1
Good Peace Corps news from the Senate (Washington)
2
Talking with P. David Searles (Philippines & Peace Corps/HQ)
3
Come Celebrate the Life of Roger Landrum (Nigeria)
4
David Mather (Chile) publishes RAW DOGIN’
5
Remembering the murder of PCV Deborah Gardner (Tonga)
6
Review — DUSTY LAND by John Ashford (Botswana)
7
 Finding one’s way into book publishing
8
Talking with Romany Tin (Cambodia)
9
The Genius of Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador)
10
To Die in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Good Peace Corps news from the Senate (Washington)

Thanks to the heads up from Bill Josephson (PC/HQ 1961-66) Dear John, The Senate unanimously passed on March 13 the Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act, S. 2286.  It was introduced in the House on March 14.  Attached is section 1(b), the Table of Contents.  It demonstrates the areas of Congressional concern and, therefore, of Congress’s opinion of the Peace Corps failings. In my 57 years of monitoring Peace Corps legislation, I have never before seen such a wide-ranging list of Congressional concerns, even to the records and monitoring of Peace Corps training attendance.  (I’ve always had anecdotal doubts about overseas training.) The Consolidated Appropriation Act continues the Peace Corps funding level of $410 million.  This makes even more important efforts to ensure that the Peace Corps’ 20 percent staff cuts savings go to enlisting more volunteers. The only provision I regret is the easing of the five year flush.  I feel sure it . . .

Read More

Talking with P. David Searles (Philippines & Peace Corps/HQ)

David Searles’ career has included periods during which he worked in international business, government service and education. After service in the United States Marine Corps (1955-58) Searles worked in consumer goods marketing and in general management positions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Latin America. His business career was interrupted by a brief stint as a high school teacher (1969-71) and longer periods of service with the Peace Corps (1971-76) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1976-1980).  Searles served three years as the country director for the Peace Corps in the Philippines, and two years at Peace Corps headquarters as a Regional Director for North Africa, Near East, Asia, and Pacific (NANEAP) and as Deputy Director under John Dellenback. Following the end of his business career in 1990 Searles earned a Ph. D. from the university of Kentucky (1993), and published two books: A College For Appalachia (1995) . . .

Read More

Come Celebrate the Life of Roger Landrum (Nigeria)

Come Celebrate the Life of Roger Landrum Roger Landrum, whom many of you have known and enjoyed for decades, passed away at home after a battle with cancer on Dec. 9, 2017. His friends will hold a much-deserved Memorial Service to celebrate his life with our words and his, as well as with music and his photographs. This celebration will be held on  Saturday, June 2, 2018, 12:00pm in Washington, DC. Please save the date. And let us know if you plan to attend. We will follow-up more specific information about location, after we receive your responses. We need to have a proper estimate of numbers of attendants (to confirm an appropriate venue), so please respond as soon as possible. Email: Richard Harrill at: rharrill@email.unc.edu Sincerely, Bill Currier, Richie Harrill, and Norma Brooks

Read More

David Mather (Chile) publishes RAW DOGIN’

  MY PEACE CORPS EXPERIENCE in southern Chile was life-changing — it greatly influenced many of the decisions I made in later life. I also thought those two years, from 1968 to 1970, were unique and I knew that some day I would try to write about them. Meanwhile, returning to the States, I became a back-to-the-lander and built a cabin in the backwoods of New Hampshire where I basically cloned my life in Chile, living off-grid and over a mile from the nearest town-maintained road for over fifty years. When I mostly retired from the specialty wood company I started and built up over the years, I finally had the time to write. One For The Road took me five years and many rough manuscripts before it was finally published through Peace Corps Writers. Ostensibly a combination coming-of-age and love story, the book has been more aptly described by . . .

Read More

Remembering the murder of PCV Deborah Gardner (Tonga)

In the late Nineties, shortly after I had taken over the job of manager of the New York Recruitment Office for the Peace Corps, I got a call from a reporter at the New York Observer newspaper. I thought he was calling to ask me about the Peace Corps and to write an article about the agency. Well, in a way he was, but he started by asking if I knew anything about the murder of a young woman in Tonga in 1975. The reporter’s name was Philip Weiss and he didn’t realized he had stumbled on an RPCV who was fascinated by the history of the Peace Corps and obsessively collected PCV stories. Phil Weiss was also obsessed, but by the murder of this PCV in Tongo. In 1978, when he was 22 and backpacking around the world, he had crashed with a Peace Corps Volunteer in Samoa named . . .

