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Asia Without Borders by Steve Kaffen (Russia)
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A Writer Writes – “The Potato Caper” by Evelyn Kohl LaTorre (Peru)
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RPCVs of North Carolina and of Colorado have scheduled showings of “A Towering Task”
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RPCV Stacy Jupiter (Gabon) receives a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award
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Mark Jacobs’ new shortstory in Maple Tree Literary Supplement (Paraguay)
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A Writer Writes — “The Grownup Train” by Chris Honore’ (Colombia)
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How to get A TOWERING TASK shown on your local PBS station
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A Writer Writes “Hurricane Mitch, Honduras, A Baseball Memory”
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A Peace Corps Trainee Checks In On Social Media From Cameroon
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Migrant Caravans and Social Justice by Mark Walker (Guatemala)

Asia Without Borders by Steve Kaffen (Russia)

Asia Without Borders Crossing the South Asian Expanse by Steve Kaffen (Russia 1994-96) SK Publishers 327 pages SK Journeys $14.00 (paperback)   “Someday there will be an Asia without borders, one, big happy family,” was the Thai immigration official’s reply to author Steve Kaffen’s comment that this was the most relaxed international border Steve had ever crossed. The Thai official and his Malaysian counterpart had established an open border used by bicycles, vehicles, and pedestrians across the east coast’s Sungai Golok Bridge. In a further goodwill gesture, they passed Thai coconuts and Malaysian bananas to each other throughout the day. Join Steve Kaffen (Russia  1994-96) on an autobiographical journey across South Asia. Explore the region’s great historical sights, marvel at its landscapes, meet its residents in often humorous encounters, and have a succession of adventures along the way. Visit Thailand’s Mekong region and the great temples of Bagan in Myanmar, . . .

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A Writer Writes – “The Potato Caper” by Evelyn Kohl LaTorre (Peru)

 The Potato Caper by Evelyn LaTorre (Peru 1964-66)) The morning of March 25, 1965, dawned dry and warm in the town of Abancay, altitude, 7,000 feet, where I lived as a Peace Corps volunteer. The moisture that fell during the night had been unexpected because the rainy season in the Andean mountain area of Peru had usually ended by February. The cloudless day meant my clothes would dry if I washed them. So I snatched the galvanized steel bucket from the porch and headed to fill it from the nearby faucet in the big water basin. “After laundry duty,” my roommate Marie shouted from inside our 12×15-foot cinderblock home, “let’s hike up the side of one of the mountains.” “Good idea,” I said, turning on the faucet. “We can pack some cheese sandwiches, apples and cookies and have a picnic.” I filled the bucket with water, still frigid from its . . .

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RPCVs of North Carolina and of Colorado have scheduled showings of “A Towering Task”

10/14/10 Update for Colorado:  The 50 tickets obtained by RPCV of Colorado were sold out, almost immediately.  They may have additional tickets, contact them at rpcvcolorado.org If no tickets are available via RPCVs of Colorado, tickets for  A Towering Task go on sale at 12:30 pm, today Monday, October 14, 720.381.0813  for non-members of Denver the Film Festival. __________________________________________________________   RPCVs of North Carolina will sponser the first SE showing of “A Towering Task”.The film will be shown on October 22, 2019, 6pm to 9pm EDT.  Here is the link for more information: https://www.ncpeacecorps.org/events/a-towering-task-the-story-of-the-peace-corps-film-screening-happy-hour From the website: “Meet us at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Raleigh for a movie night: the first southeast U.S. showing of “A Towering Task, The Story of the Peace Corps,” with a reception preceding the film from 6pm – 7pm. The screening starts promptly at 7, with no late admittance. This event is sponsored as a community service by . . .

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RPCV Stacy Jupiter (Gabon) receives a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award

    The National Peace Corps Association announces this important award.   ” Stacy Jupiter (Gabon 1997–99) is one of 26 MacArthur Foundation Fellows for 2019, citing her efforts to save lives and coral reefs as well as build on traditional practices to figure out when, where, and how long to close off fishing areas to best manage natural resources. The honor comes with a grant totaling $625,000. Stacy directs the Wildlife Conservation Society‘s Melanesia Program Fulbright scholarship.”   Here is the information from the MacArthur Foundation. “Stacy Jupiter is a marine scientist integrating local cultural practices with field research to develop conservation solutions that protect both the biodiversity of coastal ecosystems and the well-being of communities dependent on them. Working in concert with local communities, Jupiter is establishing and applying new approaches to natural resource management based on traditional ecological knowledge and practices that take into account the livelihoods and . . .

