Ethiopia

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Sally Collier (Ethiopia 1962–64)
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Dan Close (Ethiopia 1966–68)
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George B. Breznay (Ethiopia 1966–68)
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RPCV Dick Lipez Is Back With New Don Strachey Mystery
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Review: The Man Who Killed Osama
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Dumb Things I Did in the Peace Corps

Sally Collier (Ethiopia 1962–64)

Monday, November 21 8:00 pm I served with the Peace Corps as a music teacher in Ethiopia with the first group to go there, from 1962-64. I lived in Addis Ababa with four other young women. Our house was termed “Debutante Hill” by our would-be humorous friends. My roommates included Mo, the daughter of a Chicago Irish policeman, Sylvia, an Italian-American, who when asked one day how she was, said, “Oh, so and so,” Peggy who was in seven Land-Rover accidents during her two-year stint (no one wanted to fly home on the same plane with her), and Stephanie who laughed on a perfect C- scale, always us. My roommates were fresh out of college; I was 25 – an older woman. I probably should have been wiser for my extra four years of living, but my real education had only begun. It began the day I received the invitation . . .

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Dan Close (Ethiopia 1966–68)

Monday, November 21 5:57 pm In November of 1963 I came to Washington to say farewell to Jack Kennedy. I came here with hundreds of thousands of people, and we stood in lines that stretched for countless Washington blocks through the cold November night. We walked slowly for hours toward the Capital, and along the way we met friends and relatives, brothers and sisters whom we had never met before, whom we would never meet again. We had come from all directions, along roads filled with hitchhikers carrying signs that said simply “Washington,” and we stopped and picked them up, carried them forward in our slow and silent and subdued tide. Through the long night, we were the American people, assembled to pay honor to our fallen leader, Jack. The lines of mourners entered the Capitol from the east, and there were placed the flowers sent by many nations, and . . .

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George B. Breznay (Ethiopia 1966–68)

Monday, November 21 6:09 pm JOURNAL EXCERPTS 2/3/67 At the Bank today a woman in native dress (black with a white shemma [shawl]) came in, bowed to the teller, treaded lightly over to the counter where the desk men are, bowed deeply again, and proceeded to transact some business. Saw a ritual of men kissing today – a cycle is 4 kisses: A kisses B’s right, then left cheek; then B does the same to A: this cycle was repeated twice, all the time shaking hands – then a stand-off – both stepped back, each rubbing the back of his neck as if in embarrassment. It seemed that neither then knew what to say! 2/9/67 The other day Lemma saw me sitting quietly in the middle of the bus as he walked near the Trinity Press. I thought “how observant he is!” -but then on reflecting I discovered that there . . .

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RPCV Dick Lipez Is Back With New Don Strachey Mystery

Dick Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64) who uses the pen name Richard Stevenson has a new Donald Strachey novel coming out in September. This one is titled, The 38 Million  Dollar Smile. Lipez, who has written for such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Newsweek and The Washington Post, and more importantly, was a Peace Corps evaluator in the early days when Charlie Peters ran that division, writes now in western Massachusetts  and lives with his spouse, sculptor Joe Wheaton. Lipez has written ten titles in this Strachey series, and this novel is based on Dick’s recent trip to Asia. The plot centers on Gary Griswold, the hapless gadfly scion of Albany old money, late of Key West, who goes missing, and his ex-wife, now married to Gary’s brother, wants to know what’s happened to him–not to mention his 38 million dollars in cash. She calls Don Strachey, Albany’s only gay PI.  The rest, as they say, . . .

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Review: The Man Who Killed Osama

I could think of no better to review The Man Who Killed Osama by George P. Matheos than RPCV Darcy Munson Meijer. Darcy currently lives with her family in the United Arab Emirates and teaches English at  Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. • The Man Who Killed Osama by George P. Matheos (Ethiopia 1963–65) iUniverse October 2008 256 pages $26.95 Reviewed by Darcy Munson Meijer (Gabon 1982-84) I liked this lively book, though Matheos’ style took getting used to. Some clever American writer had to take on the woeful story of America’s obsession with Osama bin Laden, and Matheos does it with humor and suspense. The Man Who Killed Osama follows Jake and Jo Ann, naïve newlyweds, from Chicago to Beirut and back, as they become involved in tracking down America’s Public Enemy #1. On the way, Matheos weaves subplots that add depth and suspense. Matheos opens the story with one of Jake’s nightmares, . . .

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Dumb Things I Did in the Peace Corps

This is a piece by Dick Lipez  who after his Peace Corps tour (Ethiopia 1962-64) worked in the famed Charlie Peters Evaluation Division of the Peace Corps. He then went on to become a successful novelist and editorial writer at the Berkshire Eagle and author of gay detective novels. • • • Attention Peace Corps authors: Here’s a good idea for an anthology.  I don’t have the time to edit it — I have two other books I keep telling people I’m writing—but I’m a prime candidate to contribute to the collection.  It would be called Dumb Things I Did in the Peace Corps. We all have lists.  I get chills when I run down mine.  Some of these blunders are amusing, but others are so excruciatingly dumb that no one else should ever be allowed to know about them.  Unless, of course, other volunteers were there at the time, and maybe even participated in the . . .

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