1
Chris Honoré: Why preserve the Peace Corps? (Colombia)
2
“Pay The Price” by Robert Gribbin (Kenya)
3
The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 5
4
“On the Merits of Eating Raw Goat Spleens” by Justin Parmenter (Albania)
5
Charlie Peters remembers Appalachia in NYTIMES, Sunday Review
6
“An Unexpected Love Story: The Women of Bati” by John Coyne (Ethiopia)
7
Project Concern International celebrates the Peace Corps, March 1 Anniversary, and RPCV employees
8
RPCV Charles Murray (Thailand 1965-67) shouted down at Middlebury College
9
The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 4
10
Acquital in the Trial of Accused Murderers of PCV Kate Puzey

Chris Honoré: Why preserve the Peace Corps? (Colombia)

Why preserve the Peace Corps? Mar 6, 2017 at 12:01 AM By Chris Honoré One of Donald Trump’s first acts as president was to eliminate funding for nongovernmental organizations in poor countries if they offer abortion counseling as a family planning option or if they advocate for the right to seek an abortion in their countries. The freeze applies even if the NGO uses other funds for such services. Republicans have supported this policy since the Reagan administration.   But the reality is that despite how freighted with ideology the above policy is, it’s not a one-off. The Trump administration has submitted a budget that will propose severe cuts to foreign aid programs as part of a 37 percent cut to the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development. As well, Trump has told interviewers that he does not plan on filling hundreds of currently vacant posts in State or at USAID, . . .

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“Pay The Price” by Robert Gribbin (Kenya)

  Pay the Price by Robert Gribbin (Kenya 1968–70) • I WATCHED HIS TWO BROWN FINGERS thump against my arm. “Aha,” he muttered under his breath, then I saw the needle poised slowly before it plunged into the vein. Has it come to this? I thought morosely as I slipped away into somnolence while my blood dripped into the bag. Shortly, I awoke with a start to find Mamadou grinning down at me. “Okay, Jimmie,” he grimaced, “all done.” “You rest until dark, then go. Arrangements are in place. You’ll be safe.” I nodded assent. I was indeed ready to go.   TWO AND A HALF YEARS in Sierra Leone was more than enough. I had dawdled and procrastinated, found myself bound by slippery ties to a place that I didn’t really like and to a culture that I could not fathom. Yet that is partly why I stayed to try . . .

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 5

On April 27, 1979, President Carter signed an amendment to the ACTION legislation granting the Peace Corps special independence. Dick Celeste was appointed Peace Corps Director and ACTION associate director for International Operations. I’m told Bill Josephson, a New York lawyer, and one of the Mayflower Gang that created the agency in 1961 was involved in writing the amendment. Peace returned to the Peace Corps with the appointment of Loret Miller Ruppe on May 6, 1981. She is, so far, the longest serving Peace Corps Director. In her tenure from 1981 to 1989 the budget increased almost 50%, the number of PCVs by 20%, the average attrition rate decreased significantly and according to Senator Chris Dodd (Dominican Republic 1966-68) she “took the Peace Corps out of the pit of politics and made it non-partisan.” Programs began or were renewed in 14 countries. One of the disturbing pieces of information that . . .

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“On the Merits of Eating Raw Goat Spleens” by Justin Parmenter (Albania)

  On the Merits of Eating Raw Goat Spleens by Justin Parmenter (Albania 1995–97) • YESTERDAY I WALKED TO KUTAL, a nearby village, with my friend Ali. There we sat for a time with a friend of his, knocked back a few rakis and talked goats. Cute little animals, they are. So much cleaner than sheep and, though it may seem a strange word to describe them, so much more intellectual. I love animals, and it pains me to see the malicious way in which they are sometimes treated here. But for some reason, I thought of these goats as Albanians do. As a luxury. After all, May 1st only happens once a year.  That little black goat I carried back to Permet was Ali’s Dom Perignon, if you know what I mean. When we arrived back in Permet, we found an expert knife wielder who agreed to do the . . .

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Charlie Peters remembers Appalachia in NYTIMES, Sunday Review

  I Remember When Appalachia Wasn’t Trump Country By CHARLES PETERS MARCH 4, 2017 New York Times Sunday Review • I am a liberal from West Virginia. That didn’t used to be unusual. I remember when the people of the state were liberal, and what liberalism meant for their lives. In 2016 a majority of West Virginia’s voters supported Donald J. Trump, and many expressed outright hatred of Barack Obama. But when I was last active in the state’s politics, in 1960, the state was a leader in desegregating schools in response to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. John F. Kennedy won the state by a wide margin, and I was one of an overwhelming majority of Democrats elected to the state’s House of Delegates — along with a handful of Republicans. Today that tiny minority is the majority. So how did we get from there to here? The . . .