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Mark Jacobs’ new shortstory in Maple Tree Literary Supplement (Paraguay)

    Wild Turkey Climbing the outside steps to Glynda’s apartment, Mick Garrity felt the gravity of experience slowing his step. The sky was spitting wet snow at him, paying him back for some screw up he could not put his finger on, just now. Glynda’s deadbeat boyfriend Murphy had beaten her up again. Dispatch said she was hysterical. She wanted the police to save her. Again. Across the universe a thousand cops were climbing the same steps hearing the same old story they had heard and told a thousand times. On the landing, Mick raised his hand to knock but Glynda was already opening the door to him. “I kept my word,” she snuffled. “I swear to God, Mick, I kept my word.” She looked terrible. The sleeve of her burgundy quilted robe was torn. Her hair was wild. She had always had a cute face, a sexy come-get-me . . .

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A Writer Writes — “The Grownup Train” by Chris Honore’ (Colombia)

  THE GROWNUP TRAIN By Chris Honore’ (Colombia 1967-69) They stood on the train platform, eyes narrowed, bodies angled to the right, looking down the track, waiting. A train had just passed through. Another would be along shortly. They were hardcore, their posture and dress conveying a self-conscious, determined insouciance: shoulders hunched, knees slightly bent, baggy denim shorts riding precariously low on their hips, their hair a shag carpet of stiff, uneven spikes. Both wore frayed black T-shirts, the seams separating, revealing startling white skin. The taller of the two held a skateboard cupped in his left hand, the flat side pressed against his hip, the undercarriage revealing neoprene, day-glo wheels and aluminum axels, called, oddly, trucks. An oval yin yang decal, centered, declared, “I Found Animal Chin.” The nose of the board was shredded, the rails and tail ground down to bare wood. The shorter of the two stood . . .

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How to get A TOWERING TASK shown on your local PBS station

    If you were fortunate enough to see the new and brilliant documentary about the Peace Corps entitled A Tower Task that had its World Premiere at the Kennedy Center last weekend (or if you have just heard about it from other RPCVs) then you can drum up interest in having it shown on your local PBS station simply by calling the station. Your interest will nudge the station into realizing that there is ‘local interest’ in our great government agency and they might contact PBS back in Washington. If there is enough interest ‘out there” then the PBS folks would contact producer and director Alana De Joseph (Mali 1992-94) and ask her to let them show the documentary on all their stations. A little phone call from you can’t hurt and it might help bring the Peace Corps–and what you did as a PCV– into the living rooms . . .

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A Writer Writes “Hurricane Mitch, Honduras, A Baseball Memory”

  Hurricane Mitch, Honduras, A Baseball Memory By Donald Dirnberger (Antigua 1977-79)   The year was 1998. Hurricane Mitch was the second-deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record, causing over 11,000 fatalities in Central America, with over 7,000 occurring in Honduras alone. Due to the slow motion of the storm and catastrophic flooding. It was the deadliest hurricane in Central America, surpassing Hurricane Fifi-Orlene, which killed slightly fewer people there in 1974. The thirteenth named storm, ninth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season. Mitch formed in the western Caribbean Sea on October 22, and after drifting through extremely favorable conditions, it rapidly strengthened to peak at Category 5 status, the highest possible rating on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. After drifting southwestward and weakening, the hurricane hit Honduras as a minimal hurricane. Mitch drifted through Central America, regenerated in the Bay of Campeche, and ultimately struck Florida as . . .

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A Peace Corps Trainee Checks In On Social Media From Cameroon

PC CAMEROON UPDATE Sasha Kogan Follow Oct 3 · I’ve been meaning to write this for a while but wanted to do it right — it’s difficult to describe this country and the past two weeks. It has felt like an entire lifetime, an almost magical realism-esque blur of time and space where everything is so different and yet in ways so similar. Yesterday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn, grabbed my bucket full of my damp laundry and brought it outside to the clothes lines. I had taken my clothes inside the night before due to the pounding rain that occurs almost nightly, hot and intense thunderstorms that turn the roads to a mix of mud and puddles. My homestay family thinks it is cold during the rainy season. They all bundle up in winter coats and make sure that I am wearing my flip flops . . .

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Migrant Caravans and Social Justice by Mark Walker (Guatemala)

    Justice & Responsibility The Plight of the Immigrants from Central America By Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971-73)   “Migrant Caravans,” made up of large groups of children and adults from the Northern Triangle of Central America, heading to our border to seek safety and a better life is problematic, both for those coming and for those waiting for their arrival in the U.S. The influx of undocumented immigrants has reached a ten-year high, with 66,450 entering recently, according to the Customs and Border Patrol.   The existing frenzied political debate and the false narratives it often generates make it difficult, if not impossible, to turn this crisis into an opportunity to better appreciate why so many continue to seek refuge here and to understand our own role, and that of our government, in sorting out the situation, responding in a humanitarian way to those coming and creating some viable solutions to . . .

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