Thailand

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Review — BREATHING THE SAME AIR by Gerry Christmas (Thailand, Western Samoa)
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Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79 & CD Thailand 2013-15) New President of Marlboro College
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Sandra Storey (Thailand 1968-71) Publishes Poetry Collection
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A Writer Writes: Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80) "In Search of Things Past: Wandering Bangkok Backstreets of Memory"
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Review — WAR OF HEARTS AND MINDS by James Jouppie (Thailand)
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Return of the (Non) Native
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Wendy Bronson (Thailand 1985-87)
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Dumb Things I Did in the Peace Corps

Review — BREATHING THE SAME AIR by Gerry Christmas (Thailand, Western Samoa)

  Breathing the Same Air: A Peace Corps Romance Gerry Christmas (Thailand 1973–76; Western Samoa 1976–78) Lulu April 2015 366 pages $22.95 (paperback), $8.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by James Jouppi (Thailand 1971–73) • FOR HIS INTRODUCTION, Gerry Christmas uses an eighteen page “Peace Corps Termination Report” dated April 16, 1976. The body of his memoir consists of sixty-nine letters — he calls them “Epistles” — written after his three-year Thailand Peace Corps tour was complete. While these Epistles, at times, are very “newsy,” they also express, sometimes in intimate detail, his feelings about his girlfriend Aied, and, in more general terms, his evolving philosophies about true love between American men and “nice” Thai women. He wrote the first five Epistles while preparing for another Peace Corps tour of duty, this time in Western Samoa, and these were sent to people he’d known in Thailand. Thirty-five more were sent from Western Samoa, mostly to . . .

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Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79 & CD Thailand 2013-15) New President of Marlboro College

Kevin Quigley is use to small organizations. He ran the NPCA that had less than 2,000 members; was CD of Thailand which has 90+ PCVs, and is now at Marlboro College in Vermont which has an enrollment of 200+ undergraduates. Kevin, who speaks fluent Thai,  became a Buddhist monk before returning home from his Peace Corps tour. His Thailand experience as a PCV and on the staff, plus his understanding and love of Buddhism, should help him recruit students from Asia. We wish him well. The following press release is from the college and was issued a few hours ago. Marlboro College welcomes new president Marlboro College: Kevin F.F. Quigley comes with wealth of experience Core value: Service ‘is a powerful foundation for a liberal arts education’ By Chris Mays Marlboro College’s newest president, Kevin F.F. Quigley, is welcomed during an inauguration ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Fletcher) MARLBORO: Marlboro . . .

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Sandra Storey (Thailand 1968-71) Publishes Poetry Collection

Sandra Storey’s (Thailand 1968-71) poems have been published in various literary magazines, including the New York Quarterly, Friction (UK) and New Millennium Writings.Two of her poems have been featured in installations at Boston City Hall. Storey, who spent her teenage and college years in Ohio and Indiana, is the formerly editor and publisher of two neighborhood newspapers in Boston, the Jamaica Plain Gazette and the Mission Hill Gazette. She is now a columnist for the Jamaica Plain newspaper. Sandra wrote poetry from 1980 to 1988 and resumed in 2004. In between, she co-authored a nonfiction book on public policy, Women in Citizen Advocacy. A member of Jamaica Pond Poets, a collaborative workshop, since 2005, she was given the “Community Champion Award” for 2014 by ESAC, a local nonprofit organization. Her first collection of poems, Every State has Its Own Light was selected in 2011 as one of twenty-five finalists from an international field . . .

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A Writer Writes: Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80) "In Search of Things Past: Wandering Bangkok Backstreets of Memory"

A Writer Writes In Search of Things Past: Wandering Bangkok Backstreets of Memory By Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80) The past is such a big place. — Neil Young, Waging Heavy Peace Having a day free to wander a city is one of life’s great pleasures, particularly one in a far-away place you came to know in youth and then lost to time. This past March, some thirty-five years on, it was both exciting and eerie to be walking again along Petchaburi Road in Bangkok, feeling a bit like Rip Van Winkle, in search of places from Peace Corps past. I began by seeking out Petchaburi Soi 7, also known as Soi Surao–Mosque Lane–so named for the mosque near its entrance, one of many sois, or small lanes, abutting Petchaburi Road . . . . From 1978-1979, my friend Dan, a fellow volunteer from Thai 58, worked in Bangkok and lived . . .

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Review — WAR OF HEARTS AND MINDS by James Jouppie (Thailand)

  War of Hearts And Minds: An American Memoir by James Jouppi (Thailand 1971–73) iUniverse 618 pages $45.95 (hardcover), $35.95 (paperback), $3.95 (Kindle) 2011 Reviewed by Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963–65) • IN WAR FOR HEARTS AND MINDS, James Jouppi writes about his Peace Corps tour as a civil engineer assigned to the Community Development Corporation Thailand, and what happened to his life as a result.  For those unfamiliar with Thailand and/or Peace Corps, Jouppi has provided maps and identifies key sites mentioned in the book. He has also created a glossary of terms. Jouppi intersperses an historic timeline of public events through out his narrative. In the Preface, to enhance this historical context, Jouppi states: In this memoir, I describe events which were unfolding during a War of Hearts and Minds campaign in Thailand, a War of Hearts and Minds campaign which occurred simultaneously with what, in America, is often . . .

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Return of the (Non) Native

by Paul Paquette (Thailand 1974–78) First published on the blog of PeaceCorpsWriters.org on June 11, 2007 • JULY 2005 I left Thailand in 1980 after spending four years as a Peace Corps English teacher in a secondary school and three more working in refugee camps. I really don’t know why it took me so long to finally make that journey back to Thailand. I guess part of it was the fear of facing the changes that I would possibly find hard to accept after all those years. The tsunami finally washed all that away, and I found myself needing to return to be reassured that all was well there. The changes in Bangkok seemed profound to me at first. It was so strange to see tall buildings, a subway and a monorail! In many ways, I felt like Rip Van Winkle waking up from a long sleep to find a . . .

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Wendy Bronson (Thailand 1985-87)

Monday, November 21 6:06 pm THAI CHRISTMAS Thais love a party, even under the guise of another religion. Few give us a chance to celebrate, and no less than at Christmas – a puzzling holiday that brings out fat men in red clothes, and odd-looking deer. I settled in Kamphangpet, Thailand, for my two years of Peace Corps Volunteer experience. Kamphangpet is equidistant between Bangkok and Chiengmai. Nobody stops, though, because it’s seven kilometers off the Asia Highway, and boasts only an old city, filled with crumbling Buddhas, ransacked four hundred years ago by the Burmese. Kamphangpet seldom merits a place on the maps of Southeast Asia. Kamphangpet Teacher’s College is even less noticeable, three kilometers off, across the Ping River from town. But there I was. This year, my senior English majors asked me to write the skit for the Christmas party. Their contributions to the festivities was entitled, . . .

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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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