Archive - March 2011

1
The Peace Corps on Jeopardy Tonight, March 13
2
More About Pioneering the Peace Corps in the Philippines
3
PCVs from the Philippines Publish Book
4
Candlelight Vigil for Kate Puzey on Friday, March 11 in D.C.
5
Wikileaks? No. National Archives? Yes.
6
February 2011 Peace Corps Books
7
Build a School in Mali! Support an RPCV!
8
Okay, Who Was First PCV on the Job?
9
Man Who Made the Peace Corps
10
Susi Wyss (CAR 1990-92) Writes A Novel in Stories, The Civilized World

The Peace Corps on Jeopardy Tonight, March 13

PEACE CORPS ON JEOPARDY – MARCH 11, 2011 and MARCH 16, 2011 Tune in tonight to test your Peace Corps trivia prowess on Jeopardy!  Tonight’s episode (3/11) will feature a Peace Corps category (5 questions).  ABC.  7:30 pm EST – but check your local listings. http://www.jeopardy.com/ Next week, the March 16th episode, will feature an RPCV contestant.

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More About Pioneering the Peace Corps in the Philippines

Following in the footsteps of the Korean RPCVs, the first groups of PCVs to the Philippines have produced a collection of essays and photos from their early years for the 50th anniversary. Unlike, Through Our Eyes: Peace Corps In Korea, 1966-1981, edited by Bill Harwood (Korea 1975-77), a book that focused on Korea, Koreans, and the amazing changes in that country, the RPCVs from the Philippines have, for the most part, compiled a manuscript of essays about their memories of “being first” in-country, and what has happened to them in the years since. It stretches to 500+ pages, and is entitled, Answering Kennedy’s Call: Pioneering the Peace Corps in the Philippines. This book (published this week and available for $25.00 at CreateSpace or under its title at Amazon.com) was edited by four RPCVs from those early years (1961–63): Parker W. Borg, Maureen J. Carroll, Patricia MacDermot Kasdan, Stephen W. Wells. About . . .

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PCVs from the Philippines Publish Book

A new book published by our Peace Corps Writers imprint has just come out. Answering Kennedy’s Call: Pioneering the Peace Corps in the Philippines edited by four Philippines Volunteers from groups 1,2,3, (Parker W. Borg, Maureen J. Carroll, Patricia MacDermot Kasan, Stephen W. Wells). It weights in slightly less than 3 pounds and at 500+ pages. Their book is a series of essays by 90 Philippine Volunteers, plus a few essays from staff and a few Filipino observers. As Parker W. Bong, one of the four editors, wrote me, “These former Volunteers recount their personal crises, misadventures, apprehensions and foibles along with their sources of satisfaction and accomplishment. A common theme is humility and the sense they came back having gained far more than they were able to contribute. We believe we have not only created an interesting memoir for the former volunteers and their families, but a valuable history of the first Peace Corps years.” The book is available for . . .

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Candlelight Vigil for Kate Puzey on Friday, March 11 in D.C.

http://firstresponseaction.blogspot.com/2011/03/candlelight-vigil-for-kate-puzey-friday.html Candlelight Vigil for Kate Puzey on Friday, March 11 in D.C. Kate Puzey is a Volunteer who was murdered in Benin in 2009. Her story was highlighted on an episode of 20/20 in January. The Puzey family have started a new website in Kate’s memory and they are hosting a vigil this Friday in D.C. to honor her memory and service as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Here are details from the Kate’s Voice website, which the Puzey family started to honor Kate’s memory: March 11th Vigil: “Light A Candle For Kate” On Friday, March 11th – the 2nd anniversary of Kate Puzey’s death – there will be a vigil to honor Kate and the sacrifices of all other Peace Corps volunteer victims in front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. from 6:30 – 7:30 PM. They also have a facebook page for Kate’s Voice. The Puzey family . . .

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Wikileaks? No. National Archives? Yes.

(Please note:  The information here on how to access records may well be too old to be useful. Please visit the National Archives and Records Administration for current information.)   So what was happening with Peace Corps in Afghanistan in 1974? There are a handful of records online.  One does describe Peace Corps in Afghanistan. To find out what was happening in 1974, read this: A State Department cable, dated Mar 75, reads, in part, ” THE PEACE CORPS HAS HAD A FRUSTRATING YEAR, PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULT IN OBTAINING FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF AFGHANISTAN ITS (THE GOA’S) WISHES AND GOA PROGRAMMING PREFERENCES FOR PEACE CORPS AFGHANISTAN, AND SECONDARILY AND RELATEDLY BECAUSE ATTEMPTS TO BECOME INVOLVED IN SEVERAL ATTRACTIVE PROGRAMMING AREAS HAVE SO FAR BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL BECAUSE OF THE COLLAPSE IN 1973- 1974 OF SOME MAJOR HEALTH AND AGRICULTURE PROJECTS AND NON-REPLACEMENT OF VOLUNTEERS IN OTHER PROJECTS, ENGLISH TEACHING . . .

