Archive - July 2011

1
Review of Christina Shea's Smuggled
2
I Get Mail….from RPCV writers
3
Jerusalem Post Magazine Piece on Michael Levy (China 2005-06)
4
Review of Thor Hanson's Feathers
5
Memorial Service for Sally Bowles The Peace Corps First Staff Employee (Unpaid)!
6
Want to Escape the US Before She Defaults?
7
June 2011 Peace Corps Books
8
Friends of Colombia Peace Corps Archives at American University
9
Peace Corps Writers Awards for Books Published in 2010
10
Review of Michael S. Orban's Souled Out

Review of Christina Shea's Smuggled

Smuggled By Christina Shea (Hungary 1990–92) Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Black Cat July 2011 256 Pages $14.00 Reviewed by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963–65) CHRISTINA SHEA’S SMUGGLED IS a tale of the emotionally corrosive power of dictatorial societies. It is also the story of human resiliency in the face of repressive governmental policies. Christina Shea has done an estimable job of illustrating this dichotomy in her second novel, an austere political saga covering fifty years of political upheaval in Eastern Europe, more specifically, Hungary and Romania between 1943 and 1991, spanning World War Two, the Stalinist takeover, and the eventual collapse of Communism. In limpid, unadorned prose, Shea, follows Jewish Éva Farkas from the age of five when she is smuggled out of Hungary in a flour sack, over the border into Romania where she is renamed Anca Balaj, and begins her transformation under the protective identity of “Romanian internal refugee” in the . . .

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I Get Mail….from RPCV writers

Once a week or so I get a book in the mail sent by an RPCV. Usually I know the book is coming, or there is a letter inside the package, saying, “hi, I’ve written a book about my time in….” Yesterday, however, I got an oversize (9×12) beautiful book of text and photos entitled Colombia: Pictures & Stories from someone named Sandy Fisher (Colombia 1962-64). No explanation. No note. No nothin’ as my son use to say when he was six. Plus, it was autographed! Well, someone had scribbled “Sandy Fisher” on the title page, no date, no comment, no nothin’. (You’ve got to love Peace Corps Writers. They are surely not into self-promotion.) This “Sandy,” as I said, was a PCV in Colombia from 1962-64, first doing community development work in Tenjo, outside of Bogota. After one year there, he went to be a volunteer leader on the Caribbean . . .

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Jerusalem Post Magazine Piece on Michael Levy (China 2005-06)

Changing Places 07/21/2011 16:05 By GLENN C. ALTSCHULER  ‘It is said that in America, the money is in the pockets of the Jews and the brains are in the heads of the Chinese,’ a local official in Guizhou province tells Michael Levy, a Peace Corps volunteer. Before long, the man adds, America will fade away and China “will have one hundred years of glory. When the Jews begin to immigrate here, we will know we have won!” Levy nods, rests his head on a table, and falls asleep. It is not his first – nor will it be his last – awkward conversation about Jews, Judaism and the United States. In Kosher Chinese, Levy, who currently teaches at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn, New York, recounts his experiences in 2005 and 2006 teaching English as a second language at Gui Da University in rural China. Up-close-and-personal, funny and, alas, occasionally . . .

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Review of Thor Hanson's Feathers

Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle by Thor Hanson (Uganda 1993–95) Basic Books $25.99 336 pages 2011 Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) THOR HANSON, A CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST, has written a scientific treatise on a subject that most of us never notice — feathers.  But you don’t have to be an ornithologist to consider reading this book, you just have to be curious. Bird watching is not always “for the birds.” Hanson writes that it is “. . . a dangerous trap, because the true wonder of birding lies in the watching, soaking up the fine details of plumage, behavior and habit. Even common birds do uncommon things, and every sighting is worth more than a glance and a tick on a checklist.” You might see something like “Snowy Sheathbills striding about, bent forward like tiny professors lost in thought.” The scope of this book would be daunting . . .

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Memorial Service for Sally Bowles The Peace Corps First Staff Employee (Unpaid)!

Memorial Service for Sarah Bowles A memorial service for Sally Bowles will take place at 3 p.m., September 17 in Essex, Connecticut, at Hayden’s Point, where Sally grew up, now the home of Sally’s friends and neighbors Dorinda and Mark Winkelman. The service will be outdoors overlooking the Connecticut River, and will be followed by a reception. Thomas Bennet is compiling photographs of Sally. Please send him any photographs that you would like to share. Email:  <thomas.bennet@gmail.com> So that we know how many to expect, please let us know you are coming by registering (click on the link below) rather than replying to this email. Click to register (don’t forget to click “submit” at the end of the form) Please send this message on to other friends of Sally’s whom we may have missed. Directions: Click on the link below for a map.  Note that you should drive to the . . .

