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THE HONOLULU DRAGON, fourth in the Robert Louis Stevenson Series by Joseph Theroux (Samoa)
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About schooling kids in NYC by George Packer (Togo)
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NPR takes a critical look at the overseas short term Volunteering industry
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Face to Face With the Global Economy by Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia)
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West Virginia RPCVs to interview RPCVs to preserve the legacy of the Peace Corps
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Andrew Oerke’s Last Poems: Boyhood in Bayfield (PC Staff)
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RPCV Beverly Heegaard says her goodbyes … the PCV Way (Nepal)
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Review — FRONTIER CABIN STORY: The Rediscovered History of a West Virginia Log Farmhouse by Joseph Goss (Afghanistan)
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New books by Peace Corps writers — July & August 2019
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A Writer Writes — “Oral Traditions in Writing” by Jeanne D’Haem (Somalia)

THE HONOLULU DRAGON, fourth in the Robert Louis Stevenson Series by Joseph Theroux (Samoa)

    The Honolulu Dragon by Joseph Theroux (Samoa 1975-78) 346 pages Kilauea Publications August 2019 $2.99 (Kindle), $12.00 (paperback)   Following the success of their detective work in the cases of The Devil’s Throat and The White Kahuna, Lloyd Osbourne and his step-father Robert Louis Stevenson find themselves in a world of murder and intrigue in Hawaii. Osbourne discovers a coded message, hinting at the survival of his father, Samuel Osbourne, who has been thought long dead. Once deciphered, it leads him and Stevenson on a dangerous adventure involving torture, murder, opium smuggling, a scandal involving the late King Kalakaua, baseball gambling, and uncover assassination threats against President Sanford Dole – set to occur on July 4, 1894 — the day Dole is to announce the new Republic of Hawaii. There are snipers on the rooftops of the Iolani Palace and the Opera House, and several men have already . . .

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About schooling kids in NYC by George Packer (Togo)

    The October issue of The Atlantic has a true and fascinating article by George Packer (Togo 1982-83) entitled “When the Culture War Comes for the Kids” with the subtitle of “Caught between a brutal meritocracy and a radical new progressivism, a parent tries to do right by his children while navigating New York City’s schools.” Having raised a son in the Big Apple, and having experienced the same system that George and his wife are now enduring, I feel their pain. It all begins this way, Packer writes, “places at the preschool were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. At the front of the line, parents were lying in sleeping bags. They had spent the night outside.” And it continues through middle school and high school. It is no wonder young parents flee Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx for the suburbs. Read George’s tale of terror of the public . . .

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NPR takes a critical look at the overseas short term Volunteering industry

Thank you to RPCV Alan Toth  for highlighting on his Facebook page, Posh Corps : A Peace Corps Documentary, NPR’s Opinion piece about overseas volunteering. The focus is on the industry in which people pay to volunteer overseas on a short term basis. Peace Corps in not included in the critique.  Here is the article. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/09/12/754347433/volunteering-abroad-is-popular-and-problematic-lets-fix-it?fbclid=IwAR09w-zjDL7a4m1poRLGIEtn-zV3TnNNJqMRMy7uI8x4e9S3gJ1UOkGHQYw OPINION: Volunteering Abroad Is Popular And Problematic. Let’s Fix It Have you ever volunteered abroad? From students and young professionals to retirees, nowadays everyone seems to be trying to make a difference in communities around the world. But what are these efforts really achieving? Do they help — and if so, who benefits?And if they cause harm, what can we do to make things better? All important questions, as volunteering abroad has grown tremendously. Estimates suggest the industry is now worth at least $173 billion. The industry is also coming under increasing fire, owing . . .

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Face to Face With the Global Economy by Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia)

Face to Face with the Global Economy Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia 1962–64) Self-published September 2019 137 pages $5.00 (Kindle)     Leo writes: My book, Face To Face With The Global Economy, is published.  You can buy it at Amazon for $5. Only in ebook form for now. I take the reader on an insider’s tour of the global economy through a collection of personal experiences, tales if you will, often whimsical, covering the various facets of the subject.  Reading it will give one a better understanding of this phenomenon that touches every soul on the planet. The global economy, a phrase that conjures up an image of a one world, albeit in economic terms. We all are intrigued by this structure that touches every person on the planet. What is it and how does it work? This collection of my personal experiences, tales if you will, offers a direct insight . . .

