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Stop! Do Not Toss or Shred, SAVE
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Review — CRESCENT BEACH by David Mather (Chile)
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First Volunteers to Ethiopia in 1962 sing Christmas carols for the Emperor
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JFK Sends a Message of Peace Across Time For the Ages
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Send Me A Christmas Tale From Your Peace Corps Days
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Another RPCV achieves another first (Kenya)
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Doing the Blitz by Hal Fleming (Washington, D.C.)
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“Tequila and Temblors“ by John Krauskopf (Iran)
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“Remembering Joe Kauffman and the Early Days of Peace Corps Training”
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“The Fabulous Peace Corps Booklocker” by Jack Prebis (Ethiopia)

Stop! Do Not Toss or Shred, SAVE

  Peace Corps history is written in the memories and hearts of the people we served as Peace Corps Volunteers. It is contained in the stories we tell each other and the books written by RPCVs. There is another critically important source for Peace Corps history. It is in the letters, the reports, the photos, and the videos from your Peace Corps service. Now as Peace Corps, the agency, reduces its historical footprint, your memorabilia must be preserved.  Peace Corps has not had an in-house library for over fifteen years. It does not accept any donations from RPCVs to archive. The National Archives and Record Administration archives federal records from federal agencies, not individuals. We are in process of asking if they would accept documents from RPCVs.  However, right now, there are three archives, which are currently accepting personal memorabilia from RPCVs.  Please consider donating your items. Here are the . . .

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Review — CRESCENT BEACH by David Mather (Chile)

  Crescent Beach by David J. Mather (Chile 1968–70) Peace Corps Writers March 2016 426 pages $14.95 (paperback), $7.99 (Kindle)   Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976-77)   • THIS WELL-WRITTEN NOVEL with a unique setting and very interesting, well developed characters who the author treats sympathetically. Author David Mather holds our interest by mixing background about Florida’s rural “Big Bend” region on the Gulf Coast and each character into the ongoing action of the story. It is a page-turner that is difficult to put down. The characters support each other and care for each other in heart-warming ways. By the end of the book, readers feel like they know these people and would be happy to have them for neighbors. The dialog is peppered with colorful, often humorous, local expressions. The author’s use of multiple narrators enhances the readers’ understanding of the different characters by allowing . . .

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Send Me A Christmas Tale From Your Peace Corps Days

Coyne Babbles On About Christmas In Ethiopia Doug Kiker was from Griffin, Georgia and had early success as a short story writer while still a student at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, majoring in English. There’s a story about how he wanted to get published and he picked up Martha Foley’s short stories collection, went to the rear of the book and found the list of short-story publishers, closed his eyes and punched in the dark. He hit the Yale Review, to which he promptly submitted a short story. And they accepted his story. While still in college he worked as a reporter, covering the Senate race between Strom Thurmond and Olin Johnston. After college he joined the navy and was commissioned an Ensign, serving in Korean War. Discharged, he returned to Atlanta and worked at the Atlanta Journal and covered the first sit-ins at lunch counters in North Carolina. Out of . . .

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Another RPCV achieves another first (Kenya)

Kristen Roupenian (Kenya 2003-05) is the author of the short story “Cat Person”  which became a viral phenomenon after appearing in The New Yorker this month. She just received a seven-figure book deal that  Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker’s fiction editor, commented, “We have not seen anything like that with fiction.” The story in The New Yorker, has become the magazine’s second most-read article in 2017.  Kristen’s collection, You Know You Want This is the first of a two-book deal that includes an untitled novel. In an interview on The New Yorker website, Kristen says, “I always wanted to be a writer, but I spent most of my twenties doing anything and everything else. I did the Peace Corps in Kenya, and I was a nanny for a while, and then I spent a long time in graduate school, studying African literature. It’s only in the past five years that I’ve really . . .

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Doing the Blitz by Hal Fleming (Washington, D.C.)

Doing the Blitz Peace Corps Recruitment in the ’60s by Hal Fleming (Staff: PC/W 1966–68; CD Cote d’Ivoire 1968–72) IN 1966, I CAME DOWN TO WASHINGTON from New York. It was a time in our country when the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War divided the nation. I had been tapped to work as a staff member in the Public Affairs and Recruiting office for the Peace Corps. On my very first work day in Peace Corps/Washington, I was told to join Warren Wiggins, the Deputy Director of the Agency, in his government car for a one-hour ride to a conference for new campus recruiters at Tidewater Inn in Easton, Maryland. Wiggins, preoccupied with his opening speech to the conclave, said very little to me except to read out a phrase or two of buzz-word laden prose, mostly unintelligible to me as the new guy, and ask for my . . .

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“Tequila and Temblors“ by John Krauskopf (Iran)

  Tequila and Temblors by John Krauskopf (Iran 1965–67) PEACE CORPS TRAINING was intensive and stressful. Superficially, it seemed a lot like the college culture most of us had recently left. Walking around the University of Texas campus in Austin had a familiar feel since we lived in a dorm and attended classes much like any other students. However, the regimentation of fourteen-hour days was an unwelcome novelty. Back at the University of Michigan, when I put in a fourteen-hour day or pulled an all-nighter, I had arranged that torture for myself. In the Peace Corps training program, we surrendered complete control of our waking hours. Classes started at 7:00 am, and every minute was programmed until at least 9:00 pm. In the third week, there was a mini-revolt over the lack of time to go to the store or take care of personal business. The staff seemed to be . . .

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“Remembering Joe Kauffman and the Early Days of Peace Corps Training”

  Remembering Joe Kauffman and the Early Days of Peace Corps Training by Ted Vestal (Staff: PC/Washington & Ethiopia APCD 1963–66)   JOSEPH KAUFFMAN, ONE OF THE founding hands of the Peace Corps died September 29, 2006 in Madison, Wisconsin. From 1961–1963, Joe was the first Director of Training at a time when no one knew what a Peace Corps was supposed to be — much less how to train Volunteers. In the old Peace Corps Headquarters at 806 Connecticut Avenue, he ran a respected Division staffed by some well-degreed, experienced former university professors and administrators. They worked on a crash basis primarily with colleges and universities which at the time had not had much experience in training Americans to work overseas. The Training Division’s activities were informed by a series of conferences the Peace Corps had held in 1961 on how to train Volunteers for service in particular nations . . .

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“The Fabulous Peace Corps Booklocker” by Jack Prebis (Ethiopia)

  For a short period of time in the very first years of the Peace Corps all Volunteers were given booklockers by the agency. The lockers were meant to provide leisure reading for the PCVs and then to be left behind in schools, villages, and towns where they served. There is some mystery as to who first thought of the lockers and one story has it that the idea came from Sarge Shriver’s wife, Eunice. From my research, this seems to be a true story.  Also from my research, I learned that the first locker was put together by a young Foreign Service officer. A second selection was done in 1964, and that same year Jack Prebis was made responsible for the 3rd edition of the locker that was assembled in the fall and winter of 1965. Here is Jack’s account of putting together the third edition of the legendary . . .

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