Archive - October 10, 2011

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Tony D'Souza in St. Louis Reads from his new novel
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PCV Stars in Bulgaria–Check out the YouTube Video
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NPCA President and CEO Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79) wants to align the Peace Corps with our "national interests"
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Remember when the Peace Corps helped RPCVs find jobs?

Tony D'Souza in St. Louis Reads from his new novel

Tony D’Souza’s new novel is  Mule: A Novel of Moving Weight and he’ll be reading and taling about it  Tuesday, October 11 at Left Bank Books in St. Louis. His novel follows an underemployed writer whose pregnant girlfriend is laid off during the Great Recession. Unsure how to support a family, James and Kate move to a cheap cabin in northern California and become reacquainted with Kate’s high school friend, whose family grows premium weed. In the first two dozen pages of “Mule,” James learns how drug trafficking works. As a white guy, he doesn’t fit the official profiles. He details the tricks – and the dangers: “I read stories about people who’d been busted. I learned never to drive at night, to check that all my lights were working every time I stopped for gas, to stay with the flow of traffic. If a cop started to tail me, I would . . .

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PCV Stars in Bulgaria–Check out the YouTube Video

Peace Corps volunteer and Newark native Rafael Aguilar on X Factor Bulgaria. Photos (2) Photos Credit Courtesy Image  Videos http://o3.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/PATCH/resize/273×203/http://hss-prod.hss.aol.com/hss/storage/patch/496dbd1cab0cf8aa9545cc5a3454d8df Rafael Aguilar always wanted to make a difference, and for more than two years the Newark Memorial High School alumnus has done just that in eastern Europe. On Monday, the 25-year-old returned to Bregovo, Bulgaria, where he has been teaching  English to students in grades 1 through 12, to extend his stay for a third – and final – year as a Peace Corps volunteer. He plans to continue working toward improving his students’ understanding of the English language. Aguilar’s return to the village of 1,500 residents that he has called home since 2009 comes weeks after he made a star appearance on X Factor Bulgaria. Known to belt songs with a strong tenor voice, Aguilar publically made his decision to stay with the Peace Corps rather than continue on . . .

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NPCA President and CEO Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79) wants to align the Peace Corps with our "national interests"

NPCA President and CEO Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79) wants to align the Peace Corps with our “national interests” You might have read Kevin’s testimony at the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee week on October 6, 2011 (I know you think you have more important things to do, but still…..). In his public testimony, Kevin’s second recommendation is that the agency should “Align Country Selection More Closely with Long‐term National Interests” In other words, what’s good for the State Department is good for the Peace Corps. Interestingly, former senator and early architect of the Peace Corps, Harris Wofford, made the point in his Q & A with Senator Menendez at this same Hearing that when establishing the agency Secretary of State Dean Rush told President Kennedy that “the Peace Corps is not an instrument of foreign policy, because to make it so would rob it of its contribution to foreign policy.” As . . .

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Remember when the Peace Corps helped RPCVs find jobs?

[Padraic (Pat) Kennedy, who was one of the first dozen or so people hired at the agency in 1961, started work reading the tremendous amount of mail coming into the new Peace Corps from people wanting to join, next he became the first Training Officer, as Pat says, only because he had just been at a university, and Shriver ‘associated’ universities with training for the Peace Corps. As Training Officer,  Kennedy would escort the first PCVs to Ghana. Then he was appointed by Shriver director of the Division of Volunteer Support (PCV/DVS in Washington lingo). After his five years in-up-and out at the agency he went to VISTA, and then went onto become President and CEO of The Columbia Association in Columbia, Maryland, i.e., more or less, City Manager/Mayor. Now retired, Pat recently sent me this short essay on establishing Peace Corps’ Career Information Service, which helped RPCVs find a life after their tours. Over the 50 years, this . . .

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