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New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2018
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Rachel Cowan (Ecuador), innovative rabbi, is dead at 77
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RPCV Author & Wife
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Focus on the Peace Corps and Diplomatic Careers
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Summertime Quiz Answers, Number Two
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RPCVs Don’t Fade Away
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Peace Corps Withdrawing From Global Seed Health Hurts Medical Training in Africa
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Peace Corps Volunteers removed from St. Vincent and the Grenadines
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Another Summertime Book Quiz About RPCV Books
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Answers to the Weekend Book Quiz

New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2018

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — Click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We are now including a one-sentence description — provided by the author — for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order the book and 2) to volunteer to review it. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • Then Again Ben Berman (Zimbabwe 1998-2000) (Short prose pieces) Vine Leaves Press August 2018 58 pages $9.99 pre-order (paperback) The interrelated short prose pieces in Ben Berman’s Then Again explore a life outside of chronological order, bounce back and forth between foreign adventures . . .

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Rachel Cowan (Ecuador), innovative rabbi, is dead at 77

  Rabbi Rachel Cowan in 2006. She converted to Judaism in 1980 and became a leader who emphasized egalitarian small-group circles rather than large temple services. Photo: Mat Szwajkos/Getty Images byJoseph Berger  New York Times Sept 1, 2018 • Rabbi Rachel Cowan, a Mayflower descendant who converted to Judaism and became a prominent innovator in three nontraditional movements in that faith, died on Friday at her home in Manhattan. She was 77. The cause was brain cancer, her family said. Rabbi Cowan was a leader in helping couples navigate the shoals of mixed marriage, injecting contemplative practices like meditation and mindfulness into religious life, and designing “healing services” to comfort the sick and dying. After she learned of her cancer more than two years ago, her friends held twice-weekly services of songs, psalms and readings for her, and a flavor of that so-called healing movement was evident in one service. . . .

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Focus on the Peace Corps and Diplomatic Careers

Photo credit to Cecil Stoughton, White House After their Peace Corps service, many volunteers go on to international careers. Although State does not track former PCVs in the department, an average of 5% of new Foreign Service Officers in the last four entering classes reported Peace Corps experience and more than 60 former volunteers have served as U.S. ambassadors. For USAID, a 2015 report to Congress pegs the percentage of former volunteers or staff in the agency at 28%. Focus on Peace Corps and Diplomatic Careers How the Peace Corps Transformed the Foreign Service by John Coyne Joining the Foreign Service: the Experiences of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers by John Coyne First Ambassador with Peace Corps Experience: Parker Borg by John Coyne Responding to the Call for Volunteers “From Every Race and Walk of Life” by John Coyne Go to: www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/      

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Summertime Quiz Answers, Number Two

Summertime Quiz                    Country                              Author The Measure of a Dream                                           Tunisia                         Lora Begin  (1989-91) Published by Peace Corps Writers, 2012 How to Cook a Crocodile                                            Gabon                        Bonnie Black  (1996-98) Published by Peace Corps Writers, 2010 Dusty Land: Stories of Two Teachers                     Botswana                   John Ashford  (1990-93) Published by Peace Corps Writers, . . .

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RPCVs Don’t Fade Away

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67) In South Florida, Donna Shalala (Iran 1962-64), the 77-year-old former federal health and human services secretary, won a close primary for an open House seat against a younger male state legislator who criticized her from the left.

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Peace Corps Withdrawing From Global Seed Health Hurts Medical Training in Africa

  (Thanks to Alana deJoseph, Mali 1992-94 and Producer of The Towering Task, a Peace Corps documentary, for the information on this story) Peace Corps and Global Seed Health were in partnership for five years to train medical professionals in Africa. Peace Corps is terminating the partnership as of September 30, 2018. (See: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/peace-corps-response-and-global-health-service-partnership-end-relationship-9-30-18/) Now comes an interview on PBS with reporter Fred de Sam Lazaro about the consequence in Africa of the end of this partnership.  Dr. Vanessa Kerry is the Director of Global Seed Health. She is attributed with the following explanation:  “Dr. Kerry blames the Peace Corps decision politics and says the resulting cutbacks will force a significant scaling back from five countries to two, including Uganda, and far fewer American medical volunteers.” Peace Corps declined to comment.  Here is the story from PBS. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/resisting-the-african-brain-drain-that-has-created-a-health-care-crisis A “brain drain” is sending many of Africa’s highly skilled workers abroad–and leaving . . .

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Peace Corps Volunteers removed from St. Vincent and the Grenadines

US Peace Corps volunteers removed from SVG August 28, 2018 The United States Embassy in Barbados has confirmed that U.S. Peace Corps volunteers have been removed from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The embassy, however, told iWitness News on Tuesday that the development is not linked to crime in SVG. “They were not relocated because of the perceived ‘crime situation’,” Gaïna Dávila, acting public affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, told iWitness News via email on Tuesday. “They were relocated because of a potential specific safety concern,” Dávila said. There have been claims on social media that the Peace Corps volunteers were removed from SVG because of the crime situation.

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Another Summertime Book Quiz About RPCV Books

Thanks to Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-96) who suggested, “How about listing titles and we guess the country and author?” Great idea, Leita! Everyone Play the Summertime Quiz! Country                                      Author The Measure of a Dream How to Cook a Crocodile Dusty Land: Stories of Two Teachers Roller Skating in the Desert Those Were the Days First Come Love, Then Comes Malaria Heart of Palms Leopards at My Door Tales from a Muzungu One of Us: Sex, Violence, Injustice Glimpses through the Forest Peace Corps Epiphanies Dodging Machetes Never Gonna Cease My Wanderin Different Latitudes Just Say Yes The Empire and the Elephant The Vodka Diaries                                       .

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Answers to the Weekend Book Quiz

#1. They took us in the Land Rover, Mike and me, with Kim Buck driving. We had planned to leave that morning, as it was a good four hours’ drive, although it was only about sixty miles from Mbeya. An African Season by Leonard Levitt (Tanzania 1963-65)       #2. I got my Peace Corps application at the post office in Red Bluff, California, put it on the table in the kitchen, and walked around it for ten days without touching it, as though it were primed to detonate—as indeed it was—trying to convince myself that for a forty-eight-year-old farmer the idea of Peace Corps service was impractical and foolhardy. Living Poor by Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965-67)       #3. The widow opens my door without knocking. A trail of Flying Horse-brand cigarette smoke enters behind her. An old cotton cap hides coarse, mortar-colored hair, brushed back from . . .

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