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Review — WHITE MOON IN A POWDER BLUE SKY by Julie Dargis (Morocco)
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Anson Lihosit (Panama) publishes PEACE CORPS EPIPHANIES
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New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2017
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A Writer Writes: “House of Flowers” — A short story by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
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Happy Ethiopian New Year
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The Not-So-Ugly Americans, 1965 (Ecuador)
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Peace Corps Volunteers to help? The precedent
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Peace Corps Burkina Faso Volunteers evacuated safely
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“The forgotten role of the Peace Corps in U.S. foreign policy” by Bren Flanigan (Benin)
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Paul Theroux (Malawi) essay: “The Romance of the American Road Trip”

Review — WHITE MOON IN A POWDER BLUE SKY by Julie Dargis (Morocco)

  White Moon in a Powder Blue Sky: A Primer in Healing from both Sides of the Veil in Memoir, Sonnets and Prose by Julie R. Dargis (Morocco 1984–87) Indie House Press July 2016 78 pages $9.50 (paperback) Reviewed by Taylor Barahona (Dominican Republic (2015–17) • With a bold and unique approach, Julie R. Dargis sets out to bring her readers on a spiritual journey through her book White Moon in a Powder Blue Sky: A Primer in Healing from both Sides of the Veil in Memoir, Sonnets and Prose. Dargis successfully captures a feeling that will surely resonate for any reader who dedicates themselves to serving the greater good and finds it difficult to step back and take care of themselves. Dargis writes, in her Author’s Note: I had been ready and willing to undertake anything that would have been asked of me. But what I was being told, in . . .

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Anson Lihosit (Panama) publishes PEACE CORPS EPIPHANIES

  New Peace Corps Experience Memoir/Panama   Anson K. Lihosit recently trudged home after two years’ service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama. An urban planner by trade, he was recruited to teach English. Before packing again to begin a masters degree program in urban planning at the University of Arizona in Tucson, he wrote and published a book about his Peace Corps experience titled Peace Corps Epiphanies: Panama. Assigned to a remote village near the famous Darien Gap and 95 miles from the Colombian border, he assisted middle and high school teachers, offered community night classes, and assisted other Volunteers with conferences for indigenous people that offered him the opportunity to visit other parts of the country. In his book, Lihosit describes Peace Corps Training, and life in the rural Panama. Like all Volunteers, he had difficulty adjusting to a new culture and language as well as dealing with . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — August 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. • If You Are Retiring, You Might Join the Peace Corps! by Sally Jo Nelson Botzler (Mexico 2009–11) WestBowPress July 2017 122 pages $16.95 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle) Following retirement, the author and her husband served as Peace Corps Volunteers at the Sierra . . .

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A Writer Writes: “House of Flowers” — A short story by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

  A former U.S. foreign service officer, Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) has published more than 100 stories in magazines including The Atlantic, Playboy, The Idaho Review, The S0uthrn  Review, and The Kenyon Review. He has stories forthcoming in several magazines including The Hudson Review. His story “How Birds Communicate” won The Iowa Review fiction prize. His five books include A Handful of Kings, published by Simon and Schuster, and Stone Cowboy, by Soho Press, which won the Maria Thomas Award. His website can be found at markjacobsauthor.com. This story appears in the Fall 2016 issue of Border Crossing. • House of Flowers Poppa Billy was living in the basement at the House of Flowers even though his name was on the mortgage. The basement was set up to be an apartment with its own separate door, so he came and went as he pleased. At maximum capacity, the House of Flowers accommodated seven room-renters. I was number seven, taking Nasturtium after Mr. . . .

