Archive - April 22, 2009

1
Talking with Eve Brown-Waite, Part Five
2
Boys Are Such Easy Lays
3
I'm Mad As Hell!!
4
Talking with Eve Brown-Waite, Part Four

Talking with Eve Brown-Waite, Part Five

[Ellen]: What primarily occupies your time now? [Eve]: You mean, besides nearly non-stop promotion and marketing of First Comes Love? Well, I’ve got two children I’m trying to usher safely (and without too much trauma) through middle school and high school.  I’m trying to write a second (third and fourth…) book.  I do lots of volunteer work: I’m on the Board of Directors and Development Committee of the National Priorities Project; I do fundraising for our local domestic violence agency; I serve on a crisis response team; and I volunteer one day a week and am helping to create a fundraising arm for our local food pantry.  I also do freelance proofreading and copy editing when it comes my way.  Oh and I’m an ordained minister and occasionally preside over weddings and funerals. [Ellen]: Which authors do you most admire?  Whose works served as models for you as you were . . .

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Boys Are Such Easy Lays

My lament about the lack of attention by the White House to the MorePeaceCorps campaign, and the lack of juice by the NPCA, created an outcry (well, at least from one recent employee of the Peace Corps), who came out of the woodwork in defense of Jody Olsen. And I wasn’t even attacking Jody! You can read his comment to me.  Roger, who is a good guy, was upset at my tone, I guess, and that I had called Jody a Utah “Republican.” He has a point. Calling anyone a ‘Republican” today is a slap in the face,  Sorry, Jody! You can read what Roger says in his comment: “Your public vitriol about Jody Olsen is misplaced, inappropriate, inaccurate, and unattractive. Jody may be Republican – who knows? – but that is totally irrelevant to her performance, dedication, and thoroughly decent personage….” First, all I said about Jody  (besides being a Republican) was that she was “passing . . .

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I'm Mad As Hell!!

Yesterday, the President signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. At the White House signing, Obama drew attention to what the Kennedy Family has done in the name of service. While Ted Kennedy is known more for his fights for health care and being the “lion in the senate” he has also pushed to increase the budget for national service. We RPCVs wonder, however, when anyone will get around to the Peace Corps and increase our numbers, our budget. MorePeaceCorps, which NPCA President Kevin Quigley reminded me recently was his idea, his campaign, have been collecting signatures from every congressman and congresswoman on Capital Hill. Daily I get reminders from the NPCA of how great they are doing on the Hill with their signature petition. Nevertheless, when I spoke to the lovely Obama official camped out at Peace Corps HQ yesterday, she had yet to meet Kevin Quigley, and only had a vague idea of . . .

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Talking with Eve Brown-Waite, Part Four

[Ellen]: My experience bears out that those Americans who most successfully navigate overseas tours are those who lose their Americanized perspective quickly; the ones who normalize their new experiences and environment without making regular comparisons to what they left behind.  The writings of such people often detail a fascinating “deconstruction”-at the extreme end of the spectrum personalities can unravel as people “go native” (think eminent Peace Corps author Paul Theroux’s main character in Mosquito Coast); at the modest end of the spectrum, others (your husband John being a prime example) immediately and humbly accept a new version of normal. Your writing is notable for featuring the opposite effect:  It details your persistent U.S.-centric point of view even after substantial time abroad. For instance, even late in the book, after four years living overseas (three in Uganda, one in Ecuador) you describe hearing gunfire in the night, huddling in your hallway, and . . .

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