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February 2011 Peace Corps Books

History Begins in Africa by Mary Acosta (Afghanistan 1964–66) Birds Nest Publishing $29.95 385 pages December 2010 • Haiti: Ti Moun Se Riches [Our Children Are Our Treasures] photographs by Skyler Badenoch (Cote d’Ivoire 2001–02) Suzanne Guard and Tuck Stephenson, publishers $30.00 pages January 2011 • This is Africa: Peace Corps Malawi and the Liberian Civil War by Eugene T. Caruso (Malawi & Liberia 1990–92) CreateSpace $9.99 134 pages 2009 • The Family Goryachevix by Murray Davis (Russia 1996–99) Finer Images Printing $12.00 154 pages 2010 • Lake, and Other Poems of Love in a Foreign Land (Winner of the 2010 SRCA Open Poetry Chapbook Competition) by Jeff Fearnside (Kazakhstan 2002–04) Standing Rock Cultural Arts $12.00 24 pages February 2011 • Gloryland by Shelton Johnson (Liberia 1982–83) Sierra Club/Counterpoint $15.95 288 pages 2010 • A School For Others: The History of the Belize High School of Agriculture by George Lebard . . .

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Build a School in Mali! Support an RPCV!

Katie Christ (Mali 1989-91) is building a school in her former village. It is a project where the International Women’s Democracy Center, in Washington D.C. and run by Barbara Ferris (Morocco 1971-73), is the fiscal agent. If you were in Mali (or if you just want to help build “Mali Kalanso”) check out www.malikalanso.org.     Katie’s organization is a non-profit providing education to children in Mali. Katie is building the school, called ‘Kalanso,’ which means schoolhouse in the local Bambara language. Mali, as you may know, is one of the poorest countries in the world, and  has one of the lowest literacy rates, especially among girls. Katie is trying to change that,  one school at a time. From time to time we will use the site to point out RPCV organizations that are working, in the U.S. and overseas, to fulfill the goals of the Peace Corps, especially the Third Goal, which this site is all about.

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Okay, Who Was First PCV on the Job?

I’ve written about Pat Kennedy before. He was one of those early ‘Mad Men’ of the agency and in 1961 was the only agency training officer and set up the first Peace Corps training programs. Kennedy was also the escort officer for the Ghana I Volunteers. That group arrived in-country on the afternoon of August 30 (or the afternoon of  September 1, 1961,) on a  Pan American DC-7 that had painted on the fuselage, Peace Corps Clipper. John Demos, a PCV on that flight, is quoted in Come As You Are written by Coates Redmon and published in 1986 that “We were set down in Accra on the afternoon of September 1, 1961.”  It had taken the PCVs twenty-one hour to reach Africa according to Kennedy, but others on-board said it took twenty-three hours (but after all those hours who’s counting?) Gerard T. Rice in his book The Bold Experiment: JFK’s Peace Corps, published in 1985, has Ghana PCVs arriving on August 30, . . .

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Man Who Made the Peace Corps

Phil Hardberger recalls the impact the late Sargent Shriver had on the organization – and on him. Special To The Express-News Sunday, February 27, 2011  Former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger holds a photograph of himself and Sargent Shriver.Sargent Shriver died a few weeks ago – just short of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps. There were many tributes to him. Various columnists and pundits gave accounts of his triumphs with the Peace Corps, the Office of Economic Opportunity and as the U.S. ambassador to France. His failure as a candidate for national office was dissected. Careful analyses were made of his connections with the Kennedy family (he was married to Eunice, the sister of President John F. Kennedy) and whether this was an advantage or disadvantage. Phil Hardberger writes: My own thoughts were more personal, more filled with memories, more illustrated with vivid images undiminished by . . .

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Susi Wyss (CAR 1990-92) Writes A Novel in Stories, The Civilized World

EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I get a surprise in the mail. Out of nowhere comes a book by an RPCV that sets me back in my work as I have to sit down and read it asap. When I finish, I end up thinking: ‘wow’ we (i.e. RPCVs) are writing prose that still makes us want to turn the page. We are writing literature in ways that no one else can because of our Peace Corps years. Yesterday I received in the mail from Holt Paperbacks a debut novel entitled The Civilized World: A Novel in Stories written by Susi Wyss (Central African Republic 1990-92). Susi was raised in the U.S. and the Ivory Coast and worked for twenty years managing health programs in Africa, where she lived for more than eight years. She has a B.A. from Vassar, an M.P.H. from Boston University, and holds an M.A. in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University. . . .

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