Archive - June 5, 2009

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Malawi RPCV John Shannon Talks About "Palos Verdes Blue"
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Don't Let Larry Leamer Down!
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Our RPCV In Cairo
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What! More Peace Corps? Branding the Peace Corps

Malawi RPCV John Shannon Talks About "Palos Verdes Blue"

[Reporter  Melissa Heckscher of the Daily Breeze newspaper  in California just published this article on RPCV mystery writer John Shannon that I thought you’d like to read.] John Shannon’s (Malawi 1965–67) latest mystery thriller, Palos Verdes Blue, is about a private detective who finds himself caught in a race-fueled turf war on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. John may specialize in fiction, but San Pedro-born novelist Shannon is as much a journalist as he is a mystery writer. To research each of his 11 Jack Liffey mystery novels, Shannon dove into the underbellies of Los Angeles, exploring topics ranging from the sex trade in Koreatown to the riots in South Central. So while his stories are fictional, their backdrops are often based on stark realities. “Almost all of my books have some underlying factual basis,” said Shannon, 65, whose most recent work turns the spotlight on the South Bay. “I thought, ‘If I’m going to keep . . .

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Don't Let Larry Leamer Down!

Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67) author of Madness Under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach has put out a call on today’s Huffington Post calling all RPCVs to rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. (14th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW) on June 13th (Saturday) at 2 p.m., in support of “Obama’s Peace Corps Vision.” Joining Larry Leamer and hundreds of other RPCVs will be, Leamer writes, “former Senator Harris Wofford, a lifelong champion of volunteering, speaks from the depths of his great heart. You will be there listening as Tim Shriver, the CEO of Special Olympics International and the son of Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver, speaks with passion of a world of challenge and diversity. You will be there listening to the incredible list of speakers of all ages and backgrounds who will be presenting their own testimonies. You will be there listening to . . .

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Our RPCV In Cairo

We had one of our website  reporters in Cairo yesterday to cover the President’s talk at the university and we received this report a few hours ago. • It is difficult to start to describe yesterday because so many descriptions come to mind. “Wow” seems to be a good starting place. Then comes “proud” quickly followed by “emotional.” So let’s start with “wow.” Even though there is some disappointment that Obama didn’t provide more concrete policy proposals on the peace process, almost universally Egyptians that I spoke with, saw on TV last night, or read on their blogs gave this speech a big thumbs up. Of course, there was pride of place–Egyptians were excited that Obama chose Cairo as the venue for this speech. After the speech pride gave way to the feeling of a personal connection with the American president. He used verses from the Koran, he spoke about things that mattered to . . .

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What! More Peace Corps? Branding the Peace Corps

With all this talk about rallying the RPCVs to call congressmen and congresswomen, I dug up an interview I had done a year or so ago with John Bidwell (Mali 1989-91). John is married to Kris Holloway (Mali 1989-91). They met in the Peace Corps and later married, and a few years ago Kris wrote a wonderful book about her work with an African woman who was her mentor in Mali. The book is entitled Monique and the Mango Rains. When I interviewed Kris for PeaceCorpsWriters about her memoir, I came to know John, and the work he has done to market and promote the book. John has his own firm–Bidwell ID–that he started  in 1999 and he works with clients nationwise to improve their brand. Many of these firms are cause-driven organizations, much like what the Peace Corps is, besides being a government agency. Branding–for those new to the term– is the process of . . .

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