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Australia by Bus by Steve Kaffen (Russia)
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Sheila Crowley (Ukraine) is new chief operating officer of NED
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Kelsey Walters (Moldova) in “War in Ukraine Hurting Oklahoma Wheat Farmers”
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Flash Fiction “Never Too Old” by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia)
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FALLOUT: NEAR-FUTURE SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE by Jon Kohl (Costa Rica)
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Looking for a publisher for your Peace Corps book?
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Guy Consolmagno (Kenya) found his “home” in the African Night Sky
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“Photos from Afghanistan” by David Rodbourne
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RPCV Christophe Andre Tocco Nominated to be Ambassador (Morocco)
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PayJoy created by RPCV Doug Ricket (Gambia)
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New List of RPCV & Staff Authors, April 2024
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DARE TO SURVIVE: Hell has no fury like a woman conned by Carolyn V. Hamilton (Suriname)
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“April Showers” by Janet Sebastian-Coleman (Togo)
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School for International Training (SIT) | Trainer of first PCVs
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209th group of Peace Corps volunteers sworn-in in Nepal

Australia by Bus by Steve Kaffen (Russia)

Australia by Bus by Steve Kaffen (Russia 1994-96) Independently published 313 pages April 2024 Kindle Unlimited $4.99 to buy Australia is an ideal country to explore by bus. While most visitors spend their time in the urban centers, Australia’s scenic gems, historic sites, and vibrant cultures, including those of native Aborigines and other Indigenous groups, are scattered along the coasts and in the vast interior of desert, mountains, and windswept brush of the Outback. Buses go to these places. Because of the time limitations that most visitors have for travel, and the extreme distances to many points of interest, bus travel might effectively be combined with flights to the nearest cities. Bus travel is more than transportation; it is part of the journey. A visitor can fly over and look down, hopefully on a clear day. He or she can whiz past by train and catch panoramic glimpses of places . . .

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Sheila Crowley (Ukraine) is new chief operating officer of NED

RPCVs in the news National Endowment for Democracy  Washington, D.C.—The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has named Sheila Crowley (Ukraine 2001-03) as its new chief operating officer (COO) at a time of historic leadership change, growth, and transition for the organization. Crowley previously served as the Executive Vice President and COO at Global Communities, and the Acting Director of the U.S. Peace Corps. She joined the NED staff on April 16th, 2024. “We are delighted to welcome Sheila Crowley to the Endowment,” said NED President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Damon Wilson. “Her experience managing global teams and in the field grounds her in the importance of the work of NED partners and its core institutes around the world. Her passion for helping complex organizations deliver on their missions in tough environments will be critical to helping NED ensure that we are fit for the future at this consequential moment . . .

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Kelsey Walters (Moldova) in “War in Ukraine Hurting Oklahoma Wheat Farmers”

In the news — By Analyse Jester and Lisa Maslovskaya  NonDoc Saturday, April 13, 2024 From a farm in Oklahoma to growing wheat in Moldova, Kelsey Walters (Moldova 2007-09) is now looking to her past to secure her future.   Kelsey Walters grew up on her family’s sixth-generation farm in western Oklahoma. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in agriculture economics, and she was placed in Moldova as a Peace Corps volunteer where she met her husband, Iurie, and began a wheat farming operation. But now their livelihood and that of wheat growers across Oklahoma is threatened by the war in Ukraine. Russia has reopened ports out of the Black Sea, and Ukraine is exporting low-priced wheat, which means American farmers are struggling to match those prices and still make a profit. Some Oklahoma farmers are looking toward alternate crops. Since the invasion, Russia has gained roughly 20 percent of . . .

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Flash Fiction “Never Too Old” by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia)

  A Writer Writes – Never Too Old by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia 1965-67) • • • “Let’s count the stars,” he said. “Count the stars? That’s not possible!” she said. “Not possible?” “Right. Glad you agree. There are too many to count.” “But, if we started now–look! There’s one….and another…: She started laughing, muttering 13, 14, 15,16, under her breath, shouted out, “20! You’re right–there’s number 20. Do you see her?” “Her?” “Or him. Gender is hard to tell at this distance.” She had turned away, so he couldn’t see her face, couldn’t see the grin, the-making-fun-of-him smile that he knew so well and, actually loved, not that he would tell her. “One hundred!” she shouted triumphantly, and started running across the field, towards more stars. “Two hundred!” Another triumphant shout. “Two hundred twenty-two!” Her favorite number-222. He laughed then and took off after her. She’d be easy to catch, easy to tackle from . . .

