1
Is the Peace Corps Keeping PCVs from Helping Host Country Nationals?
2
Why the Title “Kill the Gringo”?
3
“Kill the Gringo” Jack Hood Vaughn’s Life Story
4
TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN
5
Chile in Flames
6
Review: PHOBOS & DEIMOS by John Moehl (Cameroon)
7
RPCV Patrick McDonough MFA Creative Writing Student Says Why He’s Enrolled(Philippines)
8
A Partial List of Peace Corps “Firsts”
9
First Ever Peace Corps Volunteer Dies in San Francisco (Ghana)
10
What Will President Trump’s Reinstatement of the So-Called “Gag Order” mean for Serving Peace Corps Volunteers?

Is the Peace Corps Keeping PCVs from Helping Host Country Nationals?

I just listened to a Tom Woods podcast of an interview with Gret Glyer who has created an app called DonorSee that allows anyone help in the developing world by using Glyer’s new app. The app program is only 4 months old and a month ago the Peace Corps issued an order that Peace Corps Volunteers were not permitted to be involved with the DonorSee organization. Glyer (and Tom Wood) see the use of the app as a way that Volunteers (as Americans) can be helpful by promoting donations between the US and the developing world. Woods and Glyer see the agency as standing in the way of giving immediate help to others. My guess it is the lawyers decision in the agency who have said ‘no” but the story that is getting back now to the US is that PCVs are not helping others, but are preventing any sort of help. Volunteers look like losers. Listen yourself to the podcast and hear what . . .

Read More

Why the Title “Kill the Gringo”?

Many of us who knew Jack from our Peace Corps days have heard his stories of boxing in college and boxing briefly as a professional in Mexico before returning to Michigan and becoming a boxing coach as he finished his degrees. I asked his daughter Jane Constantineau to spend me Jack’s account from his book and she was kind enough to do so. JC note. Kill the Gringo In retrospect, I question the wisdom of my boxing coach’s plan to send me south of the border with no handler, no Spanish, and no backup. But at the time, I found Marty’s idea ingenious. We were dealing with long odds in trying to maneuver me, an undergraduate boxer, into the position of head boxing coach at the University of Michigan, and I was willing to go the distance to overcome them. On a hazy day in June I crossed the El Paso-Juarez . . .

Read More

“Kill the Gringo” Jack Hood Vaughn’s Life Story

“Jack’s life story is at once inspirational and terrifying, such a compelling combination for this modest man who looked like a country doctor and lived like a poster for a Harrison Ford movie.”  —TOM BROKAW Kill the Gringo is the wide-ranging, action-packed memoir of Jack Hood Vaughn, whose career in diplomacy, social advocacy and conservation spanned more than 25 jobs and 11 countries. A professional boxer during his college years, Jack joined the Marines in 1941, fighting in the battles of Guam and Okinawa during World War II. His rapport with people and facility with language led to a speedy rise in international development in Latin America and Africa where he drew the attention of Vice President Lyndon Johnson during his visit to Senegal in 1961. Three years later, President Johnson appointed Jack ambassador to Panama when violent anti-American riots there led to a severing of diplomatic ties. As the . . .

Read More

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN

By Edward Mycue  (Ghana I) Myth becomes parable evolving to symbol in the story of TURTLE who is holding up the world: one nameless fabled old lady explained what upheld the turtle: it’s turtles all the way down she asserted. I have told my story before, meeting John Fitzgerald Kennedy, US SENATOR, in 1960 as a Boston University graduate student under a fellowship from the Lowell Institute for Cooperative Broadcasting when I served as an intern at WGBH-TV then on the M.I.T. campus and (prior to the establishment of PBS — Public Broadcasting System) the linchpin of the Network for Educational Television (NET). The first time Kennedy was seeking the Democrat Party nomination for US PRESIDENT and the second time was after he became the nominee for president. Both times he came to WGBH-TV to appear on the New England News program helmed by Louis Lyons, curator for journalism of the Nieman . . .

Read More

Chile in Flames

The devastating scenes on television are heartrending. Forests aflame in vast regions of central and southern Chile.  They resemble war scenes: people fleeing with the few possessions they can carry; a pickup truck loaded with a refrigerator; a mattress, a stove; tables, chairs, sofas clustered in the middle of the road. The pueblo of Santa Olga – homes, stores, schools, the firehouse – all reduced to ashes.             Firefighters with soot-covered faces struggle with heavy hoses. Neighbors and volunteers wield shovels and electric saws removing brush to create a firebreak. But the wind is wily, changing directions, trapping forestry workers and firemen. Ten deaths reported thus far. Rumors abound regarding the causes. Several fires seem to be man-made. It is clear that the vast plantations of pine and eucalyptus trees are particularly flammable especially in drought years with continuous high temperatures. What I hear is that native vegetation is more . . .

