Archive - January 2010

1
E-Mail Letter Sent To RPCVs By Crisis Corps (a.k.a. Peace Corps Response)
2
Peace Corps At Day One, # 1
3
First Peace Corps Books, Pamphlets & A Play, A Book of Photos & A RPCV Memoir!
4
100 Days (Or Less) Part Six: Day One
5
Peace Corps Writers awards for books published in 2009
6
100 Days (Or Less) Part Five: Let Us Begin
7
Another Award Winning RPCV Writer–Ghlee E. Woodworth (Comoros Islands 1991-93)
8
RPCV Writer Has Big Book Coming in February (No, It's Not Theroux!)
9
RPCV Damian Wampler Documents Darfur Refugee In Brooklyn
10
Review: William F. S. Miles' My African Horse Problem

E-Mail Letter Sent To RPCVs By Crisis Corps (a.k.a. Peace Corps Response)

[The Peace Corps, as an agency, was created in 30 days, but those were the days when the Kennedy Kids knew how to get things done! By the time this Response Corps gets its act together and sends its first RPCVs to Haiti the children needing food and medical attention will be in college. “It will take time for us to assess what Peace Corps can do in Haiti,” writes Laura Smail in her form e-mail to RPCVs calling the Peace Corps. Really? Don’t tell that to Shriver, Wofford, and Wiggins. In February of 1961 they met in two-rooms at the Mayflower and with a handful of people inside and out of government created a whole new organization that was signed into law by March 1, 1961. Maybe if the Peace Corps saw the situation in Haiti as a ‘crisis’ and now simply something to ‘response to’ we’d have some action at HQ.] Laura’s . . .

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Peace Corps At Day One, # 1

Over the next year, leading up to the 50th Anniversary, I’ll be blogging short pieces of background information on the creation of the agency. I’ve done some of this already, as you know, but what follows is more details and facts on the ‘idea’ of a Peace Corps, and the first group of staff and PCVs. So, here’s # 1 Beginning in March of 1961, the Peace Corps had no Volunteers, little staff, no application form, no tests or testing centers, no selection process, no training program, no projects, no evaluation system, and no agreements with nations wanting Peace Corps Volunteers. There was intense interest–30 to 40,000 letters following the JFK’s speeches outlining the idea for a Peace Corps. There was authority, the March 1, 1961 Presidential Executive Order, 10924. And there was some research. Remember the Colorado State study Congress had conducted? There were also criticism, skepticism, disbelief and fear. It was between . . .

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First Peace Corps Books, Pamphlets & A Play, A Book of Photos & A RPCV Memoir!

In case you’re wondering (or want to do your PHD on the Peace Corps) the first books and pamphlets on the agency in the first five years came out in 1961. There were four published that year. In 1962 one play was produced; 1963 had five more books in print; 1964 six books; three in 1965. They are: 1961 An International Peace Corps: The Promise and Problems, by Samuel P. Hayes published by Public Affairs Institute. It cost $1.00 (1961) Complete Peace Corps Guide, by Ray Hoopes, with an intnroduction by R. Sargent Shriver published by Dial Press. It cost $3.50. (1961) New Frontiers for American Youth: Perspective on the Peace Corps by Maurice L. Albertson, Andrew E. Rice and Pauline E. Birkey published by Public Affairs Press. It cost $4.50. (1961) Peace Corps: Who, How and Where by Charles E. Wingenbach, with a foreword by Hubert H. Humphrey published by John Day Company. It . . .

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100 Days (Or Less) Part Six: Day One

Day One It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. Those who do not do this remain amateurs. Gerald Brenan Writers write in different ways. Some writers write on computers, others on typewriters, or in long-hand. Agatha Christie said that the best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes. It doesn’t matter how you write. What matters is that you write. What you need to do first in these 100 days is create a routine for your writing. You do this by establishing a specific time to write. This is important because over the course of writing your novel, you will get discouraged, bored, angry, or otherwise fed up, and when you start feeling that way, you’ll need a clearly defined patterns to keep yourself writing. On occasion you may have to shift your writing times to deal with other . . .

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Peace Corps Writers awards for books published in 2009

It is time to nominate your favorite Peace Corps book published in 2009. Send your nomination(s) to John Coyne at: jpcoyne@cnr.edu. You may nominate your own book; books written by friends; books written by total strangers. The books can be about the Peace Corps or on any topic. However, the books must have been published in 2009. The awards will be announced this coming July. Thank you for nominating your favorite book written by a PCV, RPCV or Peace Corps Staff. Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award First given in 1990, the Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award was named to honor Paul Cowan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Ecuador. Cowan wrote The Making of An Un-American about his experiences as a Volunteer in Latin America in the sixties. A longtime activist and political writer for The Village Voice, Cowan died of leukemia in 1988. Maria Thomas Fiction Award The Maria Thomas Fiction . . .

