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Washington Post publishes article on Peace Corps drug use
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Weekend Book Quiz
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Peace Corps Celebrates 25 Years in China
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EVERYWHERE STORIES Contributor Spotlight: Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
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Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Book of Photography
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Winner of the 2017 Travel Award for Best Travel Book
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Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Short Story Collection
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Winner of the 2017 Moritz Thomsen Award for Memoir 
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RPCVs Are Everywhere! (Uzbekistan)
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Latest List of RPCV Ambassadors 8/20/18

Washington Post publishes article on Peace Corps drug use

  The Washington Post has now published an article based on the Inspector General’s report on drug use among Peace Corps Volunteers and Trainees. Earlier, USA Today had also highlighted the same report. Both papers circulate in Washington DC.   The link to the article will also give access to the comments • Report warns of ‘serious risk’ to Peace Corps from drug use by volunteers Marijuana policy lags behind growing national acceptance. August 24   The Peace Corps has a drug problem. It’s a problem related to an increasingly outdated view of marijuana but significant enough to the agency’s Office of Inspector General that it warns of a “serious risk to the integrity and reputation of the Peace Corps as well as the health and safety of Volunteers.” The warning, in a management advisory report from Inspector General Kathy A. Buller, said “efforts to address Volunteer drug use have been . . .

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Weekend Book Quiz

  Weekend Book Quiz Who wrote the books with the first sentences listed below, and that are based on their Peace Corps Experience, Travel, and Living the Life of an RPCV? • #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. #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. #3. The widow opens my door without knocking. A trail of Flying Horse-brand cigarette smoke enters behind her. . . .

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Peace Corps Celebrates 25 Years in China

Director Olsen with Peace Corps volunteers in China. WASHINGTON – Today, Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen joined U.S. Consul General Jim Mullinax in Chengdu at the swearing in ceremony of China’s 24th cohort of volunteers. The event marks the 25th anniversary of the Peace Corps program in China, where over 1,235 volunteers have served since 1993. The program is formally known as the United States-China Friendship Volunteer program. “At its heart, this program brings together people to share knowledge, world views, cultural riches and the values and shared aspirations of the American and Chinese peoples,” said Olsen. “We could not be prouder of our shared legacy, or more grateful for the friendship and collaboration of our Chinese partners.” The new group of 79 volunteers were sworn into service by Olsen after successfully completing 10 weeks of training. Their training included Mandarin language instruction and sessions on Chinese culture to better . . .

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EVERYWHERE STORIES Contributor Spotlight: Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

  Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet Volume III is now available for pre-order. Like the earlier volumes, this book includes 20 short stories, by 20 writers, set in 20 countries. • Mark Jacobs’s story in Everywhere Stories III, “Getting Out, ” is set in Côte d’Ivoire. Mark comments on “Getting Out”: During several visits to Africa, I ran into Lebanese who were living and working in countries that were and were not their own. In some cases, they were born in Africa, like the principal characters in “Getting Out,” who were born in Côte d’Ivoire. But they retained their Arabic, their French, even if they learned indigenous languages. And they retained their cultural identity as Lebanese. It struck me as a condition of permanent exile. Their experience was quite different from that of my father’s family, who emigrated to the United States in the early years of the twentieth . . .

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Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Book of Photography

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org and PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990. A total of 143 awards have been given since that time. Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Book of Photography   A Silhouette of Liberia — Photographs: 1974-1977 by Michael H.  Lee (Liberia 1974–76) Michael H. Lee August 2017 136 pages $59.99 (hardcover) Reviewed by: Danielle Yoder (Panama 2012-2014) A Silhouette of Liberia Photographs: 1974–1977 exhibits beautiful photography of Liberia’s landscape, architecture and people from a time when very little has been preserved. Mr. Lee walks us through his experience living, serving and working in Liberia. Through his lens he is able to capture what one might see in an ordinary day in Liberia, as well as intimate settings such as illusive secret societies . . .

