The Peace Corps

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

1
Part Five–RPCV Ambassadors: Women in the State Department
2
The Museum of the Peace Corps Experience Expands
3
Part Four –RPCV Ambassadors: Has the Peace Corps changed?
4
Part Two — RPCV Ambassadors talk about passing the Foreign Service Examination
5
RPCV Ambassadors: Not Pale, Male, and Yale
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Marnie Mueller (Ecuador) — Her Early Life Interned As A Child
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First Peace Corps Volunteer to die in service memorialized in Bolivar, MO 56 years after his death
8
Representative Poe lauds Peace Corps and advocates for Health Justice for Volunteers
9
Review — BORDER PENANCE by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras)
10
Sex & $$$ in The Peace Corps IG Investigations (Washington, DC)

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 . . .

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The Museum of the Peace Corps Experience Expands

RPCVs of the Columbia River Peace Corps Association in Portland, Oregon, began developing the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience many years ago. As with so many Peace Corps endeavors, it began as an idea and with persistence and hard work, it grew.  The Museum of the Peace Corps Experience is not an official project of the Peace Corps.  It is now, however, an affiliate member of the National Peace Corps Association and it is growing.  The Museum, initially, focused on presenting exhibits.  Now, it hopes to have a brick and motor place to welcome the public all the time.  Please click on their new website to learn more about the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience and donate, contribute and support this incredibly important project.  See the video of RPCV Pat Wand speaking at the 2018 Shriver Leadership Summit Here is the link and the Introduction from the webpage:https://www.museumofthepeacecorpsexperience.org/cpages/home . . .

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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, . . .

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Part Two — RPCV Ambassadors talk about passing the Foreign Service Examination

  Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley Ambassador to Malta (2012-16); (PCV Oman 1980-82)   The majority of the RPCV Ambassadors interviewed for this article said the Foreign Service was not something that they had considered before they saw the State Department in action during their Peace Corps service. But there were exceptions. Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-–Winstanley, who was in the Peace Corps in Oman (1980-82), did decide on diplomat service as a PCV when she had the opportunity to meet and make friends with some of the younger diplomats and heard firsthand about their work while she was still a Volunteer. That led directly to her taking the exam. • Ambassador Thomas N. Hull Ambassador to Sierra Leone (2004-2007); (PCV Sierra Leone 1968-70) Thomas N. Hull, Ambassador to Sierra Leone (2004-2007), a PCV in Sierra Leone (1968-70), said that reading The Ugly American got him interested in the Foreign Service. “More than JFK’s appeal . . .

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RPCV Ambassadors: Not Pale, Male, and Yale

  One of JFK’s most famous speeches was given in the old Cow Palace Auditorium in San Francisco, on November 2, 1960, six days before the presidential election. It was Kennedy’s last major address before the election. It was a speech of six single-spaced pages, less than 3000 words. Written by Ted Sorenson and JFK it was entitled, “Staffing A Foreign Policy For Peace.” In it Kennedy proposed a new government agency, “The Peace Corps” using that name for the very first time. And with the “Peace Corps” Kennedy  envisioned a way to change America’s diplomatic service. Kennedy began by demonstrating how ill-equipped our foreign service was, pointing out that the Lenin Institute for Political Warfare exported, each year, hundreds of agents to disrupt free institutions in the uncommitted world. Kennedy said, “A friend of mine visiting the Soviet Union last year met a young Russian couple studying Swahili and African . . .

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Marnie Mueller (Ecuador) — Her Early Life Interned As A Child

  Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963–65) was born in the Tule Lake Japanese American Segregation Camp in northern California where her Caucasian parents went to work to try to make an intolerable situation tolerable for the people imprisoned there. Her father, a pacifist and an economist, active in the progressive Co-operative Movement, was responsible for working with the internees — Nisei, Kibei, and Issei — to set up the camp wide member operated co-op store system; her mother signed on to teach in the camp schools.   “My parents had gone there by choice to try to help people who were incarcerated.  And while they worked, I was lovingly cared for by an Issei husband and wife. This is not to say that there weren’t difficult personal repercussions on me and my family, but it’s taking me an entire book to try to come to terms with it.” Marnie is the author . . .

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First Peace Corps Volunteer to die in service memorialized in Bolivar, MO 56 years after his death

• A memorial service was held in Bolivar, Missouri on April 22nd for David Crozier and Larry Radley organized by the Missouri RPCV group. These PCVs were the first two Volunteers who gave their lives in service. April 22nd was the 56th anniversary of the day they died, April 22, 1962. Speaking at the event were Larry’s brother Gordan Radley (Malawi 1968-70), his sister, Elena Radley Rozenman (Colombia 1963-65), PCA president Glenn Blumhorst (Guatemala 1988-91), and others. You can see the service on this video.   Columbia, MO – On April 22, 2018 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from around Missouri and the United States gathered in Bolivar, MO, at Dunnegan Memorial Park and Greenwood Cemetery to remember David Crozier. Crozier died in a plane accident on April 22, 1962, in Colombia, South America. With fellow Peace Corps Volunteer Larry Radley, who also perished, they were the first Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide to die in . . .

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Representative Poe lauds Peace Corps and advocates for Health Justice for Volunteers

Thank you to Sara Thompson for forwarding this video of Representative Poe speaking on behalf of Peace Corps and Health Justice for Volunteers.

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Review — BORDER PENANCE by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras)

  Border Penance (short stories) Lawrence F. Lihosit ( (Honduras 1975–77) CreateSpace February 2018 (originally published in 2009) 128 pages $10.95 (paperback) Reviewed by David H. Greegor (Mexico 2007–11) • Earlier this year I reviewed Mr. Lihosit’s book, Americruise, which I found to be a fun and eventually engaging read once I came to understand his wacky humor.  Border Penance, a set of six serious short stories set in Mexico and Central America, was intended to be suspense-filled. I found them mildly interesting, but not suspenseful. Furthermore, the stories varied considerably in their coherence and quality. The first story, Holiday Obituary, was so confusing I had to read it twice and even then it didn’t seem to match the synopsis that Mr. Lihosit included. One of the problems that the author has is that he puts too much extraneous, unrelated detail into his stories so that the reader can’t follow the thread. . . .

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Sex & $$$ in The Peace Corps IG Investigations (Washington, DC)

  Peace Corps Office of Inspector General — Semi-annual Report to Congress The Investigation Unit is authorized to investigate waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in both domestic and international Peace Corps programs and operations. OIG investigators have full law enforcement authority including the authority, upon probable cause, to seek and execute warrants for arrest, search premises, and seize evidence. They are authorized to make arrests without a warrant while engaged in official duties and to carry firearms. The unit investigates allegations of both criminal wrongdoing and administrative misconduct involving Peace Corps staff, contractors, Volunteers, and other individuals conducting transactions with the Peace Corps. Allegations are made by Peace Corps stakeholders such as Volunteers, trainees, staff, contractors, other federal entities, and the general public. OIG receives these allegations through audits, evaluations, hotline complaints, and other means. In addition, OIG relies upon the investigative support of the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). Criminal and Misconduct Related Investigations In 2009, Peace . . .

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