Peru

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Sixth Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: “A Nice Black Shirt” by Nathan Hecht (Peru)
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Fifth Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: “Where Carbs Mean Friendship” by Lucas Gosdin (Peru)
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“The Peace Corps Radicalized Me” by Thomas Pleasure (Peru)
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Tino Calabia (Peru1963-65) Comments on "13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi"
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Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) in Front of the Camera
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A Writer Writes:The Lesson of the Machi by David C. Edmonds
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Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) New Book: My Life as a Pencil
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Frank Mankiewicz, political and media insider, dies at 90
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From Forbes Website: No More Coffee Runs: Two Years Of Service With The Peace Corps
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Review — Sendero by John Rouse

Sixth Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: “A Nice Black Shirt” by Nathan Hecht (Peru)

  Nathan Hecht (Peru 2012-15) was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the high Andes Mountains near Huaraz, Peru. Nathan worked on projects to promote community environmental management, including reforestation through agroforestry, trash management, environmental education, and, in his third year, climate change adaptation and water quality monitoring with The Mountain Institute. Originally from La Crosse, WI, he is now a graduate student at the University of Minnesota studying sustainable agriculture and diversified farming systems.   • A Nice Black Shirt by Nathan Hecht “I DON’T HAVE a nice, black shirt.” A familiar feeling of anxious uncertainty rose as I realized I didn’t know if Quechua people even wore black to funerals. “White is okay, Natan,” my host mother said kindly, “for the angels.” My mind grasped at thoughts of training on cultural integration, the historical influences of Christianity in Peru, the Spanish word for “condolences,” as I brushed a layer . . .

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Fifth Prize Peace Corps Fund Award: “Where Carbs Mean Friendship” by Lucas Gosdin (Peru)

    Lucas Gosdin (Peru 2013-15) served as a community health volunteer in Peru where he had two host families and lots of friends. He loves to visit them and communicate with them through WhatsApp. Lucas never learned how to make good ceviche, but he can make a lot of delicious dishes you have never heard of. Lucas is a doctoral student studying maternal and child nutrition at Emory University. He also conducts research in Peru.   •   Where Carbs Mean Friendship by Lucas Gosdin EVERY GUEST KNOWS that refusing food might be considered rude. Now imagine being in a place where friendship is measured in food. After hugging me and calling me her new son, the first question my host mother, Teo, asked was, “Qué no te gusta comer?” — what don’t you like to eat? After living in Peru for a few months of training, I knew the connotation . . .

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“The Peace Corps Radicalized Me” by Thomas Pleasure (Peru)

The following article was published on Argonaut Online — the web presence of The Argonaut, a local newspaper for the westside of Los Angeles — on June 1, 2016 under the title “Opinion Power to Speak.” We are delighted to have received permission from the author to repost it here. •   •  The Peace Corps Radicalized Me by Thomas Pleasure (Peru 1964–66)   SINCE FRANK MANKIEWICZ’S DEATH in 2014, activists, historians, cineastes, journalists and spinmeisters had been awaiting publication of his posthumous memoir, So As I Was Saying . . . My Somewhat Eventful Life. I imagine we all felt that Frank — son of “Citizen Kane” writer Herman Mankiewicz, nephew of director Joseph Mankiewicz and a political force of the 1960s and ’70s in his own right — had a special message for us. We were right. Movie buffs will lap up Frank’s tales of growing up in Hollywood and his conversation . . .

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Tino Calabia (Peru1963-65) Comments on "13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi"

Most RPCVs, new Volunteers, and staff know of RPCV Christopher Stevens’ model service as a PCV and then a U.S. Ambassador until he was slain in Libya in 2012.  Many may be curious to see how Hollywood would portray him.  Now we know.  In “13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” Stevens is, in Hollywood-speak, “a bit player.” Nonetheless, “This is a true story” declares a typed preface rolling at the film’s start.  The name of Libya’s second biggest city has become an epithet of scorn meant by many to besmirch Hillary Clinton’s record as President’s Obama’s first Secretary of State.  The killing of Stevens and three colleagues had fanned the partisan flames of the 2012 Presidential campaign, and surely those flames will flare up again before this year’s Presidential election is over.  But little in this movie can be easily argued to derail Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The reason?  “13 Hours . . . .