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FALLOUT: NEAR-FUTURE SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE by Jon Kohl (Costa Rica)

  Fallout: Near-future Science Fiction Romance by Jon Kohl (Costa Rica 1993-95) & Kimberly K Comeau Independently published 199 pages April 2024 $2.99 (Kindle)   In Fallout American cities have been suffering increased domestic terrorism. Harry Longmeadow tries to ensure his own personal security from rising urban terrorism by fleeing Philadelphia and building a subterranean fallout shelter in the forests of north central Pennsylvania; but it’s his own insecurity, which he cannot flee, that nearly lands him in jail for homicide that he did not commit. • • • Jon Kohl is the founding executive director of the PUP Global Heritage Consortium whose mission is to support communities in their management and conservation of natural-cultural heritage from a holistic focus. This non-profit global network uses Jon’s book, co-written with Dr. Stephen McCool as its philosophical background. Jon Kohl has been writing his whole life, starting in fifth grade when he scored the . . .

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Guy Consolmagno (Kenya) found his “home” in the African Night Sky

RPCVs in the news  . . .  ] ‘Pope’s Astronomer’ Explores Journey in Faith and Science at Fairfield U. Talk by Emilia Otte, CTExaminer 4/11/24   FAIRFIELD CT — In 1983, volunteer Guy Consolmagno lay in bed at a Peace Corps Training Facility in Kenya, feeling severely homesick. He had made up his mind to return to the United States the following day believing he wasn’t cut out to be an adventurer. But on his last night in Kenya, Consolmagno decided to take one final look at the night sky.  “I later counted there were 15 of the brightest stars in the sky visible at that moment. Most of them are old friends of mine — stars that my dad had taught me when I was a kid, growing up on the shores of Lake Huron,” said Consolmagno, who has a doctorate in planetary sciences. “And I’m looking at this sky, and . . .

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“Photos from Afghanistan” by David Rodbourne

  I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan from December 1971 through early 1974. After training, my initial assignment didn’t materialize. In Fall 1972 I served with famine relief team in Ghor province. In Kabul I assisted the karakul sheep pelt export office with the English language correspondence. In 1974 after trekking with Peace Corps friends in Nepal, I took a distinctly not-Peace Corps summer job managing the pool at the USAID recreation compound in Kabul. After returning to the U.S. I worked as a recruiter for ACTION/Peace Corps/VISTA in Rochester, New York. A recent 2023 inspiring highlight of my life was the reunion in Denver for Peace Corps Afghanistan Volunteers.                    

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RPCV Christophe Andre Tocco Nominated to be Ambassador (Morocco)

Christophe Andre Tocco, Nominee to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania Christophe Andre Tocco (Morocco 1996-98), a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Career Minister, is currently the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Planning, Learning and Resource Management where he oversees the Office of Policy, and the Program Office. Previously, he served as Senior Development Counselor and U.S. Delegate to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee. Other assignments include USAID Mission Director, Democratic Republic of Congo; Deputy Mission Director, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Deputy Regional Mission Director, USAID Senegal. Earlier assignments include Supervisory Program Officer for USAID Senegal and for USAID Rwanda and Morocco Country Desk Officer. Before joining the Foreign Service, Tocco was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. A native of California, Tocco . . .

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PayJoy created by RPCV Doug Ricket (Gambia)

RPCVs in the news How PayJoy built a $300M business by letting the underserved use their smartphones as collateral for loans TechCrunch Mary Ann Azevedo Thu, April 11, 2024 at 7:34 AM PDT Lerato Motloung is a hardworking mother of two who is employed in a supermarket in Johannesburg, South Africa. But in February 2024, she found herself without a mobile phone after it was stolen and she could not afford to buy a new one. For nine months, Motloung had to go without the convenience and connectivity of a smartphone Then, a sign caught her eye – a sign about PayJoy, a startup that offers loans to the underserved in emerging markets. With the help of PayJoy, Motloung was able to purchase her first smartphone, becoming one of the millions of customers that the San Francisco-based company has helped since its inception in 2015. “She was its 10 millionth . . .

