, John, because they show me a side of our president that I would have no way of knowing otherwise. As far as his morality issues, and they are legion because his past is far from stellar, my hope is he is today a better person. I am impressed that he seems to have surrounded himself with wise counsel — people who know and love God, Bible studies in the WH, etc. I believe he truly has a heart for this country, the military, veterans, and the American people as . . .

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New book by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey (Ethiopia)

  Religions and mythologies from around the world teach that God or gods created humans. Atheist, humanist, and materialist critics, meanwhile, have attempted to turn theology on its head, claiming that religion is a human invention. In Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods, E. Fuller Torrey (PC Doctor/Ethiopia 1964-66) draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to propose a startling answer to the ultimate question.  It locates the origin of gods within the human brain, arguing that religious belief is a by-product of evolution. Based on an idea originally proposed by Charles Darwin, Torrey marshals evidence that the emergence of gods was an incidental consequence of several evolutionary factors. Using data ranging from ancient skulls and artifacts to brain imaging, primatology, and child development studies, this book traces how new cognitive abilities gave rise to new behaviors. For instance, autobiographical memory, the ability to project ourselves backward and forward in time, gave Homo sapiens a competitive advantage. . . .

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Random comments from 1965 Peace Corps Conference (Washington, D.C.)

“One businessman conducted a market survey among the returned Volunteers to find out if it was really true that Peace Corps members preferred beer to whiskey. His conclusion is that this is a misguided myth of the past.” Newton Minnow Former Director of the Federal Communications Commission.   • “My definition of a coward is a Volunteer who returns from work overseas and then goes to work for Peace Corps, Washington.” Dick Irish (Philippines 1962-64) Dick worked at the Peace Corps in the Office of Volunteers Support. • “I was one of those white Southerners that had to go out of the country to really become enlightened on the problems of race in the South and so I feel that it is my obligation to go back to the South and do something about it.” Don Boucher (Chile 1962-64) • “A special participant said he was pleased with the showing of former . . .

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Niki Tsongas, wife Of Paul Tsongas (Ethiopia) retiring From Congress

   Congresswoman Niki Tsongas announces she will not run for reelection  by the Boston Herald’s Chris Villani Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, who has represented Lowell [MA] for nearly a decade, announced today that she will not run for reelection, citing a desire to spend more time with her family. Tsongas’s statement: I have learned in life that there is a time for endings and for new beginnings. After much thought, I have decided that this is one of those times. The time feels right most especially because of my desire to spend more time enjoying and celebrating my wonderful and growing family. Her late husband, Paul Tsongas (Ethiopia 1962-64), was a Democratic Congressman, and served as a Senator from Massachusetts. He made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1992 as Bill Clinton captured the party nomination on the way to winning two terms in the White House. Paul Tsongas died . . .

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First Peace Corps Conference: RPCVs on the Couch (Washington, D.C.)

Before the first Conference for Returned PCVs, the Peace Corps sent out 3300 questionnaires and 2300 were returned. Gary Bergthold (Ethiopia 1962-64) who was in 1965 working in the Peace Corps Medical Division, and chairman of the conference committee that read and tabulated the questionnaires told the opening session, “Elmo Roper, the American pollster, couldn’t believe it. This tremendous response, plus the fact that 90 per cent of those who replied said they wanted to attend this conference.” He went on to say. “The first thing that becomes clear is the remarkable diversity of opinion among returned Volunteers. The greatest agreement on any one question was less than 15 per cent.”   This was most obvious at the plenary session when Sargent Shriver called to the podium Ruth Whitney (Ghana 1962-64) and let her have her say as the Peace Corp Volunteer reported in its April 1965 Volunteer Magazine. Ruth, . . .

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