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“An Example for Government” from Who’s Who in The Peace Corps
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Who’s Who in The Peace Corps Washington
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Ghana’s First Peace Corps Staff (Part Two)
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Ghana’s First Peace Corps Staff (Part One)
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Remembering Mexico Beach
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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Joined The Peace Corps (Morocco)
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Letters from Nurses in the Peace Corps archived at American University
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Peru’s First Peace Corps Staff (Final)
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RPCV Maureen Orth (Colombia) edited by RPCV Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan)
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Peru’s First Peace Corps Staff (Part Three)

“An Example for Government” from Who’s Who in The Peace Corps

Sargent Shriver Writes (Letter edited for length) I hope this booklet—Who’s Who in The Peace Corps—will give Peace Corps Volunteers in the field a little information about the quality and the background of the members of the Washington staff. Nothing that I could say about the dedication and ability of these men and women could improve upon the assessment of them made by President Kennedy last June 14 when he said that they “have brought to government service a sense of morale and a sense of enthusiasm and, really, commitment, which has been absent from too many governmental agencies for too many years.” He went on to say that he believes that the members of the Peace Corps/Washington staff “have set an example for government service which I hope will be infectious”. Vital as these people are, however, not one of them is more important to the Peace Corps than . . .

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Who’s Who in The Peace Corps Washington

The Peace Corps Washington Staff Simple addition would reveal that the Peace Corps administrators in Washington during its first years had lived abroad for a total of about four centuries. They had visited or stayed at length in every nation on earth. The cumulative lifetime travel mileage of the Washington staff added up to thirty or more round trips to the moon. One staff member all by himself use to log 150,000 miles a year as part of a former job. Such statistics are only mentioned because they indicate a familiarity with the broad world, an acquaintance with the far corners of the earth that were necessary in an agency that focused beyond the near horizon. The Peace Corps staff in Washington, D.C. came from every possible background, from all economic levels, and from every part of the country. They included skiers, mountains climbers, big-game hunters, prizefighters, football players, polo . . .

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Ghana’s First Peace Corps Staff (Part Two)

On October 16, 1961, Raymond C. Parrott joined the Ghana Staff as Deputy Representative. From New Hampshire, he graduated from high school in 1947 and enlisted in the Navy for three years. Taking a completive military examination, he made the highest mark of anyone from New Hampshire and was admitted to West Point. There, he was told he had a bad shoulder and would have to have an operation or get out. He got out and went to Trinity College and graduated in 1953 with a degree in economics. He received another scholarship and went to Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy where he received his master’s degree in 1954. He then went to work for Arthur D. Little. He first heard of the Peace Corps through his work on the International Economic Affairs Committee of the National Association of Manufactures. He came to Washington, where Shriver offered him the . . .

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Ghana’s First Peace Corps Staff (Part One)

During the first week of May, 1961, Richard Thornell landed in Ghana to lay the groundwork for the arrival of the first Volunteers to be sent overseas. He was stricken with TB the end of August and entered the hospital only five days before the Volunteers stepped off the pane in Accra on August 29, 1961. A number of dignitaries, however, including Ghana’s Minister of Education A.J. Dowuong-Hammond, were on hand to greet the 50 PCVs, men and women, and their escort officer, Padraic Kennedy, at the big airport on the outskirts of Accra. In response to expressions of welcome, one of the Volunteers stepped forward and delivered a thank-you for the group in Twi, the principal local language. The Twi was far from perfect, but the fact that Americans would try to speak it at all was met with smiling enthusiasm on the part of the welcoming Ghanaians.   . . .

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Remembering Mexico Beach

  Patricia Taylor Edmisten (Peru 1962-64) first happened upon Mexico Beach in 1975 on her way to interview at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. She had just finished her doctorate at the University of Florida in Gainesville. In 1977, she moved to Pensacola in “Florida’s Great Northwest,” where she taught at the University of West Florida until retirement. During her family’s time in Florida’s western Panhandle, there were many family reunions on St. George Island, a gorgeous sweep of barrier island off of Apalachicola, not far from Mexico Beach. Patricia remembers . . . •   Mexico Beach Hurricane Michael flattened Mexico Beach in Florida’s eastern Panhandle on October 10, 2018. Was it a fluke in the temperature of the Gulf? A nudge from a high pressure system from the north? God’s unleashed breath, punishment for a covey of sinners living in recreational vehicles back from the beach? Until the . . .

