Archive - April 2010

1
When Will the Peace Corps Get A Deputy Director?
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April Books By RPCVs
3
When the Right Hand Washes the Left [Part Three]
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When the Right Hand Washes the Left [Part Two]
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When the Right Hand Washes the Left [Part One]
6
The Peace Corps Wants You!
7
Moyers At The Peace Corps, Part Three
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Darcy Munson Meijer Reviews Terri McIntyre's (Pakistan 1963-65) Stonghold
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Moyers At The Peace Corps, Part Two
10
Making Lemonade In The Maiatico Building

When Will the Peace Corps Get A Deputy Director?

Carrie Hessler Radelet has yet to be confirmed by the full Senate as Deputy Director of the Peace Corps and as a good friend who knows the workings in Washington puts it, “the Peace Corps isn’t doing ‘jack’ about it. ” What gives? Obama will be done with his first term before Carrie Radelet is sworn in as the Peace Corps Deputy Director. Any Third World country in the world could do better than this! Right now Carrie is the the Director of the Washington, DC office of John Snow, Inc. (JSI) and JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc, a global public health organization. She has worked in the field of public health for the past two decades, specializing in HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health. Before that, she was a Johns Hopkins Fellow with USAID in Indonesia and assisted the Indonesian government to develop its first national AIDS strategy. She is also on the . . .

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April Books By RPCVs

Powering the Future: A Scientist’s Guide to Energy Independence by Daniel B. Botkin (Philippines 1962–63) Pearson FT Press $25.99 280 pages April 2010 • Faith, Interrupted: A Spiritual Journey by  Eric Lax (Micronesia 1966-68) Alfred A. Knopf $26.00 288 pages April 2010 • South of the Frontera: A Peace Corps Memoir by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras, 1975-77) iUniverse $22.95 313 pages March 2010 • Green Pearl Odyssey by Reilly Ridgell (Micronesia 1971-73) Blue Ocean Press $16.95 468 pages February 2010 • Last Train From Cuernavaca by Lucia St. Clair Robson (Venezuela 1964–66) Forge $25.99 349 pages April 2010 Click on the book cover or the bold book title to order from Amazon and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance.

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When the Right Hand Washes the Left [Part Three]

Hundreds of 23-year-old spies Life at Nsukka was not always the easiest thing in the world, and the friendships I talk of so cavalierly were not the work of a day. Our group arrived at Nsukka shortly after the Peace Corps’ first big publicity break, the famous Post Card Incident, which was still very much on Nigerian minds. We were always treated with a sense of natural friendliness and hospitality, but there was also quite a bit of understandable mistrust. Nigeria became a nation only in 1960, and the present university generation is one bred on the struggle for independence and the appropriate slogans and attitudes. I tended to feel guilty rather than defensive, except when the accusations were patently ridiculous, such as the idea that we were all master spires – hundred of 23-year-old master spies – or when facts were purposefully ignored, as in the statement that the . . .

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When the Right Hand Washes the Left [Part Two]

In Nigeria literature became the line of commerce between me and my students as people, a common interest and prime mover in the coming together of white American and black African. Ours was a dialogue between equals, articulate representatives of two articulate and in many ways opposing heritages. Because literature deals more directly with life than other art forms, through it I began to know Nigeria as a country and my students as friends. An idealized case history might read something like this: A student brings me a story he has written, perhaps autobiographical, about life in his village. I harrumph my way through a number of formal criticisms and start asking questions about customs in his village that have a bearing on the story. Soon we are exchanging childhood reminiscences or talking about girls over a bottle of beer. Eventually we travel together to his home, where I meet . . .

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When the Right Hand Washes the Left [Part One]

When the Right Hand Washes the Left A Volunteer who served in Nigeria looks back on his Peace Corps experience by David Schickele (Nigeria 1961-63) David G. Schickele first presented his retrospective view of Volunteer service in a speech given at Swarthmore College in 1963 that was printed in the Swarthmore College Bulletin. At the time, there was great interest on college campuses about the Peace Corps and early RPCVs were frequently asked to write or speak on their college campuses about their experiences. A 1958 graduate of Swarthmore, Schickele worked as a freelance professional violinist before joining the Peace Corps in 1961. After his tour, he would, with Roger Landrum (Nigeria 1961-63) make a documentary film on the Peace Corps in Nigeria called “Give Me A Riddle” that was for Peace Corps recruitment but was never really used by the agency. The film was perhaps too honest a representation of . . .