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Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) in Front of the Camera

Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) author of half a dozen books (the last is entitled My Life as a Pencil) and for 22 years a writer at People Magazine retired a year or so ago to Hermosa Beach, California and gave up (at least full time) his writing career and began to throw pots. It’s a true story. Ron is finding his new occupation satisfying as well as fun. Recently cinematographer Matt Hanlon of www.wearethreaded.com did 3 hours of videos and produced 5 minutes of Ron at work as a potter. He also relates how Ron made the transition from print to clay. Take a look: https://vimeo.com/146351224

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A Writer Writes:The Lesson of the Machi by David C. Edmonds

A Writer Writes The Lesson of the Machi By David C. Edmonds (Chile (1963-65) Mapuche village near Chol Chol, Arauca, Chile September 1964 Friday-The drums wake me again. Now what? Another funeral for some poor child? A wedding? No, the village Machi, who performs all healing and religious rituals, is going to offer another lesson for the young girls. I don’t know the details because things that happen here don’t always make sense. So when I see the Machi’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Ñashay, passing by my little dirt-floor ruca with a pale of milk, I ask her what is going on. “It is called the Lesson of Two Loves,” she tells me in her broken way of speaking Spanish, standing there on the mud walkway in her head dress and shawl, all four feet, ten inches of her. “What is the Lesson of Two Loves?” “Yes, the Lesson of Two Loves. . . .

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Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) New Book: My Life as a Pencil

A former English teacher and newspaper and magazine journalist, most recently for 22 years at People Ron Arias has published the following books: The Road To Tamazunchale, a novel nominated for a National Book Award; Five Against the Sea, a true survival saga; Healing from the Heart, with Dr. Mehmet Oz; Moving Target: A Memoir of Pursuit, and White’s Rules:Saving Our Youth, One Kid At A Time, with Paul D. White. An amateur potter, he lives with his wife Joan in Hermosa Beach, CA, while their filmmaker son Michael resides in Japan, which increasingly has become a second home for them. This book is about Ron as a reporter, or as he writes, a ‘pencil’. It is a collection of outtakes and back-stories from decades of reporting in global hot spots, most recently for 22 years at People magazine. Arranged chronologically, starting in 1959 with a wine-drinking encounter with Ernest Hemingway in Spain, the stories . . .

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Frank Mankiewicz, political and media insider, dies at 90

“I hooked up with Sarge in some motel room in El Paso. Fletcher Knebel was there. Bill Haddad was there. Everyone was totally charged up. Shriver and Haddad closed in on me: You’re going to Peru–right?” And finally I said it: ‘Yeah.’ After a lot of whooping and backslapping and shouts of ‘t’rrfic,’ Sarge turned to me as he was leaving and asked, ‘Hey, don’t you want to know what the job pays?’ Somewhat embarrassed, Mankiewicz replied, “Wellll, yeah, I guess so. I mean, sure. How much does it pay?’ “I haven’t the foggiest idea,” said Shriver with a great cackle. A month later, in September 1961, Mankiewicz  joined Shriver in Lima, Peru, on the first leg of Shriver’s first sweep through Latin America to put Peace Corps programs in place. From Come As You Are by Coates Redmon Washington Post by Adam Bernstein Frank Mankiewicz, who came from a . . .

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From Forbes Website: No More Coffee Runs: Two Years Of Service With The Peace Corps

Forbes: No More Coffee Runs: Two Years Of Service With The Peace Corps Created in 1961 by former President John F. Kennedy, the United States Peace Corps holds an allure for many. While some might balk at the concept of making a two-year commitment, others consider it as one of the coolest things about being an American. And for anyone who is interested in development, the Peace Corps offers an entre into the highly-competitive world of international aid work. Something of a catch-22, most international NGOs require applicants to have experience in the field. Luckily for Americans, we have the Peace Corps. “My exposure to this life and this world was extremely limited until college,” says Wendy MacClinchy, Head of Resident Coordinator Office at the United Nations in Lebanon. “There wasn’t a lot of knowledge about what I felt was a kind of calling. When I had heard of the . . .

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Review — Sendero by John Rouse

Sendero: The Path Back by John G. Rouse III (Peru 1966-68; staff: Ecuador APCD 1971-72; DR Republic APCD 1972-74) CreateSpace $7.80 (paperback) ; $2.99 (Kindle) 310 pages 2012 Reviewed by Tess De Los Ríos (Panama 2003–06) • IN JOHN ROUSE’S FIRST NOVEL,  Sendero, he delivers a fast-paced, satisfying plot with details and emotions to which many RPCVs can relate. From the opening chapter describing a ceremonial human sacrifice in the 1400s to uncovering possible government involvement in the supposed accidental death of the central character’s best local friend when he was a Peace Corps Volunteer, down to the last chapter when all is redeemed, Rouse’s writing kept me feeling that something big was just about to happen. Sendero has all the aspects of a quality novel-suspense, romance, sincerity, betrayal, even a car chase between good guys and bad guys. The main character, Petrini, finds himself in a rough patch of . . .

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