Archive - December 16, 2009

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Meeting Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams
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Heads Up On New Book By Bulgarian RPCV

Meeting Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams

The other day I went down to D.C. to interview Aaron Williams, the new Peace Corps Director, a former Volunteer in the DR in 1967-70. Aaron told me that when he flew off to Training it was the first time this southside Chicago kid had ever been on a plane. He had never been out of Chicago before joining the Peace Corps, earning his college degree locally, in Education and Geography from Chicago State University, not Harvard or Yale. After his tour, he worked for the Peace Corps in Chicago as a Recruiter, and all these years later, that gang of RPCV Recruiters who worked together in the early Seventies are still close friends. For another year, and this was 1970-71, he worked in Peace Corps Washington as the Coordinator of Minority Recruitment, and then he returned to school and earned an MBA in Marketing and International Business. He worked in Minneapolis with General Mills for awhile before beginning a long USAID . . .

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Heads Up On New Book By Bulgarian RPCV

Cynthia Morrison Phoel ( Bulgaria 1994-96) was a PCV in a Bulgarian town not unlike the one in her new collection, Cold Snap. Her book will be published this spring (April) by Southern Methodist University Press. Cynthia holds degrees from Cornell and the Warrren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, and her short stories have appeared in the Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, and Harvard Review. She lives near Boston and just gave birth to her third child! Busy RPCV. The book is getting some great advance word, and great blubs from writers like Steve Yarbrough, Alison Lurie, Katherine Shonk, Robert Boswell, Robert Cohen, etc. While the Peace Corps ‘volunteer’ is not part of her stories, actually there is only one American in the stories, this collection of stories, now a book, shows what an RPCV can do with the experience. As Alison Lurie writes, “I admire Cynthia Phoel’s use of original . . .

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