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New List of RPCV & Staff Authors, April 2024

Here is our new list of RPCV & staff authors we know of who have published two or more books of any type. Currently—in April 2024–the count is 538. If you know of someone who has and their name is not on this list, then please email: jcoyneone@gmail.com. We know we don’t have all such writers who have served over these past 63 years. Thank you.’ Jerome R. Adams (Colombia 1963–65) Tom Adams (Togo 1974-76) Thomas “Taj” Ainlay, Jr. (Malaysia 1973–75) Elizabeth (Letts) Alalou (Morocco 1983–86) Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) Robert Albritton (Ethiopia 1963-65) Usha Alexander (Vanuatu 1996–97) James G. Alinder (Somalia 1964-66) Richard Alleman (Morocco 1968-70) Hayward Allen (Ethiopia 1962-64) Diane Demuth Allensworth (Panama 1964–66) Paul E. Allaire (Ethiopia 1964–66) Jack Allison (Malawi 1967-69) Allman (Nepal 1966-68) Nancy Amidei (Nigeria 1964–65) Gary Amo (Malawi 1962–64) David C. Anderson (Costa Rica 1964-66) Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1963-65) Peggy Anderson (Togo 1962-64) James . . .

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DARE TO SURVIVE: Hell has no fury like a woman conned by Carolyn V. Hamilton (Suriname)

  RPCVs in the news — Interview with author — Newschannel/Nebraska April 9, 2024  FINALIST IN INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS CONTEST Dare to Survive, based on a true story of a woman conned and imprisoned in South America for drug trafficking recognized for its outstanding writing, design and overall market appeal out of thousands of books submitted into the Book Excellence Awards. • • •  Carolyn V. Hamilton (Suriname 1999-01)  is a multiple award-winning author, artist, workshop leader & success coach for memoir writers. As the author of over 20 books, Carolyn’s writing spans multiple genres including thriller, true crime, writing, editing, art, and more. For her literary prowess, she has been recognized with numerous international literary awards including two Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and a Book Excellence Award. A multi-faceted talent, Carolyn spent 30+ years in the real world of “Mad Men” as a graphic designer, copywriter and marketing executive. A graduate . . .

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“April Showers” by Janet Sebastian-Coleman (Togo)

  I woke up this morning to rain on the roof. It was nearing six a.m., which is usually the hour Zorro, my puppy, begins to make sad little whines and stares at me through the mosquito net. As the rain started Zorro got up, walked over to a more secure corner of the floor, and curled himself up into a little ball. I rolled over and let the rain ease me back into half-sleep. I love how slow a rainy morning is. Certainly no need to leap out of bed. And when the sound of rain on the roof softens, my body is still so relaxed that climbing out of bed is a long enjoyable stretch. The plans for the day haven’t yet set on my shoulders. This slowness is especially luxurious after a few months during which time seemed to grow faster by the day. I’m stunned to . . .

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School for International Training (SIT) | Trainer of first PCVs

Peace Corps history —   Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2024, School for International Training (SIT) is kicking off a series of events spotlighting the institution’s unique history and its dynamic future as a 21st-century global university. As part of this series, SIT will hold a half-day event on the Brattleboro campus featuring special guest former Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and his wife, Marcelle Leah. SIT was officially established in 1964, 32 years after the launch of World Learning’s foundational youth exchange program, The Experiment in International Living. When President John F. Kennedy tapped program alumnus Sargent Shriver to become the inaugural director of the Peace Corps, Shriver turned to the Experiment to train some of the first Peace Corps volunteers. Out of that activity, SIT was born.     Today, SIT is the only accredited institution of higher education in the United States that is part of an international . . .

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209th group of Peace Corps volunteers sworn-in in Nepal

April 4, 2024 • • • KATHMANDU: Today, twenty-two Peace Corps Volunteers were sworn in by Ambassador Dean R. Thompson and the Peace Corps/Nepal Country Director Troy Kofroth to begin their two-year service in Nepal. The new Volunteers join the nearly 4,000 Peace Corps Volunteers who have served in Nepal and are the 209th group of American Volunteers to come to Nepal since 1962 when the governments of Nepal and the United States of America signed an agreement to establish the Peace Corps program here in Nepal. “President Kennedy said at the program’s founding in 1961 that ‘Men and women will be expected to work and live alongside the nationals of the country in which they are stationed–doing the same work, eating the same food, talking the same language,” Ambassador Thompson recalled, adding, “It was true then and remains the same now – Peace Corps Volunteers live with Nepali host families, eating . . .

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