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Jody Olsen: Peace Corps Mission and Operations
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PCVs will be PCVs
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John Alexander, Director of the Africa Regional Office
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Let’s greet 2019 with what was said about the Peace Corps’ First Year, 1961
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Peace Corps Budget
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Too Old to Be a Freshman in Congress? Donna Shalala Doesn’t Care (Iran)
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Review — LIVING LIBERIA by Robert Cherry (Liberia)
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PCV Writer ‘Cat Person’ bad date story and her date with fame (Kenya)
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A Writer Writes — “The Overwhelming Question” by Tony Zurlo (Nigeria)
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Is This What PCVs Think of Trump–The New Ugly American?

Jody Olsen: Peace Corps Mission and Operations

  Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65).   Peace Corps Mission and Operations Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen delivered remarks about the volunteer organization’s mission and operations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She stressed the Peace Corps’ relevancy and the work of volunteers when they are serving abroad in a host country. https://www.c-span.org/video/?455661-1/jody-olsen-discusses-peace-corps-mission    

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John Alexander, Director of the Africa Regional Office

In 1947, John Alexander followed his graduation from the George Washington University, where he received his degree in economics, by entering Government service. He was promptly sent overseas, the beginning for him of ten years’ uninterrupted activity in the nation’s Foreign Service. Before he returned to take an administrator’s desk in Washington, he had acquire a working familiarity with the overseas side of foreign aid operations. Starting out as an economist with the U.S. Military Government in Germany, Alexander worked for two years on taxation and budget problems in Berlin and Stuttgart. He was then transferred to the U.S. Commissioner’s Office under the State Department and assigned first to Frankfurt, then to Bonn. He concluded his German tour with the Economic Cooperation Administration, a predecessor agency to AID, working on problems of occupation costs and the financing of the North Atlantic Treaty Organizing. In 1954, Alexander was sent half way . . .

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Let’s greet 2019 with what was said about the Peace Corps’ First Year, 1961

“They (the Volunteers) have done a very good job, mixing with the people and encouraging self-help measures. We hope to get more of them.” –Prime Minister Rashidi Kawawa of Tanganyika. “The Peace Corps I think is a wonderful idea. I think it is terrific. There is no better way to show the world what we are than to have our young people, acting just as themselves, going throughout these under developed countries.”—News commentator Richard C. Hottelet “Just a year ago many people were holding their fingers crossed. ….We know, a year later, that these bright and dedicated Peace Corpsmen of ours stood the test.” –Farmers Union Herald “I hope that when they come back, many of them will decide to make the Foreign Service their life work. If they do, we will have a better chance for survival.”–Max Lerner New York Post. “I have had an opportunity to meet many . . .

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Too Old to Be a Freshman in Congress? Donna Shalala Doesn’t Care (Iran)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94)  Too Old to Be a Freshman in Congress? Donna Shalala Doesn’t Care By Emily Cochrane Washington Post, December 30, 2018 WASHINGTON — The Georgetown waterfront apartment where Donna Shalala has spent part of the last two decades is half sanctuary, half résumé. There is a signed photo of Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, walking with Ms. Shalala when both were in Bill Clinton’s cabinet. A gold coffee table is adorned with the visages of the kings of Persia, a reminder of her time in pre-revolutionary Iran as a Peace Corps volunteer. Against a bookshelf a set of golf clubs rests in a bag emblazoned with the trademark orange and green “U” from the University of Miami, the 17,000-student private institution where she was president until 2015. The shoulder bag left on a chair by the door with a different seal . . .

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Review — LIVING LIBERIA by Robert Cherry (Liberia)

  Living Liberia: Laughter, Love & Folly by Robert Cherry (Liberia1965–67) Living Liberia August 2017 $15.00 (paperback), $9.50 (Kindle) Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974-76 and Costa Rica 1976-77). • Liberia is a fascinating little country. Founded by former slaves from the U.S., it is the oldest republic in Africa. This and much more I learned from reading Living Liberia by Robert Cherry. The primary narrative of this book tells the story of the author’s return visit to Liberia and his former Peace Corps site in 1982, 14 years after his service there from 1966-68. But it is also a memoir of his Peace Corps years serving as a teacher in an elementary school in the small, rural village of Kpaytuo. The author, a former journalist as well as a teacher, gives us a good deal of background about Liberian history along the way. Thus the book is a great resource . . .

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PCV Writer ‘Cat Person’ bad date story and her date with fame (Kenya)

  Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dick Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64)   “Cat Person” writer Kristen Roupenian By Meredith Goldstein GLOBE STAFF DECEMBER 30, 2018 • Last December, writer Kristen Roupenian was sitting at Cultivate, a coffee shop in Michigan, with her girlfriend of a few months. It had been a big year for the Plymouth native, who’d finished her master of fine arts at the University of Michigan in April. Her short story “Cat Person ” had been accepted by The New Yorker (the dream of many aspiring fiction writers) and was now up on the magazine’s website. Just then Roupenian’s girlfriend, writer Callie Collins, checked her phone. Something strange was happening. “She used to work in publishing so she has more of a finger on the literary pulse than I do, and she looked up and was like, ‘Something is going on with your story.’ ’’ What was happening was that Roupenian’s . . .

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A Writer Writes — “The Overwhelming Question” by Tony Zurlo (Nigeria)

  The Overwhelming Question By Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1963-65) • I grab the butt-ends of coffee spoons, roll up the bottoms of my trousers, drag my red wheel barrel along the shore, and dig for salt-washed shells tossed onto the sand; waves slap the shore, codes from lonely mermaids’ whispering. whistling winds from woods nearby wrinkles on the moon thirteen blackbirds observing. flashes from another world pillows of gray sky ancient gnarled oaks cast shadows. tear-drops squeezed from willow trees maelstrom of colors La Mer’s quarreling white caps Singing dolphins’ lure me out to dance. Leaves of grass float past effortlessly. Yes! the brain is wider than the sky and I dare disturb the universe, incite another Big Bang, hurl stars and spin the moon like a top; hunt white whales with Ahab in the South Pacific. • This poem originally appeared at andreazurlo.wixsite.com/andreazurlo/blog   Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1963-65) is . . .

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