In January 2008 I received an email from Jane Albritton (India 1967–69) asking if I would get the word out about her books project. I was happy to do so. Anything to help RPCV writers get published. Anything to help RPCVs tell their stories. Anything to fulfill the Third Goal of the Peace Corps.
Jane’s plan was to publish four books of stories for the 50th anniversary. The four volumes focusing on Africa and the Middle East; Central Asia and Eastern Europe; Asia and the Pacific; and Central America, South America and the Caribbean, would feature stories from past and present Volunteers, staff and instructors.
Even while I was “spreading the word” I thought to myself: This is a crazy idea!
Well, once again I was wrong. I am now holding: One Hand Does Not Catch A Buffalo, 50 Years of Amazing Peace Corps Stories, Volume One, edited by Aaron Barlow (Togo 1988-90) the first collection of essays, all directed by the series editor, Jane Albritton, and published by Travelers’ Tales, an Imprint of Solas House, Inc. in Palo Alto, California. The three other volumes, to be published over the next few months, are:
Volume Two: The Americas — Gather The Fruit One By One, edited by Barnie Alter (Paraguary 1970-72) and Pat Alter (India 1967–69 & Paraguary 1970-72)
Volume Three: The Heart of Eurasia — A Small Key Opens Big Doors, edited by Jay Chen (Kazakhstan 2005–08)
Volume Four: Asia and the Pacific — Even The Smallest Crab Has Teeth, edited by Jane Albritton (India 1967–69)
“There are some baby ideas that seem to fly in by stork,” Jane says in her series preface, “without incubation between conception and birth. These magical bundles smile and say: ‘Want me?’ And well before the head can weigh the merits of taking in the unsummoned arrival, the heart leaps forward and answers, ‘Yes!’”
We can indeed be grateful for that “yes” from unsuspecting, undaunted, and unstoppable Jane Albritton, her crew of editors, and the hundreds and hundreds of RPCVs who sat down at computers and told their tales, and in doing so — and in not a small way — fulfilled the Third Goal of the Peace Corps.
Congratulations to you all!