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West Virginia RPCVs to interview RPCVs to preserve the legacy of the Peace Corps

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77)   The West Virginia Returned Peace Corps Volunteers has received a grant from the WV Humanities Council to fund recording of interviews with former Peace Corps Volunteers and staff. WVRPCV, an affiliate of the National Peace Corps Association, will work with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to preserve the legacy of the Peace Corps through these interviews. The interviews will be stored, cataloged and made available via the Kennedy Library (part of the National Archives and Records Administration). The West Virginia interviews will also become part of the collection at the state Department of Archives and History. Former Volunteers and staff interested in being part of this project should send contact information, along with basic information about their service, in an email to  westvirginiarpcv@gmail.com, with “Interviews” in the subject line. Since 1961, more than 700 West . . .

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Andrew Oerke’s Last Poems: Boyhood in Bayfield (PC Staff)

  Poet Andrew Oerke (PC staff: Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Jamaica 1966-71), who received the 2015 William Meredith Award for Poetry, died unexpectedly in 2014. His widow, Doctor Anitra Thorhaug, has just published Boyhood in Bayfield: Poems, Andrew’s first poems about his boyhood in Bayfield, Wisconsin that includes photographs and insights into his past and her own. Like fellow pilgrims in a challenging landscape, she gives a sense of place from which the poems were born, both the physical and cultural landscape. Oerke was not only a poet, but also the CEO of an environmental foundation, president of a microfinance organization, Golden Gloves boxing champion, academic, and Peace Corps Country Director in Malawi and Jamaica. This ‘final’ collection of his poems has been published by Poets’ Choice Publishing. For more about Andrew, go to andrewoerkepoetry.org

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RPCV Beverly Heegaard says her goodbyes … the PCV Way (Nepal)

    Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67) Beverly Heegaard, Beverly, 78, painfully practical, fearless, unapologetic to a fault. Chain-link fence gardener, antiestablishment embroiderer, Peace Corps Volunteer (Nepal 1962—64), mother to the universe of the dispossessed, probably read 10,000 books, completed the NYT crossword daily, in ink, often before sunup. Endearingly intolerant of nonsense. Will be buried in a box marked “Return to Sender, postage due.” Memorial service this summer, to be announced. Published in Newport Daily News. May 1, 2019.

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Review — FRONTIER CABIN STORY: The Rediscovered History of a West Virginia Log Farmhouse by Joseph Goss (Afghanistan)

    Frontier Cabin Story  — The Rediscovered History of a West Virginia Log Farmhouse by Joseph  Goss (Afghanistan 1967–69) Peace Corps Writers December 2018 208 pages $14.94 (paperback) Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • This is the story of a historic log farmhouse located near Shepherdstown, West Virginia which the author and his wife purchased when on the threshold of their retirement. But more than that, it is a valuable case study of how to go about researching the history of an interesting older building, its owners and occupants over the years, and the surrounding area. As the author explains: I began this project hoping to portray the historical record of one long-overlooked farmhouse and all that I could learn about the people with connections to it. And that is how it has culminated. But I also want it to serve as a useful reference . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — July & August 2019

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — Click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We now include a one-sentence description — provided by the author — for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order the book and 2) to volunteer to review it. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • The Price of Freedom Martin R. Ganzglass (Somalia 1966–68) Peace Corps Writers 370 pages July 2019 $14.95 (paperback) This sixth and last novel of the American Revolution by Martin Ganzglass begins after the crucial victory at Yorktown in October 1781, and . . .

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A Writer Writes — “Oral Traditions in Writing” by Jeanne D’Haem (Somalia)

A Writer Writes     Oral Traditions in Writing by Jeanne D’Haem (Somalia 1968-70) • Somalis are known throughout East Africa for their beauty and for their poetry. In this oral tradition, poems are used to communicate, to share news and even to settle disputes. A poet insults another clan in a poem. For example, “You have mistaken boat-men and Christians for the Prophet.” News and other communication had to be oral because the Somali language was not written even when I lived there in 1968.  This was due to a dispute over what kind of letters should be used. Religious leaders wanted an Arabic alphabet, business people wanted a modern Latin one. When Siad Barre, a military dictator, took over the county in 1969, his goal was rapid modernization under communism. He sent a delegation to China where Chairman Mao held similar views.  When Mao was informed about the dispute, . . .

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