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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Joined The Peace Corps (Morocco)

  Jesse Altman is finishing his tour in Morocco this December and has maintained a blog during  his Peace Corps years.  This is a recent item on Jesse’s blog, reposted with his permission. — JCoyne • 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Joined Peace Corps Close of Service Conference and my Last 4 Months in Morocco by Jesse Altman (Morocco 2016-18)     After closing out my summer work and the month of July, I headed off to Rabat for our Close-of-Service Conference! It is crazy and unbelievable that 23 months have gone by and less than 4 remain for my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. The conference was a lot of fun, but bittersweet as well. This was the last time that our entire staj (cohort) will be together since we all have different departure dates starting in a few months’ time. Having said . . .

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Letters from Nurses in the Peace Corps archived at American University

  American University has graciously accepted a copy of “Letters from Nurses in the Peace Corps”  to be archived in its Digitial Archive as well as a hard copy in its Peace Corps Community Archive.  We are so gratful that this document will be preserved. Letters from Nurses in the Peace Corps is a document containing letters from twelve nurses who served in the Peace Corps from approximately 1962 to 1967.  It was published by the Peace Corps as a recruiting brochure in 1967. Read excerpts from the letters here: Letters From Nurses in the Peace Corps – 1967 In acceping the copy, American University Librarian Nancy Davenport wrote: “This brochure will offer a unique glimpse into the work of Peace Corps volunteers during this period and will be of interest to both our campus community and external researchers.” Click to see the Peace Corps Community Archives at American University

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Peru’s First Peace Corps Staff (Final)

Emory Biro was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, and went to the University of Detroit, where he edited the college paper, and graduated in 1954 with a degree in political science. He was fired from his job as a college editor because of his last editorial, an attack on McCarthyism called “The Rise of Fascism in the U.S.” Also in his undergraduate career, he had served as vice president of the university’s student council, vice president of the Detroit Interracial Council, and finally, vice president of the Migratory Workers Defense League. In 1954, he moved to Chicago and went to work for the Catholic Interracial Council, of which Sargent Shriver was then president. Appointed to the CIC board, he served on it from 1957 until he came to the Peace Corps in 1962. Biro, who spoke Hungarian before he spoke English, and who first learned Spanish working with braceros . . .

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RPCV Maureen Orth (Colombia) edited by RPCV Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan)

  Among many other journalistic skills, Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94)  is a contract writer for Seneca Women, a small company devoted to empowering women, and contributes to its weekly newsletter. Bea served in the first group Peace Corps Volunteers to Uzbekistan and wrote me the other day: “Worlds collide: the company I work for, Seneca Women, produced a show — Global Forum: Women Driving Economic Progress — in Dublin for Bank of America earlier this week. One of the star speakers was Maureen Orth. I put together the newsletter yesterday, and I tucked in a little plug for the Peace Corps at the end.” Bea went onto write, It’s funny — Maureen and I have never met in person, but I’ve crossed paths with her several times. I noticed that we both have essays in that collection of essays by RPCVs  you edited for the Peace Corps years ago, At Home in the World. . . .

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Peru’s First Peace Corps Staff (Part Three)

After two years at Utah State, Darwin Bell enlisted in the Army as a private. It was 1942 and, like Frank Mankiewicz, he was sent to ASTP and—to continue the parallel—wound up a mortar gunner in the battle for France. Here their paths diverged. Bell was captured by Germans in the Battle of the Bulge and was taken to Stalag 9-B in  Bad Orb. He escaped from the prison camp twice and was recaptured twice. The third time he escaped, the Germans caught him again, but thinking he was dead, left him in a field where he was picked up by nuns and taken to an infirmary. A doctor told him he had appendicitis and that he would be back the next day to operate. But the next day, according to Bell, “U.S. tanks came rolling into town, and the war was over for me.” He spent the next nine . . .

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