Read More

Review: PHOBOS & DEIMOS by John Moehl (Cameroon)

  Phobos & Deimos: Two Moons, Two Worlds (short stories) by John Moehl (Camaroon 1974–80) Resource Publications August, 2016 136 pages $17.00 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle), $37.00 (hard cover) Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) •   It is my hope the reader will find in this work a glimpse of lives that may at first seem very foreign; so different as to be pure invention. These are fictional lives and fictional stories; but they are based on real events, real people and real places. John Moehl introduces his short story collection, Phobos & Deimos: Two Moons, Two Worlds, by stating that the moons of Mars are a metaphor for his world that has been “. . . pulled by the forces of two different moons ≈ two worlds.” Moehl’s worlds exist in foreign countries, particularly Africa, and the United States. “But, as moons, each world is linked to one planet, and part of the same . . .

Read More

RPCV Patrick McDonough MFA Creative Writing Student Says Why He’s Enrolled(Philippines)

I guess we all want to return back to school for different reasons. I was in the Peace Corps in the Philippines on and off from 1976 to 1984. Five years as an  Agricultural Extension Volunteer then later as a staff member. I worked with the five tribes in the Cordillera Mountains collectively called Igorots. It didn’t take long to realize my agricultural techniques were not going to work in the steep mountains where rice was the main crop grown in inaccessible terraces. I was fortunate to connect with Mother Basille Gekierre, a Belgian missionary there since 1925. Mother Basille was unique among missionaries in that she saw the value of preserving the culture. When I got there she had converted a classroom, in the old brick schoolhouse, which covered the Bontoc Igorot. By a stroke of luck, she was able to get $250,000 to build a new museum. Now . . .

Read More

A Partial List of Peace Corps “Firsts”

On January 14, 1960, Congressman Henry Reuss (D. Wis) introduced a bill for a study of a “Point Four Youth Corps” plan. It is passed. On June 15, 1960, Senator Hubert Humphrey (D. Minn) introduces a bill calling for the establishment of a “Peace Corps.” It is not passed. On November 2, 1960, Presidential candidate Kennedy announces plans for a “Peace Corps” at the Cow Palace, in San Francisco. On June 24, 1961, Colombia I begins the first Peace Corps Training program. On August 28, 1961, the first groups of Volunteers going to Ghana and Tanzania meet President Kennedy in the Rose Garden. On August 30, 1961, The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers departs for Ghana. The 51 Volunteers are serving as secondary school teachers. On September 12, 1961, Tom Livingston from Woodale, Illinois became the first Peace Corps Volunteer when he took up his post as an English teacher at . . .

Read More

First Ever Peace Corps Volunteer Dies in San Francisco (Ghana)

Fellow Ghana PCV Ed Mycue reported the sad news that Tom Livingston (Ghana 1961-63) died today, January 24, 2017, in Oakland, California Kaiser Hosptial. Tom is credited with being the first ever PCV when he took up his post in 1961 as an English teacher at a secondary school in Dodowa, Ghana. – Gerald T. Rice in his definitive history of the first years of the Peace Corps, The Bold Experiment JFK’s Peace Corps published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 1985 and based on his Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Glasgow tells how the Volunteers arrived at Accra airport in Ghana on August 30, 1961. (The Volunteers bound for Tanzania did not arrive until a day later.) The Ghana PCVs began to travel to their assignments in different parts of Ghana two weeks later. On September 12, 1961, Tom Livingston became the first Volunteer to begin working overseas. – . . .

Read More

What Will President Trump’s Reinstatement of the So-Called “Gag Order” mean for Serving Peace Corps Volunteers?

President Trump has issued an Executive Order in which  “Trump reinstated the Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule, which was first put in place by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It prohibits giving U.S. funding to international nongovernmental organizations that offer or advise on a wide range of family planning and reproductive health options if they include abortion ― even if U.S. dollars are not specifically used for abortion-related services.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-abortion-men_us_5886369be4b0e3a7356a7910 During Director Carrie Hessler-Radalet tenure, Peace Corps established working partnerships with many organizations, including Health Organizations.  A list of those partnerships  was posted on  Peace Corps World Wide on March 2, 2015.  It included a list of all the partnerships that Peace Corps had at that time. I don’t know how many are still operative. Most of the agreements were for three years.  I know that the partnership with the Global Health Service has been renewed. I . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.