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A Writer Writes: “Digging to China” a short story by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
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Talking with Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia)
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Watch Namibia’s tourism industry cash in on Trump’s diplomatic blunders (Namibia)
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Who is Karin McQuillan? (Senegal)
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Peace Corps Volunteer Does 180 After Living in Africa: ‘Trump Was Right”
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The Peace Corps Plan In The Event of a Government Shutdown
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New books by Peace Corps writers — December, 2017
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VULGAR FAVORS by Maureen Orth(Colombia)
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“Bitter Vengeance: A Mystery Short Story” by Carole Sojka (Somali)
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NPCA responds to Trump’s reported remarks

A Writer Writes: “Digging to China” a short story by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

    Digging to China by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80)   A feeling of déjà vu nagged Hunter Durrell as he crossed the Xaneria lot. It seemed like a dumb thing to be feeling. Of course he had been there before. Twice a day for three years, going to and coming from the cube farm. Then it hit him. Spring. The smell of turned over earth. Dogwood blossoms. A trace scent of last night’s rain. In the sky-blue distance, a tractor downshifted, and Hunter’s eyes teared. He had forgotten the world, and here it was forgiving him, reminding him it was still there. He had to get out more. Inside the cube farm, breathing institutional air, he was ambushed by Prudence raising a pallid hand as she rolled her chair into the aisle. “Stop in the name of Howard Roark.” Prudence needed to get out more, too. And quit dreaming in . . .

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Talking with Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia)

If you want to find a successful Peace Corps Volunteer and the legacy he left in-country look no further than Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia 2011-13), the co-author of three reference books on Amharic, Tigrinya, and Afan Oromo written after his tour and while he was still living in Ethiopia. Andrew is an example of the ‘new’ PCVs joining the agency in recent years. Andrew and PCVs like him are bringing new skills to this ancient land that is swiftly evolving into a significant African nation. In Andrew’s case, it is his environmental and landscape architecture background, as well as, his linguistic ability. He, and others like him, have much more to offer Ethiopia (and other Peace Corps countries) than those of us in the early years who went into the developing world fresh out of college with our BA degrees, nursing certificates, community development training, and goodwill. Today, because of technology, . . .

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Watch Namibia’s tourism industry cash in on Trump’s diplomatic blunders (Namibia)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Mark Wentling ((Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff/Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) Watch Namibia’s tourism industry cash in on Trump’s diplomatic blunders

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Who is Karin McQuillan? (Senegal)

Karin McQuillan (Senegal 1972) writes, I was looking for a new hobby to balance out my work as a psychotherapist. I was an avid mystery reader, and I had two subjects I very much wanted to write about – Africa and wildlife. I’d been in the Peace Corps, and just come back from a wildlife safari, which was a joyful experience, and thought it would be fun to put all those things together. My only problem was that I had never written anything and didn’t have a clue how to write a mystery – so first I had to learn how to write. I was in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and then went to Kenya three times on safari. I read hundreds of books on Africa – culture, history, wildlife, anthropology, fiction. And I subscribed to the Nairobi daily paper, to get detailed local color. As a result, . . .

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Peace Corps Volunteer Does 180 After Living in Africa: ‘Trump Was Right”

  Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Bob Arias (Colombia 1964-66) I emailed Karen for her comments but have not heard back from her. • Peace Corps Volunteer Does 180 After Living in Africa: ‘Trump Was Right’ CONSERVATIVE TRIBUNE BY CHRIS GOLDEN JANUARY 19, 2018 AT 3:25AM   We’re just a little over halfway through the month of January, but I think we’ve pretty much established what the “covfefe” of 2018 is going to be: “s***hole countries.” It’s not even clear whether or not the president actually said those words, mind you, but it’s sparked a debate about the diversity lottery and other forms of visas for individuals from nations that wouldn’t ordinarily qualify for migration to the United States. Oh, and it’s also given the left an opportunity to vehemently declare the president a flaming racist, but they’ve also utilized taco salads for that selfsame purpose. (Seriously.) There have been plenty of . . .

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The Peace Corps Plan In The Event of a Government Shutdown

Update:  As of today, January 18, 2018, Peace Corps has published its Operations Plan in the Absence of Appropriatons.  It would appear that the policy to maintain Volunteers in the field, at least in the short term, is still policy as is printed below.  Read the plan here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/documents/open-government/Peace_Corps_Operations_Plan_in_the_Absence_of_Appropriations.pdf If by midnight, January 19, 2019, Congress fails to pass a budget or a Continuing Resolution to continue funding for the federal government,  then there will be a  Government Shutdown.  Peace Corps issued a plan to show how it would continue operations if there were to be a government shutdown in December of 2017.  In December, Congress avoided a government shutdown by passing a Continuing Resolution which is set to expire on January 19, 2019, at midnight. Here is the  important policy statement from the plan published November 2017. 5. POLICY A. Any lapse in funding is expected to be temporary and . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — December, 2017

  To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — Click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards.   We are now including a one-sentence description — provided by the author — for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order the book and 2) to volunteer to review it. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • Dusty Land: Stories of Two Teachers in the Kalahari John Ashford (Botswana 1990–92) Peace Corps Writers December, 2017 260 pages $13.00 (paperback) Although theses stories took place in the ’90s, they have a timelessness that sheds light onto our current times . . .

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VULGAR FAVORS by Maureen Orth(Colombia)

  American Crime Story: Author Maureen Orth On the “Fact-Based Reporting” of Her Book Vulgar Favors   Before Andrew Cunanan shot designer Gianni Versace on the front steps of his Miami home in July 1997, Vanity Fair contributor Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) was already steeped in the mind of the serial killer. That murder is portrayed in the upcoming FX series American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which is based on Orth’s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. At the time of the murder, Orth had spent two months reporting for Vanity Fair on Cunanan and the events that might have led to him to kill four other people before finally targeting Versace. Even before law enforcement announced that Cunanan was a suspect, Orth and the fact checkers at Vanity Fair had a hunch they knew exactly who had pulled the trigger at Ocean Drive. The full story at: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/01/still-watching-versace-episode-2-maureen-orth

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“Bitter Vengeance: A Mystery Short Story” by Carole Sojka (Somali)

      Carole Sojka (Somali 1962-64) is the author of two mystery novels set in Florida featuring a female police detective named Andi Battaglia and her male partner, Greg Lamont — A Reason to Kill, and So Many Reasons to Die. She has also published a stand-alone mystery novel, Psychic Damage, set in Southern California. She has had a number of short stories published in various venues and is also on the board of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles. You can read her most recent story, “Bitter Vengeance ” at Kings River Life.  

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NPCA responds to Trump’s reported remarks

  On Friday, the National Peace Corps Association released the following statement in the aftermath of news reports pertaining to President Trump’s Thursday comments on U.S. immigration policy. – JR • Last week, National Peace Corps Association praised President Trump for his excellent nomination for Peace Corps Director. Today, however, we are obliged to take exception to the disparaging remarks apparently made in reference to the countries – and therein the citizens – which our Peace Corps community has embraced and adopted as our second homes. Since 1961, nearly 90,000 Peace Corps Volunteers served – and continue to serve – nations in Africa. More than 500 served in Haiti, while nearly 2,500 volunteers served in El Salvador. What we know better than most through living and working side-by-side with the people of these countries is that the vast majority of them are overwhelmingly generous, highly resourceful, extremely hardworking and tremendously . . .

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