Archive - July 2009

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Step # 9 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, And Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!
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Innocence Melts Obstinacy
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Four New Books By RPCV Writers
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RPCV in Deep Space
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Step # 8 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, And Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!
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Here today, Ghana Tomorrow
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RPCV Janet Riehl Talks about Self-publishing

Step # 9 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, And Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!

Step # 9 Toughest Job You’ll Ever Have! Since 1988 Country Directors have not been political positions, but during the Gaddi Vasquez and Jody Olsen tenures, they let non-merit Republicans grab these GS-1 and GS-2 $100,000 plus positions that are the key appointments in the Peace Corps.  True, hiring these mostly unqualified appointments as CDs was not Jody’s fault.  Jody will be the first to admit that as the Deputy,  she had no real authority in the agency; she was nothing more than a totem female RPCV doing the bidding of other Republican hacks. The real power within the Peace Corps was Lloyd Pierson who was a CD in Kenya. His wife worked in the Republican White House and Pierson believed that the Peace Corps should be under USAID. He told Gaddi and his good friend, Jody Olsen, what to do. That said, as the recent Transition Team report states, “Country director selection must be . . .

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Innocence Melts Obstinacy

The 1997 recipient of the Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award presented by PEACE CORPS WRITERS for the best short description of life in the Peace Corps. • Innocence Melts Obstinacy by Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993–96) IN THE MARKETPLACE OF DAKAR, Senegal, amid the welter of vegetables, chickens, dried fish and shouting women, a small boy leans against a crumbling wall staring into space. His bare toes knead the sand; the rags he wears flop around his skinny frame. A gang of older boys push and shove their way past him, turning to jeer. The boy leaps into a ninja position, hands like scissors, knees bent on rigid legs. He must have studied the nearby movie poster where a ninja film had been showing. His eyes are fierce and belong to the world of warriors. The older boys laugh and walk on as the child glares after them balefully. His . . .

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Four New Books By RPCV Writers

To order any of these books click on their title or cover. Mosquito Conversations: More Stories from the Upper Peninsula by Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1965–67) North Star Press of St. Cloud, June 2009 $14.95 Tunakumbuka (We Remember): Our Time in Tanzania as Peace Corps Volunteers by Harlan Bengtson (Tanzania 1965–67) PublishAmerica, March 2009 64 pages $16.95 Bread, Salt & Plum Brandy: A True Story of Love and Adventure in a Foreign Land by Lisa Fisher Cazacu (Romania 2002–04) and Rosemary Colgrove Aventine Press April 2009 224 pages $14.95 On My Own Now: Straight Talk from the Proverbs for Young Christian Women who Want to Remain Pure, Debt-free and Regret-free by Donna Lee Schillinger (Ecuador 1989-91) Quilldriver April Fool’s Day 2009 288 pages $14.95, audio book $9.95, e-book $4.95

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RPCV in Deep Space

Dan Curry (Thailand 1969-73) who is a seven-time Emmy Award winner for his visionary work on the various STAR TREK television series: ENTERPRISE; DEEP SPACE NINE; VOYAGER; and THE NEXT GENERATION started out in the Peace Corps building small dams and bridges in rural Northeast Thailand. Wait! Is Tom Hanks’ Volunteer really based on Dan’s Peace Corps tour? Dan, who is from New York City, majored in Fine Arts at Middlebury College, then joined the Peace Corps and stayed on in Thailand after his tour to work freelance in art and film production. It was during these years that he was awarded a commission from the King of Thailand as production designer for the Royal Ball. Coming home, he worked next as a bio-medical illustrator, taught fine arts at a New England college, and got his Master of Fine Arts degree in Film and Theatre at Humboldt State University. Then . . .

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Step # 8 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, And Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!

Step #8 A GI Bill for RPCVs The President’s Transition Team highlighted the fact that the Peace Corps never has fulfilled the promise of the Third Goal. This problem lies within the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps looks overseas. It doesn’t have the mind set to understand, as the Transition Team reported, “the power of returned Volunteer cultural and linguistic skills in the new multi-cultural America; show that Peace Corps service abroad helps solve problems here at home-completing the loop for Peace Corps; and create a re-employment stream for returned Volunteers. Taxpayers will see an impact at home (as teachers, public health workers and more). Over time, this grows into more support, first for overseas mission, and then for the domestic goal.” So what does the Director have to get the White House and Congress to do? 1.) Raise the Readjustment Allowance for RPCVs from $6,000 to $10,000. It has been at . . .

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Here today, Ghana Tomorrow

An article yesterday, June 30, about the Peace Corps in Ghana appeared in a Ghanaian newspaper written by RPCV Phillip Kurata . Kurata works for the State Department and writes for www.America.gov, a webiste of the State Department, that distributes news of the U.S. to the world. I thought you’d like to read what they are saying at State about us. Of course, Kurata is one of us. The first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Accra on the afternoon of September 1, 1961. The article has the arrival date in Ghana as August 30, but it was the afternoon of September1, 1961 according to John Demos, a member of the Ghana I. Fifty PCVs met Kennedy on the White House lawn, then went to a send-off party at the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on August 31. “Many libations were poured,” recalls Demos, a 1959 graduate of Harvard who had also done graduate work at Berkeley before . . .

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RPCV Janet Riehl Talks about Self-publishing

Recently Claire Applewhite, author of The Wrong Side of Memphis, posed some questions to Janet Grace Riehl (Botswana 1972-73 & Ghana 1973-75). Riehl is the author of Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary, a self-published book of story poems, many of which center on her family. This interview appeared a few weeks ago in Jane Henderson’s Book Column in the St. Louis Post- Dispatch . Janet lives in southern Illinois, graduating from Alton High School in 1967, then earned a master’s degree in English from Southern Illinois University/Edwardsville and where she was co-editor of the poetry magazine, Sou’Wester. She lived and worked for five years in Ghana and Botswana with the Peace Corps and then the British World Friends (Quakers). She lived in California for a while before returning to Midwest. In this interview by Claire Applewhite, Janet sums up the various ways to get published today. What do you think it takes to get . . .

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