The Peace Corps

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

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 2
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President Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79) MARLBORO COLLEGE PARTNERS WITH REFUGEE CENTERS
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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 1
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New Novel by Roland Merullo–The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and Dalai Lama
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New book by Charlie Peters, legendary Peace Corps Evaluation Director
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A Peace Corps Icon – The Baby Snugli
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What our children show us — and the world
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Bike Trip to Massawa and the Red Sea
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Why preserve the Peace Corps?
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Remember this Peace Corps poster?

The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 2

Nixon was no fan of ‘anything’ John F. Kennedy created. The Golden Age of the Peace Corps was over. The New Frontier for this agency came to an end on May 1, 1969, when Joe Blatchford was appointed the third Director and the second Republican to hold the job. (Jack Hood Vaughn was a Republican.) Blatchford had grown up wealthy in Beverly Hills where his father was involved with finances for the motion pictures. He attended UCLA and was captain of the tennis team. In 1958, when then Vice-President Nixon was charged by a mob in Venezuela, Blatchford began to think about what could be done to improve relationships between the U.S. and Latin America. With tennis friends and jazz musicians, he dropped out of college for a year and went on a goodwill tour in Latin America, playing tennis and jazz. He raised money for this venture with funds . . .

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President Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79) MARLBORO COLLEGE PARTNERS WITH REFUGEE CENTERS

Thanks to a “heads up” from Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80) MARLBORO COLLEGE PARTNERS WITH REFUGEE CENTERS FEB. 26, 2017, 12:06 PM BY MIKE FAHER Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79), the president of Marlboro College BRATTLEBORO – Working with refugees will become part of the curriculum for some Marlboro College graduate students later this year. Under a new partnership with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, students enrolled in the college’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program can apply to spend an academic year working in one of the committee’s resettlement centers scattered across the country. It’s meant as an immersive way for Marlboro master’s degree students to get practical experience in their field. It’s also “responsive to the needs of the world,” said Kara Hamilton, an admissions counselor at Marlboro’s graduate school who is coordinating what’s been dubbed the English for Refugees Fellowship. “How do you respond to the needs . . .

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 1

In the 56 years since the Peace Corps was launched in March 1961, the US government agency has sent more than 225,000 volunteers to 141 countries. Today, 7,213 PCVs are in 65 countries working in education, community economic development, the environment, agriculture, health and nutrition, and in youth development. Women make up 62% of volunteers serving overseas; minorities 29%. 7% of all volunteers are over the age of 50. That said, in the minds of many Americans, the Peace Corps is lost in time, as if it, too, was assassinated on the streets of Dallas. It is not uncommon to hear even informed Americans ask, “is there still a Peace Corps?” or “Is Shriver still the Director?” A question might be asked by this new administration: Is the Peace Corps worth the money and effort to fund and support? Trump and his people would not be the first administration (after . . .

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New Novel by Roland Merullo–The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and Dalai Lama

Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80) new novel has the Pope and the Dalai Lama taking a road trip. What happens when the Pope and the Dalai Lama decide they need an undercover vacation? During a highly publicized official visit at the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist. Before dawn, two of the most beloved and famous people on the planet don disguises, slip into a waiting car, and experience the countryside as regular people. Along for the ride are the Pope’s overwhelmed cousin Paolo and his estranged wife Rosa, an eccentric hairdresser with a lust for life who cannot resist the call to adventure—or the fun. Against a landscape of good humor, exploration and spiritual delight, not to mention the sublime rolling hills of Italy, The Delight of Being Ordinary showcases the charming sensibilities of Roland Merullo (whose bestselling Breakfast with Buddha . . .

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New book by Charlie Peters, legendary Peace Corps Evaluation Director

  For those who don’t know, Charlie Peters (PCW/staff 1961–65) put together the first self-evaluation unit in the federal government for the Peace Corps. It would develop by the government into the Inspector General’s Office that we have today. It grew out of an idea of another very early staff member Bill Haddad who told Shriver, as Coates Redmon relates in her book on the early days of the agency, Come As You Are, “Let’s get our own guys to go out there and find out what’s goin’ on, and if there’s something wrong, we’ll be the first to know and can correct it before the press gets onto it and starts screamin’.” Charlie Peters was named head of the Evaluation Division, and known in the agency as “The burr under the saddle.” He hired first-rate journalists and writers, including Fletcher Knebel, Mark Harris, Richard Rovere, Calvin Trillin, James Michener, Stan . . .