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Winner of the 2017 Travel Award for Best Travel Book

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org and PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990. A total of 143 awards have been given since that time. Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Travel Book Writing Abroad: A Guide for Travelers By Peter Chilson (Niger (1985-87) & Joanne B. Mulcahy The University of Chicago Press 224 pages $22.50 (paperback), $67.50 (cloth), $13.50 (Kindle) Reviewed by David Arnold (Ethiopia 1964-66) EDITING THE WORK of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, I have learned that travel writing seems at first to be the easiest form of written narrative. That may be true if only you and your grandchildren are going to read it, but publishable travel writing is hard work. Most readers of a travel story in a magazine, a book or on . . .

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Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Short Story Collection

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org and PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990. A total of 143 awards have been given since that time. Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Short Story Collection Spectators (Flash fiction — stories) by Rob Davidson (Grenada 1990–92) Five Oaks Press May 2017 $16.00 (paperback) Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson El Salvador (1974-6) & Costa Rica (1976-77). This is a slender volume of only 56 pages, but, unlike a novel of similar length, it should not be a quick read. These essays deserve re-reading and study. Ultimately this book is about the compulsion to write or engage in other artistic endeavor, the need to give meaning to life by expressing oneself. For that which one cannot help but do becomes that which one . . .

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Winner of the 2017 Moritz Thomsen Award for Memoir 

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org and PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990. A total of 143 awards have been given since that time. Winner of the 2017 Moritz Thomsen Award for Memoir  Walled In Walled Out by Mary Dana Marks (Iran 1964–66) Peace Corps Writers Books 348 pages April 2017 Reviewed by John Krauskopf (Iran 1965–67) WALLED IN WALLED OUT IS A CAPTIVATING MEMOIR.  The Kennedy-era idealism lured young Mary Beckett Marks into the Peace Corps to serve for two years in conservative Kerman, Iran. This sojourn forced the author to struggle to adjust to the Kermani culture and to mature many of the ideas that have guided her life since. The memoir traces Mary’s emotional reaction to the culture, her feelings, frustrations and adjustments. During a . . .

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RPCVs Are Everywhere! (Uzbekistan)

Leafing through Unhinged An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House by Omarosa Manigault Newman that was published a week or so ago by  Gallery Books, an Imprint of Simon and Schuster, I checked out the ‘Acknowledgements’ (page 332) as I often do to see if there is anyone I might know. Omarosa signals out to thank, Valerie Frankel, a well respected freelance writer in New York City who obviously did the ghost writing of this book. Omarosa writes to Valerie, “Thanks again for helping me share my memories and make happy new ones.” She then goes onto to thank her fact-checkers and writes, “Without researchers like Beatrice Hogan….this book would not have been possible.” Beatrice Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) is a well respected freelance researcher for magazines and books in New York City. RPCVs are everywhere! (But, thankfully, not in the White House.)

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Latest List of RPCV Ambassadors 8/20/18

LATEST LIST OF RPCV AMBASSADORS—8/20/2018 Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, U.S. Ambassador to Malta (2012-16); (PCV Oman 1980-82) Charles C. Adams Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Finland (2015); (PCV Kenya 1968-70) Frank Almaguer, U. S. Ambassador to Honduras (1999 to 2002); (PCV Belize 1967–69) & (PC/CD Honduras 1976-79) Larry E. André, Jr, U.S. Ambassador to (Djibouti November 2017 to present) & (Mauritania 2014-2017); (PCV Senegal 1983-85) Michael R. Arietti, U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda (2005-2008); (PCV India 1969-71) Charles R. Baquet III, U.S. Ambassador to Republic of Djibouti (1991-94); (PCV Somalia 1965-67) Robert Blackwill, U. S. Ambassador to India (2001-03); (PCV Malawi 1964-66) Julia Chang Bloch, U.S. Ambassador to Nepal (1989-1993); (PCV Malaysia 1964-66) Parker Borg, U.S. Ambassador to Mail (1981-1984) & Iceland (1993-1996); (PCV Philippines 1961-63) Richard Boucher, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2009-2013), (PCV Senegal 1973–75) Peter Burleigh, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka (1995-1997); (PCV Nepal 1963-65) Katherine Hubay Canavan (formerly Peterson), U.S. . . .

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