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Want to Escape the US Before She Defaults?

English Teaching Extension, Tajikistan September 12, 2011 – June 31, 2012 Application Deadline: July 31, 2011 The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, is seeking experienced English teachers who are interested in a unique cultural experience. The English Teaching Extension program supports U.S. citizens to come to Tajikistan for ten months to teach English, learn language, and help local NGOs in remote areas of the country. English teachers will live with host families and work at secondary schools, Universities, youth centers, NGOs, and American Corner libraries. Airfare, emergency medical insurance, monthly living allowance, and $2,500 completion bonus are all included. English teachers are grantees, and not employees of the U.S. government.  Details: English teachers arrive on or before September 12 for a 5-day ESL training course. Teachers receive a $250 monthly living allowance and a $2,500 bonus after the completion of 10 months. Teachers will live . . .

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June 2011 Peace Corps Books

Gather The Fruit One By One 50 Years of Amazing Peace Corps Stories: Volume Two, Americas Edited by Pat (Paraguay 1970–72) and Bernie (India 1967–69) Alter Series editor Jane Albritton (India 1967–69) June 2011 315 pages $18.95 • Tarnished Ivory Reflections on Peace Corps and Beyond Peter Bourque (Ivory Coast 1973–75) Xlibris $19.99 223 pages June 2011 • From the San Joaquin review (Short stories) Barry Kitterman (Belize 1976–78) SMU Press $23.95 264 pages June 2011 • Footprints in the Mud (review) A Peace Corps Volunteer’s 40+ Years of Ties to Thailand Michael R. MacLeod (Thailand 1964-68) Third Place Books 296 pages 2010 • Friends at the Bar A Quaker View of Law, Conflict Resolution, and Legal Reform Nancy Black Sagafi-nejad (Iran 1965-68) State University of New York Press $75.00, paperback $24.95 272 pages February 2011 • Against the Odds Insights from One District’s Small School Reform Martin Tombari (Ethiopia 1974–75) . . .

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Friends of Colombia Peace Corps Archives at American University

Ghana I may have won the race to be the very first Peace Corps group to begin service, but Peace Corps Colombia may be the very first Peace Corps contingent to produce a comprehensive and complete history of programs in a specific host country. The Friends of Colombia Peace Corps Archives at American University is the reason why. In 1999, the RPCV alumni group, Friends of Colombia initiated an archive for Peace Corps at American University in Washington DC, focusing on Peace Corps programs in Colombia. AU Librarian and RPCV Pat Wand (Col VIII), RPCV Bob Colombo, and other members of Friends of Colombia were essential to the creation and success of this archive. Today, Archivist Susan McElrath guarantees its continued success. For over a decade, artifacts and materials have been collected from RPCVs and staff. The focus has been on Peace Corps Colombia, but the archive also includes important . . .

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Peace Corps Writers Awards for Books Published in 2010

It is time to nominate your favorite Peace Corps book published in 2010.  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. The books must have been published in 2010. The awards will be announced in time for the 50th Anniversary. Thank you for nominating your favorite book written by a PCV, RPCV or Peace Corps Staff. A framed certificate and money are given to the winners. 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 . . .

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Review of Michael S. Orban's Souled Out

Souled Out: A Memoir of War and Inner Peace by Michael S. Orban (Gabon 1976–78) Minuteman Press $17.00 230 pages 2011 Reviewed by Susan O’Neill (Venezuela 1973–74) MICHAEL ORBAN WAS 20 when the US government sent him to Viet Nam as a foot soldier in a politically-motivated undeclared war. He was a Catholic boy from Wisconsin, a thoughtful child who dreamed of traveling to exotic places.  The concept of being killed by the residents of those places — or of killing them to escape that fate — had not been part of his National Geographic scenario. The story of what happened next — of the traumatic return from the trauma of war; of depression, substance abuse, divorce — is familiar to those who have read the writings of former warriors like Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried) and Robert Mason (Chickenhawk). But Orban’s tale takes an interesting departure from those . . .

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