Korea

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Review — LEARNING TO LOVE KIMCHI by Carol MacGregor Cissel (Korea)
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Ernesto Butcher (Korea 1968-70) Unsung by the Peace Corps

Review — LEARNING TO LOVE KIMCHI by Carol MacGregor Cissel (Korea)

  Learning to Love Kimchi: Letters Home from a Peace Corps Volunteer Carol MacGregor Cissel (Korea 1973–75) CreateSpace May 2016 274 pages $10.99 (paperback), $4.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976–77) • CAROL CISSEL EMBARKED on her Peace Corps odyssey in December, 1973. “We’re in Korea!” she writes home to her mother upon arrival after a journey through Honolulu and Tokyo with her service group. This exclamation forms the opening of Cissel’s memoir, Learning to Love Kimchi. What follows are all the letters she wrote to her mother over the course of her two years working in Korea as an education Volunteer and the months spent touring Southeast Asia after the completion of her service. My own Peace Corps/Korea experience began just a few days after Cissel left the country, so I read these letters with considerable fondness and nostalgia, remembering my own first taste of kimchi, my own . . .

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Ernesto Butcher (Korea 1968-70) Unsung by the Peace Corps

You most likely have never heard of Ernesto Butcher unless you were a PCV in South Korea in 1968-70, or you worked for the New York Port Authority in the days of 9/11. I never heard of him until Dick Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64) alerted me to Ernesto Butcher’s obituary in The New York Times on Saturday, May 24, 2014. Ernesto Butcher died on May 15 in Maplewood, N.J. He was 69. He apparently had a heart attack while jogging according to his wife, Kristen Peck Butcher. Most RPCV operate (with some exceptions) in the shadow of fame or notoriety and are content on getting the job done. Perhaps it is a hangover from working in totally obscurity in faraway villages of the world and just being satisfied with what can be accomplished without a lot of fanfare. Ernesto Butcher appears to have been that sort of guy, and it has . . .

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