Ecuador

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Review: DRUMS FOR A LOST SONG, translated by Rob Gunther (Ecuador)
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Journals of Peace — Gary P. Russell (Ecuador)
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Tom Miller on Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965-67)
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Meredith Schroeder Green (Ecuador 1967-69)

Review: DRUMS FOR A LOST SONG, translated by Rob Gunther (Ecuador)

  Drums for a Lost Song (novel) by Jorge Velasco Mackenzie Rob Gunther (Ecuador 2009–2002) (Translator) Hanging Loose Press 200 pages March 2017 $18.00 (paperback) Reviewed by Jim Criste (PC Staff/Ecuador 1999-02) • Ecuador is an incredibly diverse country in so many ways. Jorge Velasco Mackenzie takes us on a journey through one part of that diverse country, the western lowlands along the Pacific Coast, to places both known and unknown, real and imagined. Drums for a Lost Song seems to be the literary equivalent of a school of painting in Ecuador known as “Magical Realism.” This is pointed out clearly by the translator in his afterword where he cites, “One of Velasco’s themes is the slippery nature of what we call “facts” or “truth. . .,” which just shows that Velasco was ahead of his time in the use of “alternate facts.” The reader is challenged not only to sort out what may . . .

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Journals of Peace — Gary P. Russell (Ecuador)

Journals of Peace Gary P. Russell (Ecuador 1978-81) Monday, November 21 7:18 pm • To this day, my Peace Corps experience remains the most influential and rewarding time of my life. For this, I have you to thank JFK. In forming the Peace Corps, you championed a concept that captured the best in humanity. You gave me and other Americans a unique opportunity to work with other citizens of the world in the pursuit of economic and social development and world peace. Twenty-seven years after its enactment, the Peace Corps is alive and well; its work valued by political leaders at home and aboard. As a child I remember being attracted to the commercials that asked Americans to join the Corps. Even then, as an average run of the mill kid, I was fascinated by the concept, though at the time I never really gave much thought to joining as . . .

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Tom Miller on Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965-67)

Tom Miller has been writing about Latin America and the American Southwest for more than thirty years, bringing us extraordinary stories of ordinary people. His highly acclaimed adventure books include “The Panama Hat Trail” about South America, “On the Border,” an account of his travels along the U.S.-Mexico frontier, “Trading With the Enemy,” which takes readers on his journeys through Cuba, and, about the American Southwest, “Revenge of the Saguaro” (formerly “Jack Ruby’s Kitchen Sink” — which won the coveted Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book of the Year in 2001). He has edited three compilations, “Travelers’ Tales Cuba,” “Writing on the Edge: A Borderlands Reader,” and “How I Learned English.” Additionally, he was a major contributor to the four-volume “Encyclopedia Latina.” This following piece on Moritz Thomsen ran in the Washington Post Book Section in October 2008. Recently the article way expanded and republished in Spanish and English . . .

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Meredith Schroeder Green (Ecuador 1967-69)

Monday, November 21 5:33 pm EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS HOME — NOVEMBER, 1967 The bus trip down from Quito to Guayaquil was like a quick tour of Ecuador. The climate and vegetation changed every few miles during the decent as did the type of housing construction and the physical make up of the people. In the High Sierra, buildings were largely of cement, the population predominantly Indian; half way down the side of the Andes mountains the houses were built of brick, the people looked more Spanish, except for the distinct ethnic group of Colorado Indians and the landscape became green and lush. By the time the bus reached sea level, the tropical heat was oppressive, the bamboo houses with tin roofs gave the landscape a sense of temporariness and the small, dark skinned people spoke a rapid fire Spanish that was undecipherable le to my untuned ears. My emotions went . . .

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