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100 Days (Or Less) Part Five: Let Us Begin

Sinclair Lewis was invited to talk to some students about the writer’s craft. He stood at the head of the class and asked, “How many of you here are really serious about being writers?” A sea of hands shot up. Lewis then asked, “Well, why aren’t you all home writing?” And with that he walked out of the room. It is time for you to become a writer. What follows is your daily log – each day has words of encouragement, advice, wisdom or a task for you to do to help you get your novel written. For the purpose of organization I am breaking the writing down into “days” but a day for you might be thirty minutes or a week’s time. What is important is that you keep at the task of writing something everyday and employ the ideas, methods, and words of wisdom from many successful writers . . .

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Another Award Winning RPCV Writer–Ghlee E. Woodworth (Comoros Islands 1991-93)

Using the unlikely topic of tombstones, Ghlee Woodworth, who spent some 13 years with the Peace Corps as a PCV in the Comoros Islands, and then as a Peace Corps Trainer for projects in Namibia, Swaziland, Niger, Bulgaria, Moldova, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Bangladesh, traveling to a total of 45 countries before coming home to Newburyport, Massachusetts, where she pieced together a picture of 19th-century Newburyport through the stories of 80 people laid to rest in the Oak Hill Cemetery. And this is only her first volume. Tiptoe Through the Tombstones, which is self published, recently was named runner-up in the Biography/Autobiography category for the 2009 Book of the Year at the New England Book Festival (beating out the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s book, True Compass). It tells the stories of some of Newburyport’s 19th-century founders: ship captains, entrepreneurs and political leaders. “It takes many citizens to build a community, and some of the people I’ve written about were . . .

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RPCV Writer Has Big Book Coming in February (No, It's Not Theroux!)

Eternal on the Water is “A touching love story immersed in the beautiful simplicity of nature and life lived in the present moment,” says novelist Lisa Genove about the new book by Joseph Monninger (Burkina Faso 1975-77). Monninger has written fiction and non-fiction, YAs, and memoirs. He had written about boxing matches and sled dogs and Africa. Most recently  he has been writing successful, award winning, Young Adult books, the latest Hippie Chick. Back in 1991 he wrote The Viper Tree set in Ouagodougou, Burkina Faso. Now he has written a big romance about two adults who meet while kayaking on Maine’s Allagash River and fall deeply in love. The two approach life with the same sense of adventure they use to conquer the river’s treacherous rapids. This is a warm love story where two “soul mates” meet by chance, fall perfectly and completely in love, but quickly learn their time together is fated . . .

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RPCV Damian Wampler Documents Darfur Refugee In Brooklyn

Photographer Damian Wampler (Kyrgyz Republic 1999–01) graduated from Boston University and served as an English teacher in the Kyrgyz Republic. He then earned a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Russian, Eastern Europe and Central Asian Studies with a concentration in Human and Political Geography. He was a Fulbright researcher in the Kyrgyz Republic from 2005–2006. In 2006 he moved to New York City to recruit for the Peace Corps and earn a Master’s degree in digital photography from the School of Visual Arts. Recently some of Damian’s work was part of a group exhibition called Face Time, where he showcased intimate portraits of New York City’s homeless. He has been a volunteer photographer for the Red Cross of Greater New York and for Heartgallery in New York City. Damian has been accepted into the U.S Foreign Service and is currently preparing to go to Tajikistan. • Darfur . . .

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Review: William F. S. Miles' My African Horse Problem

Reviewer Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64) is a writer and policy consultant living on the Umatilla Indian Reservation outside Pendleton, Oregon. Here Tom reviews William F.S. Miles book My African Horse Problem published by the University of Massachusetts Press. • My African Horse Problem by William F. S. Miles (Niger 1977-79) with Samuel B. Miles University of Massachusetts Press 2008 $22.95 208 pages, 26 illustrations Reviewed by Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962–64) My African Horse Problem recounts the intricacies [sic] of this unusual father-son expedition, a sometimes harrowing two-week trip that Samuel joined as “true heir” to the disputed stallion. It relates the circumstances leading up to the dispute and describes the intimacy of a relationship spanning a quarter century between William Miles and the custodians of his family horse — Islamic village friends eking out a precarious existence along the remote sub-Saharan borderline between Nigeria and Niger. Bill Miles is a . . .

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