Archive - February 24, 2011

1
Review of Christopher Conlon's A Matrix of Angels
2
Charlie Peters’ Excellent Adventurers and their Peace Corps Evaluation Reports 1961-1967
3
RPCVs Fill Up the Air in Philly with Peace Corps Talk

Review of Christopher Conlon's A Matrix of Angels

A Matrix of Angels by Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90) Creative Guy Publishing $12.95 245 pages 2010 Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-96) A Matrix of Angels is a literary thriller by Christopher Conlon, Bram Stoker Award winner and acclaimed author in the world of horror fiction. I abhor horror stories. But I actually didn’t realize I was reading one until gory scenes surfaced of a serial killer who tortured three teen-age girls in his basement, murdering them by drilling holes in their heads and leaving their remains in a river bed. Hence, the psycho’s label of “river-bed killer.” I was lured into the story by Conlon’s vivid account of the intense friendship between two girls, Frances Pastun and Lucy Sparrow, respectively 12 and “almost 13”. Frances was sent away by drug addicted parents to live with an aunt and uncle, where she meets Lucy, who lives across the street. . . .

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Charlie Peters’ Excellent Adventurers and their Peace Corps Evaluation Reports 1961-1967

Charlie Peters, lawyer, WWII Veteran, Kennedy campaigner,  Master’s in English and former West Virginia Legislator, was chosen by Shriver to head up the first evaluation unit in a federal agency.  He did so with relish, hiring professional journalists and fanning them out overseas to independently evaluate the fledging Peace Corps programs, many times to the consternation of those in the Program Department who had created those very same programs. ( See: Redmon, Coates, Come As You Are, Chapter six “Charlie Peters, the Burr under the Saddle”, Orlando, Florida, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1986). These reports compose the first real public record of the Peace Corps and the National Archives has preserved all of them in its vaults at College Park, Md. The evaluators spent weeks or even months in-country traveling to sites and interviewing both staff and Volunteers. Upon their return, their reports circulated among staff at PC/DC as well . . .

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RPCVs Fill Up the Air in Philly with Peace Corps Talk

WHYY, the NPR station in Philadelphia, had a very positive show about the Peace Corps on its Radio Times program yesterday. For the first hour, the host, Marty Moss-Coane, spoke to Stan Meisler, author of the new book, just published, When The World Calls:  The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and its First Fifty Years. The second hour had Moss-Coane interviewing three RPCVs: Julia Zagar, who served in Peru in the 1960s and now runs an art gallery in Philadelphia; Concetta Bencivenga, who served in Thailand in the early 1990s and is now directs the Please Touch Museum; and Sarah Edelman, who served in El Salvador from 2005 to 2007 and is now a Public Citizen Organizer.  There were numerous phone callers during both hours, almost all RPCVs. All in all, it was a wonderful antidote to the ABC 20/20 onslaught. You can hear the shows on the WHYY website . . .

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