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Meet the “Impact” Woman at the NPCA….Juliana Essen (Thailand)
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Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General -Semiannual Report to Congress
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Paul Theroux’s Peace Corps Prose (Malawi)
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Harris Wofford: The Key to John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Victory
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“Nebaj Notes: Revisiting Peace Corps Guatemala” by Taylor Dibbert (Guatemala)
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Review: WALLED IN WALLED OUT by Mary Dana Marks (Iran)
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Paul Theroux writes the Peace Corps story for JFK: A VISION OF AMERICA
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West Virginia Writers’ Workshop–Peace Corps Tuition Discount
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Do You Know Jack: JFK and the Peace Corps – Read More and Listen to JFK
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JFK 100 Commemoration for the Peace Corps Community

Meet the “Impact” Woman at the NPCA….Juliana Essen (Thailand)

As Chief Impact Officer, Juliana Essen strives to heighten NPCA’s capacity as a social impact organization in an integrated and comprehensive way. Her key responsibilities include strengthening strategic thinking and evidence-based decision making; stimulating an environment of learning and improvement; prioritizing communications as a primary vehicle of impact; supporting membership, development, and revenue-generating efforts; building collaborative relationships within and beyond the Peace Corps community; and developing NPCA’s third strategic goal: amplifying the Peace Corps community’s global development impact. Before joining NPCA, Juliana enjoyed a first career in academia. She earned a PhD in cultural anthropology specializing in sustainable development and spent 12 years teaching at a small, private liberal arts college in southern California. In 2015, Juliana left academia for the social impact sector where she could more fully engage her values. She completed a professional degree in social enterprise and launched her new career as Operations Director at Tandana . . .

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Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General -Semiannual Report to Congress

The Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General reports to Congress twice a year. Here is the link to the latest report from the OIG to Congress.  It is of interest because it describes the trial and outcome regarding the  murder of Kate Puzey.  The section dealing with that report is printed here. The OIG also is charged with various audits.  In this report, there is the evaluation of programs in China and Georgia. Semiannual Report to Congress October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/documents/inspector-general/OIG_Semiannual_Report_to_Congress_Oct_2016_-_March_2017.pdf  Here is the section describing the investigation into the murder of Kate Puzey (page 24) “The U.S. Government has been assisting the Government of Benin with the ongoing investigation into Ms. Puzey’s death since 2009. Peace Corps OIG’s initial involvement in the case focused on the circumstances surrounding the related disclosure of confidential information, including the role of agency staff and contractors. Subsequently, OIG . . .

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Paul Theroux’s Peace Corps Prose (Malawi)

Paul Theroux’s novel, The Lower River is his most direct use of his Peace Corps experience. Paul’s first three novels: Waldo, Fong and the Indians, and Girls at Play all were East Africa based, but not about the Peace Corps. Girls at Play, set at a girls’ school in western Kenya, has a ‘Peace Corps character,’ and unhappy, Midwest woman. I believe this is the first use of a ‘Peace Corps character’ in a work of fiction. (Mary-Ann Tyrone Smith’s (Cameroon 1965-67) Lament for a Silver-Eyed Woman published in 1987, is the first novel about a Peace Corps Volunteers.) In his collection of nonfiction pieces, Sunrise with Seamonsters (1986), Paul republished a few of his essays that focused on the agency and Africa, and how he was kicked out of the Peace Corps. Theroux wrote a wonderful ‘peace corps’ short story “White Lies” first published in Playboy in 1979. I republished . . .

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Harris Wofford: The Key to John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Victory

Tonight’s CNN program entitled  “Race for the White House” captures the drama of how a high-stakes presidential election can turn on a single issue. The issue involved Harris Wofford who created our Peace Corps with Sargent Shriver but before that ‘saved’ the presidential campaign of JFK with one phone call. If you saw the Monday night CNN program you saw how Martin Luther King was arrested in October 1960 and Coretta King called Harris Wofford, a friend, and asked for his help.  King had been arrested and sentenced by a Georgia judge to four months of hard labor for driving with an out-of-state license. Coretta was afraid that her husband would be killed and she asked Wofford, then working on the Kennedy campaign for the presidency, for his help. As the CNN program details, and as Wofford described in his book, Of Kennedys and Kings, he called Shriver in Chicago . . .