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The Not-So-Ugly Americans, 1965 (Ecuador)

  Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) In 1965 Public Television produced a documentary about the Peace Corps in Guayaquil. Marnie Elberson Mueller, Dave Zimmerman, and James Samiljan were chosen as subjects for the project, which was titled THE NOT-SO-UGLY AMERICANS. Jim’s dad managed to get a copy of the film through a friend who worked at WGBH in Boston. It had been sitting in storage until last month when Jim had it digitized. Marnie Mueller thought other RPCVs would enjoy seeing the video after all these years and forwarded it to me to share on this site. (Thank you, Marnie.) Jim had the video uploaded to YouTube. It is about 30 minutes long. The link below should take you directly there: https://youtu.be/TKPGYPtFL5M The Not-So-Ugly Americans, 1965    

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Peace Corps Volunteers to help? The precedent

  In light of current events in Texas and the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, it behooves us to learn from history. Here is what former Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez said about his decision to send Crisis Corps (now Peace Corps Response) Volunteers to aid in the Hurricane Katrina effort. (This interview was recorded by Alana DeJoseph (Mali 192-94) for the upcoming documentary about the Peace Corps, A Towering Task being made by DeJoseph): Vasquez recalls: Well, I had the opportunity to travel to Sri Lanka, Thailand after the tsunami and witnessed the devastation that the tsunami had caused and it was not long thereafter that Katrina struck the United States and the Gulf Coast. I saw the images, the devastation; it was incredible. And made a decision that I would authorize the deployment of Crisis Corps — these are returned Peace Corps volunteers who make up this group at that . . .

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Peace Corps Burkina Faso Volunteers evacuated safely

https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-burkina-faso-volunteers-evacuated-safely/?utm_campaign=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=  WASHINGTON, D.C., September 03, 2017 – The Peace Corps today announced that, acting with an abundance of caution and considering the unique circumstances of their service, all Peace Corps Burkina Faso volunteers have been successfully evacuated out of the country due to security concerns. The Peace Corps has been closely monitoring the safety and security environment in Burkina Faso and will continue to assess the situation. The Peace Corps looks forward to a time when volunteers can return while underscoring that the safety and security of its volunteers are the agency’s top priority. There were 124 volunteers working in Burkina Faso on projects in community economic development, education and health. The Peace Corps has enjoyed a long partnership with the government and people of Burkina Faso and hopes to be able to continue volunteers’ work there. More than 2,075 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Burkina Faso since the program . . .

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“The forgotten role of the Peace Corps in U.S. foreign policy” by Bren Flanigan (Benin)

  Thanks for the ‘heads up” from Bob Arias (Colombia 1964-66) about this article. — JC • The forgotten role of the Peace Corps in U.S. foreign policy   Washington Post Opinion Article By Bren Flanigan (PCV Benin) August 31, 2017 After surviving nine hours in a non-air-conditioned bus in the hot West African climate, during which the only escape from the jolting ride is a “pee-pee stop,” the last thing I wanted to do was converse in my extremely limited French with my Peace Corps host father. But I was instantly interrogated on the then-ongoing tumultuous 2016 presidential election: “Why do all Americans hate Muslims?” It’s humbling to find people in Benin following U.S. current affairs with intense interest, when many Americans could never locate Benin on a map. Addressing questions like these gives Peace Corps volunteers the opportunity to shatter the stereotypes about the United States portrayed in television . . .

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Paul Theroux (Malawi) essay: “The Romance of the American Road Trip”

In the WSJ, September 2-3 Review Section is a long essay by Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65): “The long, improvisational trip by car is an American institution–and no other travel experience especially today, can beat the sense of freedom it brings.” Theroux begins with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald, three months in their marriage and they are living in Westport, Conn. and  Zelda is slightly cranky over breakfast. She hates Yankee bacon and craves Southern biscuits. “I wish I could have some peaches anyhow.” So Scott says, “let’s get dress and go.” And so it begins. They set off in their secondhand 1918 Marmon Speedster for Montgomery, Alabama. All of this tale is told in Fitzgerald’s memoir The Cruise of The Rolling Junk, a 1,200-mile journey to the deep South on bad roads. Theroux goes onto to recount other such road trips, including his own told in Deep South: Four . . .

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