Read More

Review — DUSTY LAND by John Ashford (Botswana)

  Dusty Land: Stories of Two Teachers in the Kalahari John Ashford (Botswana 1990–92) Peace Corps Writers December, 2017 260 pages $13.00 (paperback)   Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • MANY RETURNED PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS (RPCVs) feel a need to share our stories of life in another country, and our often transformative experiences. Because most of our family, friends and coworkers just are not very interested, we find our audience in local RPCV groups and at RPCV conferences. John Ashford took the next step and filled his need by publishing two collections of stories. Dusty Land is the second of those story collections. The author and his wife Gen were midcareer and middle-aged professionals when they joined the Peace Corps and headed to the African nation of Botswana. This book of stories and his previous one, titled Meeting the Mantis – Searching for a Man . . .

Read More

 Finding one’s way into book publishing

They are known infamously as “gate keepers.” The men and women who throughout the long history of publishing make the decision on whether a book gets published. These mysterious editors who control the fate of every would-be writer hide away mostly in New York skyscrapers and decide what is worthy of publication. Or at least that is what most would-be novelists think. Perhaps the most famous editor of all book editors was Maxwell Perkins. Perkins published F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe. They were his first famous writers but he would go onto publish a wide range of novelists, from J.P. Marquand to Erskine Caldwell to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, as well as, late in his editorial career, convince James Jones not to pen an autobiographical novel but write instead From Here to Eternity. You might ask: how did these editors become ‘gate keepers’? Well, they start in the . . .

Read More

Talking with Romany Tin (Cambodia)

The Peace Corps may do work around the world to reduce HIV stigma and discrimination, but, according to a report on Friday, it’s a different story if one of its volunteers tests positive. A Peace Corps volunteer who was stationed in Cambodia claims the federal government agency quarantined him in a hotel room and then terminated his service after he tested positive for HIV. Wrote Jorge Rivas in Splinter News I published the article  “Peace Corps accused of quarantining, then firing, PCV with HIV (Cambodia)” about PCV Romany Tin on March 12 on our site and then reached out to get his story of what happened in Cambodia and with the Peace Corps. — JCoyne • First off, Romany, where did you go to college? I attending California State University Long Beach and majored in Political Science and International Studies. I graduated in May of 2017 and departed to Peace Corps on July . . .

Read More

The Genius of Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador)

I first  published this item on June 1, 2009. A new publication from Quito, Ecuador, is out with a scholarly look at the writings of Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965–67). It is the online publication LiberArte, from the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito. Contributors to LiberArte are primarily professors and students at the university. The journal, first published in January, 2005, features articles on literature, film, and critical trends in Ecuador. Last year there was a conference on Thomsen’s writing held in Quito. If you are interested in any reports from that conference, contact Martin Vega (vegamart@gmail.com) Martin also welcomes comments and critiques of Thomsen from those who knew him. I asked Martin if he knew Moritz and he said he didn’t, but that Alvaro Aleman, who heads up their journal, did know Moritz and often visited him in Guayaquil and spoke with him at length about authors and books. After Thomsen’s death, Alvaro . . .

Read More

To Die in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Peace Corps Volunteer Susan Traub was killed on the night she and her husband arrived as new Peace Corps Volunteers to Ethiopia. It was a  tragic death through absolutely no fault of her own and only because she turned left and not right when she stepped out of the Land Rover at the hotel on her first night in Addis Ababa. This story is about Susan, and it is also about her husband, Charles, who was also injured that night, but who went onto have an amazing life in all the years since, living through the death of his young wife, his own injury, and then a tour in Vietnam. Today he has emerged having had a successful career as a photographer, college professor, author of fifteen books, and a husband and a father. What happened in Ethiopia in September 1967, happened in the last days of my tour as . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.