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“Nebaj Notes: Revisiting Peace Corps Guatemala” by Taylor Dibbert (Guatemala)

  Nebaj Notes: Revisiting Peace Corps Guatemala Taylor Dibbert (Guatemala 2006–08) — freelance writer • I RECENTLY DID ONE OF THOSE “security clearance” interviews. A friend of mine listed me as a reference; he had applied for a job with a certain U.S. government agency. I’d never done an interview like this. Minutes into the conversation, I’m reminded that I know a lot about this guy (the person whose background is being ‘checked’), which really shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’ve known this person since 2006; we lived in the same rural town in Guatemala – Nebaj – for two years. We were Peace Corps volunteers. The Peace Corps is an awesome journey. Yet it’s not something that one does alone. Lasting friendships are cultivated during those highs and lows. And some of the strongest relationships are formed in one’s “site.” In our case, rather uniquely, one of the members of our Nebaj . . .

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Review: WALLED IN WALLED OUT by Mary Dana Marks (Iran)

  Walled In Walled Out by Mary Dana Marks (Iran 1964–66) Peace Corps Writers Books 348 pages April 2017 Reviewed by John Krauskopf (Iran 1965–67) • WALLED IN WALLED OUT IS A CAPTIVATING MEMOIR.  The Kennedy-era idealism lured young Mary Beckett Marks into the Peace Corps to serve for two years in conservative Kerman, Iran. This sojourn forced the author to struggle to adjust to the Kermani culture and to mature many of the ideas that have guided her life since. The memoir traces Mary’s emotional reaction to the culture, her feelings, frustrations and adjustments. During a low point at the end of her first year, Mary was so discouraged that she decided to request a transfer to another site. This opportunity passed without action because of a cholera quarantine. Reluctantly remaining in Kerman for her second year, the book outlines Mary’s increasing language skills and her greater comfort with the . . .

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Paul Theroux writes the Peace Corps story for JFK: A VISION OF AMERICA

  JFK: A Vision for America by Stephen Kennedy Smith & Douglas Brinkley was published by HarperCollins this May on the centennial of President Kennedy’s birth. The book has a compendium of JFK’s most important speeches, hundreds of photographs, and commentary and reflections on Kennedy’s administration, policies, and programs by leading American and international authorities. The “authority” selected to write the Peace Corps story is none other than Paul Theroux. What’s amusing to RPCVs is that Theroux was perhaps the first Volunteer to be sent home (ETed) by the agency because of his involvement in Malawi political affairs. This just goes to show that even in the Peace Corps “writers always have the last word.”      

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West Virginia Writers’ Workshop–Peace Corps Tuition Discount

West Virginia Writers’ Workshop Expands Focus; New This Summer: Writing about Health and Healing In addition to its usual focus on fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, this summer’s West Virginia Writers’ Workshop will include talks, readings, and classes on health and healing (sometimes called narrative medicine). The Workshop, in its 21st year, will be held on WVU’s downtown campus from July 20 to July 23. Visiting writers and lecturers will include West Virginia poet and children’s book author Marc Harshman, who will kick off the event with a talk entitled “The Poetry of Healing,” and faculty members from the Narrative Medicine program in Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. Other faculty members include novelist Courtney Angela Brkic, a professor at George Mason University and the author of The First Rule of Swimming; poet Geffrey Davis, a professor at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and the author of Revising the Storm, winner of . . .

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JFK 100 Commemoration for the Peace Corps Community

  CLICK for full information about the Commemoration. MAY 27, 2017 @ 2:00 PM EST John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Columbia Point, Boston, MA The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is proud to partner with National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and Boston Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (BARPCV) to host the Peace Corps community at a centennial commemoration of President Kennedy. Since President Kennedy founded the Peace Corps in 1961, over 225,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in 141 countries around the world. This special centennial event will celebrate the lasting legacy of President Kennedy and the enduring impact that Peace Corps Volunteers and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers continue to have at home and abroad. Details: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm: Museum open to visitors Free admission for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and former Peace Corps staff 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Special Program . . .

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