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“An Unexpected Love Story: The Women of Bati” by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

  An Unexpected Love Story: The Women of Bati   by John Coyne If the reader prefers, this may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a piece of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.                                                                   Ernest Hemingway A Moveable Feast • AT AN ELEVATION OF 4,000 FEET,  the town of Bati, Ethiopia, off the Dessie Road, is the last highland location before the Danakil Depression. A hard day’s drive from the Red Sea, it’s famous only for its Monday market days when the Afar women of the Danakil Depression walk up the “Great Escarpment” to trade with the Oromo tribe on the plateau. These tribeswomen arrive late on . . .

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Project Concern International celebrates the Peace Corps, March 1 Anniversary, and RPCV employees

(l to r) Mark O’Donnell (Honduras  ) PCI COO; PCDirector Carrie Hessler-Radelet; Gaddie Vasquez (PCDirector 2002-06) never a PCV, Board of PCI; Bob Sullivan (Ethiopia 1968-70) Board PCI Former Peace Corps Director takes helm of International Development Organization SAN DIEGO—Carrie Hessler-Radelet was selected as the new President & CEO of Project Concern International (PCI) by its Board of Directors on February 3. Hessler-Radelet will lead PCI’s efforts working with families and communities in 16 countries to enhance health, end hunger, and overcome hardship. It was 56-years-ago today that President Kennedy established the Peace Corps and began a legacy of Americans serving abroad. Over the years, the Peace Corps has attracted more than 225,000 motivated changemakers to promote world peace and friendship in 141 countries across the globe. The international development community is full of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), and that is especially true here at PCI. While we have . . .

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RPCV Charles Murray (Thailand 1965-67) shouted down at Middlebury College

  Middlebury students chant and shout to prevent Charles Murray from speaking. He later is led to a private location, where a discussion with a professor is live streamed. By Scott Jaschik   March 3, 2017 Students at Middlebury College on Thursday chanted and shouted at Charles Murray, the controversial writer whom many accuse of espousing racist ideas, preventing him from giving a public lecture at the college. Murray had been invited by Middlebury’s student group affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank at which Murray is a scholar. Many of his writings are controversial, but perhaps none more than The Bell Curve, a book that linked intelligence and race and that has been widely condemned by many social scientists (even as Murray has been supported by others). Prior to the point when Murray was introduced, several Middlebury officials reminded students that they were allowed to protest but not to . . .

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 4

The 70s decade produced a series of ETDs — Early Termination Directors. These were Directors who couldn’t hold the position for as long as a PCV’s tour of service. They came and they went from the agency, then they used the ‘good name’ of the Peace Corps as a reference to further their own careers. Most of these Directors had no idea what it meant to be a PCV. The Peace Corps was just another government paycheck to them. The ‘70s had begun with high hopes—at the time, some people thought Nixon ‘liked’ the Peace Corps. There was even a ‘breakfast at the White House with the President that David Searles (Philippines & HQ 1971-76) details in his fine book on the decade, The Peace Corps Experience: Challenge & Change 1969-1976, where Nixon was “talkative” and even posed with the staff for photos. Unfortunately, writes Searles, “the CRV, having learned . . .

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Acquital in the Trial of Accused Murderers of PCV Kate Puzey

Peace Corps has issued the following statement: “The trial in the matter of the 2009 homicide of Peace Corps volunteer Kate Puzey concluded in Benin on February 25, 2017. “Along with her family and friends, we continue to mourn the loss of Kate and we offer them our deepest sympathies during this difficult time. Today and every day, we honor Kate, whose memory is never far from our minds as we continue to build a stronger, more effective Peace Corps. We remain steadfast in our commitment to a Peace Corps that is worthy of Kate’s legacy. The Peace Corps and the Peace Corps Office of Inspector General appreciate the support of the State Department, Justice Department, FBI and the Government of Benin. “https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-statement-conclusion-trial-2009-“homicide-peace-corps-benin-volunteer-kate-puzey/ The official statement makes no mention on the outcome. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports there was an acquittal in the conclusion of the trial.  Read the article . . .

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