Turkey

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So well remembered — Judith & Michael Jerald (Turkey)
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Review — ISLES OF THE BLIND by Robert Rosenberg (Kyrgyzstan)
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Kent Haruf's (Turkey 1965-67) Last Novel Remembered
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Review of Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) Novel Forty Wolves
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Gerald Karey writes: The First Day
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Jill Diskan (Turkey 1964-66)
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Jackie [McKee] Day (Turkey 1965–67)

So well remembered — Judith & Michael Jerald (Turkey)

I received a note from Ken Hill (Turkey 1965-67) about the Instagram message from Judith Jerald (Turkey 1965-67) that he received and I contacted Judith who wrote back, “There are not many people who would be interested in this, but since many of you may have had similar experiences, I am sending it along to you.  It touched my heart and confirmed for me, once again, that although we were ( mostly) very young Volunteers, we perhaps had more of an impact on our students and neighbors than we thought at the time. It has been 50 years since we left Turkey, so I find this pretty amazing. Meral found me on Instagram, and the conversation we had is below.” • Hi Dear Judith this is Meral from Kozan.  | If you are my teacher I will be very happy to find you. Because you have affected very much to our life . . .

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Review — ISLES OF THE BLIND by Robert Rosenberg (Kyrgyzstan)

Isles of the Blind Robert Rosenberg (Kyrgyzstan 1994–96) Fomite March 2016 496 pages $17.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Peter Van Deekle (Iran 1968–70) • Peace Corps service provides for every Volunteer a unique and life-changing series of experiences that become enriched and enhanced through sharing with others. Robert Rosenberg, like others who have recognized the value of living in a foreign culture, has engaged his highly perceptive and creative mind toward this end. He is Associate Professor of English and teaches fiction courses at Bucknell, and holds an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, as a Fulbright Scholar in India, and has taught in both Istanbul and on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. For his new novel Isles of the Blind, he draws upon his first-hand experiences as a resident in the Middle East. The author uses his knowledge of the history . . .

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Kent Haruf's (Turkey 1965-67) Last Novel Remembered

The Wall Street Journal’s Encore section on Monday, November 30, 2015, had a collection of recommended books for “The Good Life”. These were the top picks of 2015, a selection of great reads that “cover health, humor, travel and more” written by Diane Cole. She writes: If there is a recipe for aging well, it must involve the mind, the body, the spirit–and the funny bone. You’ll find myriad suggestions for how to do just that in this year’s best books for the territory ahead. On her list of six books is Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67). Cole writes: Kent Haruf’s spare and elegant novel, Our Souls at Night, was one of the best of the year for any age–but men and women entering new life phases will particularly savor the game courage and dry wit with which its two main characters take an unlikely bet . . .

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Review of Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) Novel Forty Wolves

Border Crossing, an annual online literary and arts journal, has published a review of Mark Jacobs’ Forty Wolves in their Fall 2015 (vol. 5) issue: Forty Wolves by Mark Jacobs reviewed by Audrey Hutchison Mark Jacobs’ novel, Forty Wolves (Talisman House, 2010), is a story of intrigue and international politics. Since his service abroad in the Peace Corps, Jacobs has written five books, two story collections and three novels, including the critically acclaimed A Handful of Kings (Simon and Schuster, 2004). Jacobs has had over 100 stories published in various magazines, such as The Atlantic and The Southern Review. Border Crossing has published two of his stories:  “Reading the Cup” (vol. 2) and “What She Wants, What She Gets” (in the current issue). Like “Reading the Cup” and many of Jacobs’ other stories, Forty Wolves has an international setting. The novel begins when Christofo Alessi, an American man, is told by his dying mother that his . . .

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Gerald Karey writes: The First Day

A Writer Writes I wrote this about five years ago. It was, and is, the only time I have written at length about my Peace Corps service. Not that I didn’t value the experience, but I didn’t think it, or my contribution, was all that exceptional. I came, I taught English as a foreign language (just how well is not for me to judge), and I left. The Peace Corps was in Turkey for only eight years — from 1962 to 1970. The program was abandoned in an “increasingly fractious environment,” one former in-country director wrote. It was fueled by misunderstandings between the Peace Corps and the Turkish government, Peace Corps missteps (my TEFL group stormed Turkey with 200 Volunteers), a steady drumbeat of negative newspaper headlines, charges that Volunteers were CIA agents, and “Turkey’s descent into a morass of violence and radical politics,” the former director added. (If you’re . . .

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Jill Diskan (Turkey 1964-66)

Monday, November 21 5:21 pm DECEMBER, 1964 Only part of my job as a PCV is to be an English teacher. It’s really not that important, in my eyes, whether some child learns English. What is important is that I am here and that the children and adults of Afyon realize that there is a world beyond Afyon and Turkey. And that they learn that that world is different from Turkey. To me that is my most important reason for being here. I may or may not see any result from my teaching and other projects, but just by being here for two years I shall have accomplished something which in the long run may be more important to Turkey than whether a 13 year old can say “Good Morning, how are you?” in English. MARCH, 1965 Turkey is overflowing with soldiers and the accoutrements of a military establishment. It’s . . .

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Jackie [McKee] Day (Turkey 1965–67)

Monday, November 21 6:12 pm LETTER HOME TO MOM August 1, 1967 Got your letter of July 24 yesterday. It’s so good to hear from you. I worry about you – but at the same time I don’t think that you should worry about me. As far as earthquakes go – Bilecik is one of the best places to be in Turkey. They’ve never had an earthquake here. We feel the shakes from Adapazari, but with no serious effects. It seems funny to us that we’re in the “Earth quake stricken north-western Turkey” as reported on the BBC & VOA. We don’t feel very “stricken.” As a matter of fact, I’m at the moment sitting in bed with some good western music – a cup of tea – feeling quite comfortable and happy. CARE is supplying our several small canning houses with Ball jars for teaching purposes – and every . . .

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