Archive - July 2011

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RPCV Christina Shea (Hungary 1990-92)Reads at New York B&N
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Katharine Whittemore Writes In Boston Globe About Peace Corps Writers
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Peace Corps to end its program in Romania by 2013
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Ernest Hemingway and The PCV
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James Frederick Gage (Ethiopia 1963–65)

RPCV Christina Shea (Hungary 1990-92)Reads at New York B&N

  Christina Shea Christina Shea: Smuggled Author Event In the new novel Smuggled, a sweeping story that encompasses post-WWII Romania and Budapest in the 1990s, Christina Shea takes an intimate look at the human toll of political oppression. Monday July 18, 2011 7:00 PM 82nd & Broadway 2289 Broadway, New York, NY 10024, 212-362-8835

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Katharine Whittemore Writes In Boston Globe About Peace Corps Writers

50 years of esprit de Corps Sargent Shriver, shown with the first Peace Corps volunteers, made the CIA promise never to plant spies in the Corps. (Reuters/Jfk Library) By Katharine Whittemore Globe Correspondent / July 10, 2011 A little name-dropping, and then we’ll move on. Two former New England senators were Peace Corps volunteers: Chris Dodd (Dominican Republic) and the late Paul Tsongas (Ethiopia). Other heavy-hitting ex-volunteers include Donna Shalala (Iran), secretary of health and human services under Bill Clinton, and Reed Hastings (Swaziland), founder of Netflix. And journalists have long been core to the Corps: MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews (Swaziland), Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth (Colombia), and travel writer Paul Theroux (Malawi). Note: When I say “journalist,” fix on the first two syllables. For as we brook the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary this year, realize there are now 200,000 former volunteers in our midst – and seemingly all of them kept journals. Go . . .

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Peace Corps to end its program in Romania by 2013

 Peace Corps to end its program in Romania by 2013 Peace Corps has decided to phase out its program in Romania, the last group of volunteers completing their service in July 2013, said the US Ambassador Mark Gitenstein during a meeting with the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister, Theodor Baconschi. The announcement comes as the Peace Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary, while Peace Corps Romania’s, its 20th anniversary. “As Romania continues to work towards a better future, we acknowledge its successes, admire its perseverance, and are honored to have had the privilege of contributing to its development” said Aaron Williams, Peace Corps’ Director. There are currently 89 Peace Corps volunteers in Romania, according to data on the program’s webpage, while 1,133 volunteers in total came to the country since the start of the program in 1991. The Peace Corps was officially established by President John F. Kennedy on March 1, 1961 . . .

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Ernest Hemingway and The PCV

What Peace Corps Volunteer (before he was a PCV) met Hemingway in Spain when Ernie was writing The Dangerous Summer, the story of the rivalry of two great bullfighters–Luis-Miguel Dominguin and Antonio Ordonez? That summer in Spain this young man approached Hemingway at one of the writer’s lengthy luncheon and asked him how to ‘become’ a writer. There is actually a photograph of the encounter, (it appeared, I think, in the old LIFE magazine) taken from a second-story balcony. It is a photo looking down on Hemingway at a long table of friends of the writer, and the young guy who would, in a few years, become a Peace Corps Volunteer. Who is this PCV? Some hints: 1) He was a PCV in the 1960s; 2) A PCV in Latin America; 3) He later became a magazine writer; 4) He has a brother who was a PCV and CD for the Peace Corps; 5) He wrote a wonderful book about . . .

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James Frederick Gage (Ethiopia 1963–65)

November 22, 1988 TIME HAS NOT DULLED THE SENSE OF LOSS,  nor blurred the timid, sympathetic faces asking if my family would be safe — since my President had been killed. Time has not obscured the events of that November evening so long ago or erased the pride I felt at being an American and a Peace Corps Volunteer. In retrospect, few of us realized how profoundly the events of the summer and fall of 1963 would affect us. Life magazine, in their June 21 editorial characterized the class of 1963 as “probably the best prepared, stablest, and most promising class in U.S. history . . . combining high morale, seriousness of purpose, commitment to a life of the mind and a careful balance between idealism and realism.” When faced with the choice between excellence for its own sake and the sake of humanity, between the good life and the . . .

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