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The Peace Corps Wants You!

According to Alice Lipowicz, the Peace Corps is assembling a database of former volunteers. They are seeking a contractor to be hired to compile a list for 50th anniversary celebration. She writes in the Federal Computer Week newsletter: The federal government wants former Peace Corps members to volunteer their current e-mail and home addresses. In anticipation of the program’s 50th anniversary celebration next year, the Peace Corps is compiling a list of current mailing addresses and e-mail addresses for as many of the nearly 200,000 former volunteers as it can locate. The agency recently posted a request for proposals to hire a small business to obtain and validate all the addresses within 30 days and store them in a secure, encrypted database, according to a notice published on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site April 22. The payment will be based on the number of validated addresses the contractor obtains. The total estimated . . .

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Moyers At The Peace Corps, Part Three

One of the important ways that Bill Moyers helped establish the Peace Corps was in his ability to get Shriver to work the halls of Congress. Shriver wasn’t a Washington type. When he began to sell the Peace Corps idea to Congress he had only been in D.C. for four months. But it was up to him to sell the new agency. Kennedy had told his sister, Shriver’s wife, “Well, Sarge and Lyndon Johnson wanted to have a separate Peace Corps, separate from AID, and so I think they ought to take charge of getting it through Congress. I’ve got plenty of other legislation I’m struggling with.” “When he said that,” Shriver recalled, “I just said, ‘I’m putting this piece of legislation through!’” Shriver’s ace-in-the-hole was Bill Moyers. Peter Grothe, who had come to the Peace Corps from the Hill, having been a speech writer for Senator Hubert Humphrey in 1960, said . . .

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Darcy Munson Meijer Reviews Terri McIntyre's (Pakistan 1963-65) Stonghold

Darcy Munson Meijer has lived and taught in France, Vietnam, the U.S. and Gabon.  She currently teaches women at Zayed University in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates — Abu Dhabi. Darcy also edits the quarterly Friends of Gabon newsletter, the Gabon Letter. Here she reviews the young adult novel Stronghold by Terri McIntyre. • Stronghold by Terri McIntyre (Pakistan 1963–65) CreateSpace October 2009 259 pages $12.50 Reviewed by Darcy Munson Meijer (Gabon 1982–84) Stronghold is a valuable addition to the book collection of any young adult — and to mine. Author Terri McIntyre provides a model of talented writing and plot development and gives readers food for thought, plus marvelous local color. The story is set in Indiana and the beautiful high-desert lands of Arizona. Stronghold’s hero is 13-year-old Joe Aberdeen, who must relocate to his father’s house as a result of a family tragedy. As Joe . . .

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Moyers At The Peace Corps, Part Two

James Rowe, an influential Washington lawyer, who was also an intimate of Lyndon Johnson’s and a former aide to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, called Shriver and said, “Sarge, I think I have good news for you. I don’t really understand how this has come about, but did you ever hear of a fellow named Bill Moyers? Shriver tells Rowe he has never heard of Moyers. This was all reported in Coates Redmon’s book, Come As You Are. Rowe tells Sarge that this twenty-five-year old kid wants to work at the Peace Corps, and that he is the smartest person that Lyndon Johnson has ever had work for him, and is “one of the most gifted young legislative persons I’ve ever seen. I have no idea why in the world he wants to work in the Peace Corps. Frankly, I think it’s sort of crazy for him to want to do . . .

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Making Lemonade In The Maiatico Building

I had a email recently from a dear young friend complaining that my blog is about ‘all you old farts at Peace Corps Headquarters”‘ and I wrote back, okay, I’d do more items on golf and Tiger Woods. She quickly replied, “Well, then maybe you should stay with the early days of the agency. Anything is better then golf!” There is a lot one can write about those early days of the agency when the Peace Corps attracted the best and the brightest, or so they claimed. An early document of the agency said that the staff in D.C. and around the world was composed of “skiers, mountain climbers, big-game hunters, prizefighters, football players, polo players and enough Ph.D.’s [30] to staff a liberal arts college.” There were 18 attorneys, of whom only four continue to work strictly as attorneys in the General Counsel’s office and the rest [including Sargent Shriver] did other jobs. Also, . . .

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