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A Peace Corps Icon – The Baby Snugli

  From a single tooth, an Anthropologist can reconstruct a whole culture, a whole epoch. Watching a single dedicated nun, one can deduct the rules of a whole Order, was the observation in the novel, “A Nun’s Story”. So it is with Peace Corps. The Snugli and the generations of baby carriers it inspired exemplify the Peace Corps mission. If every time, someone saw a baby being carried close to a parent, he or she thought, “Ah, that started with a Peace Corps Volunteer”. If every time, a Mom plunked a crying infant into a baby carrier, close to her heart, and the baby calmed immediately, the Mom said, as I did, “Thank you Peace Corps”, “Thank you Anne Moore” and “Thank you Mothers of Togo”,then, maybe we would not have to hear: “Why preserve the Peace Corps when no one cares or has even heard about it?” I think . . .

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What our children show us — and the world

   Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Jackie Dinneen recently the White House Liaison and also Director of Gifts and Grants Management at the Peace Corps. — JC Note What Our Children Show Us — and the World COMMENTARY From RealClearPolitics By Mark Salter, RCP Contributor February 22, 2017 • Our daughter accepted an assignment as a Peace Corps volunteer yesterday. I’ll leave out the particulars of the job except to note she will be living on the other side of the world in a remote location without electricity or plumbing, and she won’t be home for two years and two months. Her mother and father are experiencing equal measures of pride and dread, and suffering what you might call anticipatory separation anxiety. She won’t leave for several months yet, but I already find myself looking at her picture several times a day. We are going to miss and worry about her constantly. In . . .

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Bike Trip to Massawa and the Red Sea

My first trip to Massawa, Eritrea, was by bike. In January of 1963, our first group of PCVs to Ethiopia, some 280 + of us, assembled for a conference in Asmara. On Friday, January 11th, between our workshops, four of us: Tim Bodman, Charles Michener, Ernie Fox, and myself, decide to rent bikes for the six hours ride down the mountains, into the Danakil desert, and to the Red Sea. Starting before sunrise we peddled five miles to the edge of the mountains. At that level, we were above the clouds that enclose the valleys and encased the rugged mountains pikes and lay perfectly still, billows of white and gray, with the red sun coming up out of them like a sore thumb. It was cold when we pushed off down the mountain and for a while we were bothered with the wind that froze our fingers to the hand . . .

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Why preserve the Peace Corps?

A good friend recently asked me: “Why preserve the Peace Corps when no one cares or has even heard about it?” In this new administration where there is talk of cutting government departments and programs, many RPCVs are concerned about what will happen to the agency. Once before, under the Nixon Administration, the agency was cut and smothered into ACTION before being rescued by President Carter and returned to its lawful place as a separate agency. I want to write an article about why the Peace Corps is valuable to Americans and the world. I was hoping you might have specific examples to send me and give me permission to quote your name and years and country of service. Send your reply to: jcoyneone@gmail.com Here are some topics I’ve thought about, and you may have other issues and ideas to contribute. Thank you for your help.  Tell me your story. Most . . .

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Remember this Peace Corps poster?

Do you remember this painting by Peter Max Peter Max drew this Peace Corps poster, to the best of my memory, in the late ‘60s and it was using in Peace Corps recruiting on college campuses. For those new to the Peace Corps (or the world of art) Max was a master of Pop Art and the culture of the ‘60s. His work was first associated with the counter culture, neo-expressionism, and psychedelic movements in graphic design during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Max is famous for using American icons and symbols in his artwork. He has created paintings of several presidents, i.e. Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and the Clintons. He often features images of celebrities, politicians, athletes and sporting events and other pop culture subjects in his artwork, and, of course, the Peace Corps!  

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